Beauty home-delivered

Get a customised selection of grooming and lifestyle products every month with these rapidly growing subscription services

April 29, 2015 07:16 pm | Updated 07:16 pm IST



Hunting for beauty, grooming and lifestyle products has become a lot less stressful, with beauty subscription services gaining popularity. Aimed at revolutionising the way we discover and shop for beauty and grooming products, services like My Envy Box and Fab Bag are the smartest way to try new products. The concept is simple: sign up, and a mystery goodie box arrives at your doorstep with four to five premium products.

Right from skincare to make-up, the products come in full-sized or travel-sized samples and not just barely-there testers. One can expect a cherry-picked roster of brands like L'Occitane, SkinYoga, O.P.I, Clinique, Benefit and Kama Ayurveda. The products come in chic packaging that’s reusable, and it somehow feels like you’re receiving a little gift every month (even if you’re the one paying for it). These services allow you to try expensive products without committing to the full-priced ones, giving you your money’s worth.

The thrill of unexpected products coupled with a bewildering choice of brands at a minimal subscription fee — what’s not to like about this arrangement? Plus, you can also shop for the full-sized products from the online store, which more often than not, offers discounts. This e-commerce model is inspired by the success of Birchbox, a New York-based company that pioneered the service.

Customers fill a questionnaire to share their preferences, and so the samples are curated to suit individual needs, styles and skin concerns. The experts cut the clutter and expose you to the right products, making it a unique beauty-shopping experience.

Vineeta Singh, co-founder of Fab Bag says, “With Indian markets being flooded with new brands in recent years, the timing felt right for this because it would help women who, like me, are tempted to buy products but are not sure which ones to trust. Besides new themes and products, people now rely on us for beauty expertise too. We develop exclusive beauty content for our customers in the form of tutorials, videos, looks and a beauty magazine which is included in every bag.” The service is not restricted to women; men can also subscribe to a similar experience.

My Envy Box prides itself in sending luxe essentials and has a large collection of luxury beauty brands on their platform. “We believe discovery is the key in this business model. The retail infrastructure and luxury industry in India is still nascent and this service helps Indian customers experience the best products available from top international and local brands, while also allowing them to explore luxury brands not easily available in stores. We only sell products that are sourced directly from the brands and hence build our confidence and credibility,” says Rishi Seth, co-founder, My Envy Box.

These services have sparked a lot of interest in the country and have a great repeat rate through referrals, social media and the blogging community. It helps customer engagement on a personal level for the brands and the products go to people who are open-minded about trying new things. These online clubs are not just enticing to people in bigger cities, but see a lot of traction in tier 2 and 3 cities as well. “Customers in India have been very receptive to the subscription model; it affords them the opportunity to try products before making an expensive purchase decision. While price is important to Indian consumers, the more pertinent word is becoming value,” adds Rishi.

With customer awareness increasing the demand for quality products, these subscription services aim to be a critical cog in shaping the rapidly growing beauty segment in India.

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