Mobile Helps Boost Subscription Box Sites By 3,000 Percent

We’ve known that subscription box sites were on the rise, but new data showing the particular numbers in that regard is nonetheless impressive.

EMarketer reports that, according to a recent study from Hitwise, visits to subscription box sites (online subscription retail services like BarkBox, Birchbox and Dollar Shave Club, which, on a monthly basis, provide their members with goods delivered quite literally in a box) in the United States have increased by nearly 3,000 percent in the past three years.

More precisely, it’s a rise of 2,963 percent from Jan. 2013 — when U.S. subscription box sites received 700,000 monthly visitors — to Jan. 2016 — when that number hit 21.4 million.

What has contributed to this surge of visits to subscription box sites? EMarketer points to one factor in particular: mobile.

According to the Hitwise report (wherein the activity on 127 subscription box sites on its platform — excluding sites that only offer subscription services on select products — in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. was analyzed), more than half (52.8 percent) of the visits to U.S. subscription box sites were conducted on a mobile device.

Given that, by comparison (via the study), 42.6 percent of visits to traditional retail sites in the U.S. came via mobile device, it would appear that while à la carte eCommerce merchants might not have to worry too much about losing their business to subscription box retailers in the immediate future, those monthly providers are definitely something they’ll want to keep an eye on for the long term.


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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. In the November 2019 Mobile Order-Ahead Report, PYMNTS talks with Dan Wheeler, Wahlburgers’ SVP, on how the QSR balances security and seamlessness to secure its recently launched WahlClub loyalty program.

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