What’s the best way to keep up with the latest fashion, makeup, skincare, and cosmetics trends? Bingo — subscribing to a monthly beauty box.
Beauty subscription kits like Birchbox provide deluxe samples of beauty and care products from several categories. The best part is they are handpicked by a team of cosmetics aficionados who tailor your box to your individual needs. All you have to do is sign up, pick a plan, and just like that, your excellent beauty box arrives in the mail.
These popular beauty boxes are so beloved that people’s unboxing videos have gone viral. This one has over half a million views:
Videos like the one above can help consumers sort through the many popular beauty boxes on the market and find one that’s right for them.
Today we want to highlight some of our favorites from an ecommerce perspective. If you own a Shopify store or are thinking about starting your subscription or beauty box, you’ll want to check out these top beauty boxes that are making noise in the world of subscription ecommerce.
We’ll also do our best to bring you up to speed on the 7 Subscription Models to Master, highlighting some of the strengths of each. Hopefully, once you’re done reading, you’ll have a sense of which subscription model, or models, would work for your brilliant beauty box idea.
Ready? Let’s look inside!
1. Camera Ready Cosmetics – Proscription Beauty Box
The secret to subscription boxes is curation, not creation. What does this mean?
If you only include products you create yourself or source items from only one brand, you will have difficulty competing with heavy hitters like Birchbox and Ipsy. These top-rated boxes feature the most popular products from the latest brands.
Camera Ready Cosmetics does a great job of packing their “Proscription” beauty box full of samples and full-sized products from the brands you have to have. They even fill you in on which professional beauty artists love them and the best way to use them.
How does their subscription work?
It’s simple. They release one box each season, giving subscribers a sneak preview before it ships to generate excitement.
Once customers receive their box, they will be notified before the next one ships, allowing them to cancel their subscription or skip one round. This freedom and flexibility is not just a perk — it’s a must for any excellent beauty box.
Charging customers for a product they didn’t want because they were “locked in” is always a no-no.
Remember, you are selling beauty products, not stamps. Camera Ready uses playful copy that their customers can relate to. Check it out:
Like most of the top-rated beauty boxes we will be looking at today, this is an example of a Curated Subscription. It seeks to surprise and delight subscribers by providing new items or highly personalized experiences.
Within the Curated Subscriptions category, we would further define it as a Curated Box. This means it delights customers with a unique collection of multi-brand offerings they can’t get anywhere else.
See, you’re already becoming a subscriptions pro. Learn about other subscription models to master.
Let’s open our next box!
Lash extension queens Lashify has abandoned traditional business models in favor of being a “female-owned and driven company that breaks the rules.”
With 70 patents and 50 trademarks worldwide and over 30,000 customers (who dub themselves “Lashifiends”), who needs rules anyway?
Their subscription box has two options: the X Luke Box or the Lashify X box, for around $40.
The Lashify X Luxe-Box box falls under the Recurring Replenishment category. This is a box that provides customers with effortless, automatic refills.
In subscriptions land, the X Luxe-Box is what we’d call the Build-a-Box model. Where the basic kit starts at around $40, customers canand curate their custom box. It’s like Christmas, but you can pick out all the presents!
Here’s an example of some of the choices customers get:
By picking their duration (weekly, biweekly, monthly) and which products they want to edit, they have complete control over what comes in their box and the price they want to pay.
They can keep it pretty basic or load up on the latest lashes and accessories.
The sky’s the limit!
The second box, Lashify X, falls under our Curated Subscriptions category that we discussed earlier. It’s a Monthly Club that gives shoppers and loyal customers surprise products or unique items.
For one set price of $39.95, customers receive a monthly kit to their surprise and delight. “Lashifiends” love receiving their monthly eyelash box!
Let’s take a peek at our next top-rated beauty box.
3. Peppi Gel
Who doesn’t love a great mystery?
You subscribe withPeppi Gel’s popular beauty box, not knowing what you’ll get. Then you look forward to the big surprise!
These boxes are a fun way to keep customers intrigued and engaged. They work well for stores like Peppi Gel, which sells various beauty products.
