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 a number of 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 fabulous beauty box arrives in the mail.
These popular beauty boxes are so beloved, people’s unboxing videos have even 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 favourites, but from an ecommerce perspective. If you own a Shopify store, or are thinking about starting your own subscription or beauty box, you’ll definitely 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 that you create yourself, or source items from only one brand, you’re going to have a hard time competing with the heavy hitters like Birchbox and Ipsy. These top-rated boxes feature the most popular products from the latest brands.
Camera Ready Cosmetics do a great job of packing their “Proscription” beauty box full of sample 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, providing subscribers with a sneak preview before it ships to generate excitement.
Once customers receive their box, they will be notified before the next one ships, giving them the option to cancel their subscription or just skip one round. This kind of freedom and flexibility is not just a perk — it’s a must for any great beauty box.
Charging customers for a product they didn’t want because they are “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 or multi-brand offering 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 have abandoned traditional business models in favour 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 comes in two options: the X Luke-Box or the Lashify X box, both 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 Build-a-Box model. Where the basic kit starts at around $40, customers are able to pick and choose and curate their own custom box. It’s like Christmas, but you get to pick out all the presents!
Heres 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 sk’eyes the limit!
The second box, Lashify X, falls under our Curated Subscriptions category that we discussed earlier. It’s a Monthly Club, which means it gives shoppers and loyal customers surprise products or a special selection of 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?
With Peppi Gel’s popular beauty box, you subscribe not knowing what you’re going to get. Then you look forward to the big surprise!
These type of boxes are a fun way to keep customers intrigued and engaged. They work well for stores like Peppi Gel, who also sell a variety of beauty products.
Customers who regularly order their products might just add on a mystery box for a fun treat along with their regular order. Doesn’t this banner just 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 $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 contents of the box 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 a variety of causes. Good for the body, and the soul!
Unlike some of the 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 — the slogan, Bigger than Beauty sits front and centre 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 biggest, boldest subscription box on the block, they instead provide a gentle reminder that you get free shipping with a subscription of the product.
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 of their choice. The free shipping incentive might just 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, surely eating the shipping costs is worth it.
Now, let’s look at one last subscription business that that is sure to 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 are offering 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 a bunch of different monthly clubs, which range in price and flexibility of product.
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 are going to want more, it’s a no-brainer to subscribe.
Another thing that is unique about their offers is the use of discounted subscription offers. Their Flash Super Lippie Trio Deal offers huge 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 own bundle. If you forget, they will pick for you, based on your previous orders.
As you are starting to see, there are nearly endless ways to use subscriptions to sell just about any kind of beauty of cosmetic product. The distinct way you decide to offer your products as subscriptions will be what makes your store uniquely you.
Well, want to know what one secret ingredient all five of these 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 awesome start, but you also need the knowledge to back it up. That’s why we created this ebook for subscriptions sellers, 7 subscription models to master.
In this completely FREE ebook, we will go over some of the subscription models we touched on today, plus many more, and in greater detail. We highly recommend that anyone who downloads our Bold Subscriptions use this as their official playbook.
Well, are you ready to become a subscriptions master? Follow the link below:
This article originally appeared in the Bold Commerce blog and has been published here with permission.