In recent years, subscription boxes have become increasingly popular. Different companies and businesses have started offering these services. Depending on the membership level, most subscription boxes are delivered on a month-to-month basis.
What are subscription boxes
In a nutshell, subscription boxes contain mystery items generated from a specific niche. Members have to pay a monthly fee to receive these items. The monthly subscription box is usually well-curated and contain pieces that members can use and keep.
These boxes offer an entirely new and exciting experience. Different companies offer different goodies depending on what they specialise in. It’s an extremely fun way of indulging in something new. Mostly, people subscribe to a subscription box service that they have an interest in. This could be anything from arts and crafts to food and baking.
Subscription boxes can also make great gifts. Many subscription packs also offer bespoke gifting services for this reason.
Why do companies offer subscription boxes?
Firstly, as we’ve already mentioned, it’s fun. Secondly, companies focus on this business model to generate a larger clientele. It almost always guarantees revenue as more and more people subscribe. Furthermore, it’s a great way for companies to market their products.
For instance, if a company sends out a really cool gadget, you most likely will spread the word. As a result, others will go out to purchase the ‘cool’ gadget. Furthermore, companies use subscription boxes as a means of interacting with their clients. Most of the subscription boxes feel very personal, resulting in happy clients.
How it works
It is a rather simple business model. To sign up, a customer visits the subscription box website and provides their information. Once a customer has provided their information, they are automatically enrolled as a member. The customer is then required to pay a monthly membership fee. In the end, the company puts a few items in a well-presented box and delivers them.
A client may get a discount if they sign up for an annual membership. Providing this reward makes the business more attractive to customers and guarantees a long-term clientele.
What comes in the box?
Each company will have its own unique approach to this. However, most companies choose a collection of items from a specific niche. If a new product line is being launched, companies sometimes offer sample products. This makes it easier for the company to get feedback from consumers.
In each subscription box, customers can expect to receive between four and seven items.
Types of subscription boxes
Now that we’ve taken a look at what subscription boxes are, we can dive into the different types available. In recent years, these are the top paid subscription boxes on the market:
Wine subscription boxes
Monthly wine subscription boxes have become increasingly popular. Wine clubs send out an array of wines to members on a monthly basis. This allows wine connoisseurs to indulge in new wine varietals, or just get their favourite wines sent to them.
Arts and crafts subscription boxes
Most people enjoy doing arts and crafts, but it can be a hassle going out and purchasing items. Subscribers to arts and crafts subscription boxes can choose from a variety of projects to complete. It’s a great way to pass the time and enjoy your favorite hobby.
Tea and Coffee subscription boxes
Tea and coffee culture has become a phenomenon globally. Almost everyone loves a good cup of their favourite beverage. Tea and coffee subscription boxes offer members different beverages to try out such as speciality coffees. Additionally, they provide equipment and tools that can complement different types of beverages.
Beauty subscription boxes
There are constantly new beauty items produced by different brands. Beauty enthusiasts love trying out different beauty items regularly. Because of this, beauty subscription boxes have become one of the biggest in the industry.
Boxes can include a variety of products from a single brand or from different brands. Less popular brands can use subscription boxes to their advantage by gaining more exposure. Essentially, this is the perfect marketing tool to get any product out there. This means that for a reasonable price you can get monthly box subscriptions on wellness products.
Book club subscription boxes
Book club subscriptions are ideal for book worms that constantly need something new to read. Subscription boxes allow members to get a hold of old or new books that have been published. Members can choose specific book niches and receive well-curated boxes.
Book club subscription boxes are a great way to keep your mind occupied.
Food subscription boxes
If you’re a foodie, then food subscription boxes are ideal for you. These monthly delivery boxes can have anything from recipe books to healthy snacks and fresh produce. Some food subscription boxes provide all the ingredients you need to prepare your favourite meals.
Food subscription boxes allow you to be innovative and help improve your culinary skills. Furthermore, they enable members to enjoy delicious treats.
Toy subscription boxes
Almost every parent will at some point run out of ideas for entertaining their kids. Toy subscription boxes are perfect to keep your little ones busy. Each month the boxes get delivered with a bunch of kid-friendly items. This can be anything from educational toys, DIY toys, or arts and crafts.
Children enjoy the element of surprise, which is exactly what subscription boxes offer. They help keep kids stimulated while assisting in cognitive development.
Pros of subscription boxes
- Members’ preferences determine how the box is customized- Everything in the box is curated by the theme of the subscription.
- Convenience- Subscription boxes get delivered to your door, making them very convenient. This saves time from going out and purchasing products.
- Saves money- Items that are in subscription boxes are discounted.
- Learn new things- Subscription boxes enable members to try out new things, furthermore, develop new skills.
Cons of subscription boxes
- Stagnation – Sometimes subscription boxes might not be what members expect. Particulalry if they have no interest in the products.
- Uncertainty – Companies might send out items that members have no interest in.
- Wastefulness – In some cases, a lot of the items that come in a subscription box goes unused. This results in items going to waste and been tossed out.
- Getting tied in to a contract – remember to. check the cancellation policy of the service provider before you sign-up
What are the best subscription boxes in South Africa?
Having looked at what subscription boxes are, let’s take a look at some of the best companies that offer them.
