A report commissioned by Royal Mail states that the UK subscription box market is forecast to be worth £1bn by 2022
Although still a relatively young market in Britain compared with mature markets like the US, subscription boxes are currently experiencing rapid growth here in the UK. The report said the number of deliveries can be expected to grow from 40.1 million to around 65.3 million.
What’s driving the market for subscription commerce? The increasing use of mobile online shopping has facilitated the growth to cover all sorts of products and services, fuelled by growing consumer demand.
Over a quarter of UK consumers are currently signed up to a subscription box service, either for themselves or as a gift for someone else. This ratio rises in the millennial demographic, with more than half of 25-34 year olds subscribed to at least one subscription box, compared to 11.7% of 55-64 year olds and 7.6% of over-65s.
Beauty and grooming box services are one of the most popular types of box, for both men and women. Stationery is another growing sector, as reported in the Spring/Summer issue of Stationery Matters about subscription box services.
Stationery subscription boxes are available from a variety of suppliers. Some are small start-ups like Sherbet Lane and Ink Drops (see Ink Drops’ Fairytale box in the opening shot), while others form an add-on to an existing business, such as Ohh Deer’s Papergang, Katie Leamon’s Post and Roger la Borde’s Paper Society.
Of those surveyed for the Royal Mail report, 44.8% stated that a key motivation for launching a subscription box service was to drive greater brand loyalty. Other reasons cited included the desire for greater control, particularly over distribution, control of marketing and promotion, and lower start-up costs.