Customers who regularly order their products might add a mystery box for a fun treat along with their regular order. Doesn’t this banner make you want to smash that subscribe button?
Mystery box details
If you are doing a mystery or surprise subscription box, it’s important to tease out some details so the customer can at least play the game of trying to guess what it might be.
Here is what info Peppi Gel provides for the $35.95 mystery box:
Keep in mind the element of surprise is only half the fun. The other half is opening the box to find a satisfying product. If the package contents fail to delight or seem inadequate for the price, the only mystery you’ll be solving is how to make it through next month.
Don’t worry; it’s easy to curate the perfect mystery box you know your customers will love. Just keep it simple, and stick to what works!
4. Thrive Cosmetics
These health- and socially-conscious cosmetic sellers provide high-quality skincare, makeup, and beauty products while supporting various causes. Suitable for the body and the soul!
Unlike some top-selling beauty boxes we’ve looked at today, Thrive has a somewhat different approach to subscriptions.
Instead of offering a trademark subscription box or allowing you to curate products of your choice, they allow for a subscription option on many of the products they sell.
This simple, pragmatic approach to cosmetics goes hand in hand with their socially-conscious brand — Bigger than Beauty’s slogan sits front and center on their homepage.
How does it work?
First, you pick any number of products. Here we have a 3-in-1 skin cleanser:
The subscription option is subtle but effective. Rather than trying to be the most enormous, boldest subscription box on the block, they provide a gentle reminder that you get free shipping with a product subscription.
Note: Skin creams, cleansers, and other beauty products make great subscription items because they are consumable. If you like them, chances are you will need more each month or at the duration of your choosing.
The customer can either select Buy Once or choose a subscription. The free shipping incentive might be enough for some customers to move from a single purchase to a monthly subscription.
As with all subscription businesses, the goal is to maximize recurring revenue. If someone signs up for four months of a product instead of a single purchase, eating the shipping costs is worth it.
Now, let’s look at one last subscription business that will put a smile on those lips.
5. Spoiled Lips
When coming up with a subscription business model or curated box, one of the first things ecommerce entrepreneurs have to decide is whether to focus on one niche or a variety of categories.
While there are certainly advantages for the companies that sell it all — especially if they offer an all-in-one beauty box like some of the brands we looked at above — there is also strength and picking one thing and being the best at it.
Spoiled Lips are all about one thing. Can you guess what it is?
They don’t pout around when it comes to promoting their subscription products, either.
They offer various monthly clubs, which range in price and product flexibility.
Their Monthly Lip Trio features three liquid lipsticks for $24.36. Or, you can “subscribe and save” and get the three-pack for only $18 with free shipping.
For customers who love the product and know they will want more, it’s a no-brainer to subscribe.
Another unique thing about their offers is the use of discounted subscription offers. Their Flash Super Lippie Trio Deal offers vast savings if you subscribe within a limited timeframe. It’s the classic “flash sale,” but as a subscription.
This offer incorporates the build-a-box model that we looked at earlier. Pick your colors each month and build your bundle. They will pick for you if you forget, based on your previous orders.
As you are starting to see, there are nearly endless ways to use subscriptions to sell just about any beauty of cosmetic product. The distinct way you offer your products as subscriptions will make your store uniquely you.
Do you want to know what one secret ingredient all five top-rated beauty boxes share? Can you guess?
That’s right; they are all powered by Bold Subscriptions, our powerful and popular app for Shopify that lets you turn conversions into recurring revenue.
Try Bold Subscriptions now for FREE!
Having a top-selling beauty box idea is an excellent start, but you also need the knowledge to back it up. That’s why we created this ebook for subscription sellers, with seven subscription models to master.
In this freeook, we will go over some of the subscription models we touched on today, plus many more, andgreater detail. We highly recommend that anyone who downloads our Bold Subscriptions use this as their official playbook.
Well, are you ready to become a subscription master? Follow the link below:
This article originally appeared in the Bold Commerce blog and has been published here with permission.