Will The ‘ClassPass For X’ Trend Last?

Does a business model based on a fitness-related startup have the best chance of getting eCommerce into shape?

While aspiring startups first aimed to be classified — and continue to do so — as the “Uber for” just about everything and subscription eBook services go after the “Spotify for books” title, a recent story in Los Angeles Times finds that the latest trend in “Something for Something Else” aspiration is startups desiring to be “ClassPass for X.”

Unlike traditional subscription-based services that deal in physical goods, ClassPass — an app that connects consumers with workout classes in their area — stands as a model for success in subscription services related to experiences. Given that experiences in the retail space are something that millennials tend to desire, L.A. Times posits, startups are falling over themselves to attract that consumer base by following in ClassPass’ footsteps.

The outlet shares examples of “ClassPass for” hair blowouts (Vive), massages (Zeel’s Zeelot program) and live music (Jukely) and wonders whether the flurry of subscription-experience contenders portends genuine potential for an eCommerce model that will gain traction alongside the likes of Amazon or if it — like so many that came before — is just another fad that will fizzle out.

The argument for the latter case, attests L.A. Times, is that the “ClassPass for X” business model can be traced to flash sales (and related daily deals), which were all the rage for a while, but — as a result of so many businesses in the space oversaturating the market — crashed and burned as quickly as they had risen.

The L.A. Times story concludes that, with so many eCommerce entrepreneurs clamoring to be the next “ClassPass for X” while not necessarily implementing a long-term strategy, this new wave, too, is not long for this world.

But should the “ClassPass for X” trend eventually fade away, the story posits, another one in the eCommerce space will take its place in no time.


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