1. Bean Box Club
Bean box offers South Africans the opportunity to try out the country’s best coffees. The company sources all the finest coffees from locals. Discover locally roasted specialty coffees monthly delivered to your home or office.
Members can choose to have their beans freshly delivered or receive them grounded. Moreover, they offer a service called “TopMeUp”. Bean Box Club members can receive a free bag of coffee if they’ve run out. TopMeUp is only available to active subscribers.
- 3 Month home subscription plans start from R299 all the way to R3299
- 3 Month office subscription plan R1799 per month
2. Bluebird Coffee Subscription box
Bluebird is a subscription service for coffees with delivery available to the public. Members have the option of two subscription plans:
- Monthly café-quality espresso blends- Includes milk, chocolate and orange flavours.
- New selections of coffee each month- Includes one new coffee and two past favourites.
In addition, members can also enjoy discounts on equipment and save up-to 20% of the best coffees.
Price: House Blend Subscription from R105 a month excludes shipping. Curated Coffee Subscription from R280 a month includes shipping
3. You Tea and Me
You Tea and Me promotes wellness through tea, furthermore, they offer amazing subscription boxes. Their mission is wellness and a healthier future for all.
In addition to tea, members will receive recipes and accessories in their subscription boxes
4. Little B’s Bubble tea
Bubble tea has become increasingly popular in South Africa. Little B’s Bubble tea allows members to get the taste of something completely unique. Members can expect to receive a box of bubble tea ingredients along with recipes.
The first month’s membership includes a shaker and a double tot measuring cup. Each box comes with one special ingredient and allows users to make at least 6 drinks.
Moreover, each box includes the following items/ ingredients:
- 150g Tapioca Pearls
- 100ml Brown Sugar Syrup
- 100ml Fruit Syrup
- 50g Rooibos Tea
- 260ml Bursting Boba
- 50g Black Tea
- 100g Milk Tea Powder
- 50g Jasmine Green Tea
- 4 Recipe Cards
- 4 Straws
- 1 Special Ingredient
Price: R450 including delivery
Website details: https://www.littlebs.co.za/
5. The Book Case
The Book Case is the ultimate go-to place for book subscription boxes. Each month they send out highly-anticipated, newly-released novels. Additionally, they send 3-5 relevant book items and some artwork to help tie everything together. To keep things interesting, they have a new theme each month.
Price: R540 including delivery
Website details: https://thebcase.co.za/how-does-it-work/
6. Hello Darling
Unlike traditional subscription boxes, Hello Darling specializes in bespoke gifting boxes. They offer a range of well-curated and unique gifts. Moreover, clients can opt to build a box for a personalized touch. Items can be mixed and matched to create the perfect gift subscription box.
Price: Varies, depending on the box chosen
7. Wacky Boxes
Children and their parents alike enjoy Wacky Boxes because each one contains a diverse assortment of activities. To ensure that children meet their milestones, Wacky Boxes were created. Wacky Boxes consist of items that assist and educate kids at an early age. Consequently, it is suitable for those little minds that are curious.
The company caters to children aged 5 months to 6 years old. Each of the subscription boxes have 16 activities. These activities work hand-in-hand with sensory play, emotional skills, fine motor skills and more.
Price: R380 monthly subscription
Website details: https://www.wackybox.co.za/
8. Charley’s Boxes
Charley’s boxes are sourced from around the world to help keep your child entertained. The company maximizes three pillars; education, fashion, and development. Each of the products is uniquely hand-picked to ensure safe fun for your baby.
Each of the boxes is divided age accordingly. Parents can sign up for their babies aged 0-24 months old. Additionally, the value of the items received exceeds the cost of the boxes, making it a win!
Price: R399 per month with free shipping
If you’re a dog lover then definitely check out Pawsome. They offer themed monthly boxes that your dog will adore. Each of the subscription boxes contains two themed toys, two bags of treats and fun products for your pup. All toys and treats are handpicked based on your dog’s age and physical characteristics. The items selected for each subscription box are valued at over R700.
10. Squad Box
Squad box caters to all beauty-related items, including skincare products, makeup, beauty tools and perfumes. Each box contains a mixture of samples and full-sized portions.
Price: R400 monthly, two-month subscription R760 and R1050 for three months.
11. The Ooh Box
The Ooh Box might be just the thing you’re looking for if you’re a foodie. This subscription box offers gourmet products and savory snacks that will fit just right in any pantry. Every month they feature a new theme that influences the products you will receive.
Each of the products chosen complements each other and provides a new taste experience. Customers can choose from the following three box options:
- Includes a minimum of 8 items
- Four wines
- Three pantry items
- One drink
- One detailed broucher
The little box
- Includes a minimum of 6 items
- Two Wines
- Three pantry items
- One drink
- One Broucher
The Gourmet Box
- Includes a minimum of four items
- Three pantry items
- One drink
- One broucher
Pricing: The Flagship box R899, The Little box R638 and The Gourmet box R488
Mantality offers a mystery box designed for men. Each box is well-curated and contains 2-5 items, depending on the subscription box you choose. Mantality boxes offer a great deal on items and promise to save you money.
Here are a list of items that they can surprise you with:
- Mugs & Glasses
- Grooming products
- Snacks, sweets or sauces
- Gadgets and multi-tools
- Technology and Mobile accessories
- Style items such as socks and Jewellery
Price: Small box R299, Medium box R399 and the Mega box R799