You probably have it and don’t know it.

The subscription market has never been so crowded. From Plated and Blue Apron, to Stitchfix and Trunk Club, there is a non-stop supply of product-themed boxes arriving at our doors daily. Even cars, baby clothes and pet food companies have jumped into the game. However, the endless delivery of curated boxes has created a type of monotony among consumers. What was once an eagerly anticipated delivery, has become a monotonous obligation for many.

The attraction for marketers is simple. Each customer connection represents the guarantee of repeat business and a trove of consumer data. The problem is that some brands are becoming too repetitive with their offerings. Consumers have lost their sense of surprise and delight upon opening the boxes.

To retain customers, brands need to anticipate customer’s needs and consumer trends ahead of time, and offer more surprising, hard-to-find products. Personalization is key. It’s not enough for a marketer to work through an algorithm to find the right products for each consumer.

“There’s an opportunity to lock in some of these early movers that have been really successful—the personalized boxes,” says Nikki Baird, VP of retail innovation at Aptos, a retail technology company. “But for the boxes that don’t personalize, that loyalty is fleeting.”

Another issue facing marketers is consumers’ increasing awareness of their unconscious overspending through these subscription services.

According to the Waterstone Group, eighty-four percent of current subscribers underestimated what they spent on subscriptions each month – many by $100 or more.

With the subscription market becoming more crowded than ever, and as more mainstream brands such as Gap and Target introduce their box services, even the most successful subscription services will need to up their game, constantly innovate and evolve. The time to clearly prove their value has come.


Subscription Fatigue