Just a few years ago the idea of launching a subscription-based company would have probably been met with a skeptical laugh. People love to shop online, why would they choose to pay a fee for a package whose contents are a total surprise to show up on their doorstep every month?
Yet companies like Birchbox, Barkbox, and NatureBox are experiencing huge growth—5000% growth over a year in the case of BoxyCharm, a subscription company that ships out full-size beauty products to its customers instead of sample-sized ones. The companies say they owe much of their success to social media, one of the biggest drivers for sales, but also on a basic human quality: a love for that element of surprise.
Fusion’s Enrique Acevedo met up with some of the founders of the hippest and most successful subscription-based companies to find out what other factors contribute to their success, and what made them jump into the business in the first place.