Online Toothbrush Subscriptions And The Power Of Community

Online Toothbrush Subscriptions And Community

With the help of subscriptions and expert knowledge from the dental community, eCommerce innovators are disrupting the dental care space. BURST Oral Care CEO Hamish Khayat, for instance, told PYMNTS in an interview that he saw a “major gap in the electric toothbrush space” when it came to the margin the big brands made for electric toothbrushes. The biggest source of revenue, he noted, is on the replacement head. “It’s a bit like the printer model,” he noted, with an inexpensive printer and expensive ink refills.

To provide consumers with a more affordable option, Khayat set out to start the BURST Oral Care brand. The company offers a shopping experience similar to that of other eCommerce brands: Consumers can visit the company’s website to purchase a brush with free shipping, and then subscribe to $6 replacement heads that are delivered every 90 days.

BURST accepts credit cards, PayPal and Apple Pay for payments. The company also plans to start taking health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). However, the big differentiator in BURST’s value proposition lies in its network of dental professionals, which provide guidance to the company. As Khayat noted, these professionals have a very good understanding of what makes a good product. For instance, BURST went with a product that had soft bristles based on the advice of dental professionals. Overall, Khayat said this feedback loop makes his company stand out among other players in the space.

At the same time, BURST claims its toothbrush has the longest battery life on the market, lasting for four weeks – “a good third more than anyone else on the market,” Khayat said. However, the company opted not to include all the possible bells and whistles: For instance, it didn’t add Bluetooth functionality, as Khayat said the dental community didn’t see the value in it. The toothbrush does have plenty of other features, such as different modes – whitening, sensitive and massage – and charcoal-infused bristles.

The company’s target market is “anyone” who can use the company’s toothbrushes, Khayat said. And to serve customers who are purchasing for someone else, BURST offers gift subscriptions that come with a toothbrush, a USB charger, a toothbrush head, a wall socket and a gift card to redeem online for a year’s supply of brush heads (three in total). They also offer a special-edition “rose gold” toothbrush.

The Electric Toothbrush Market

BURST Oral Care COO Brittany Stewart said the consumer marketplace appreciates the convenience of the subscription model. When it comes to healthcare trends, she noted that people are recognizing that many medical issues begin in the mouth. Oral health is also becoming a big focus in the media, which helps the company. Stewart pointed out that BURST got involved while the market was hungry for information on good oral care. In addition to toothbrushes and brush heads, BURST also offers other products, such as whitening toothpaste and whitening strips, and also provides guides on how to brush properly.

Beyond BURST, other eCommerce innovators are also tackling the dental care market. Last year, Quip planned to sell its electric toothbrush starter sets at Target in hopes that shoppers would transition into subscribers. Similar to BURST, Quip’s subscription sends customers a new brush head every three months. The company expanded into brick-and-mortar retail to reach a bigger audience in a place where consumers usually shop for toothbrushes. Through that channel, they are able to introduce their offerings, including the subscriptions.

“The brush is just the beginning,” Quip CEO Simon Enever told PYMNTS in an October interview. “We want to help the user change it on time and so on.” Quip finds its home in brick-and-mortar retail at the end cap in Target. Enever described the display setup as clean, simple and easy to understand. “It looks a lot like our online and offline ads,” he said. The display also helps consumers actually experience using a toothbrush.

From Quip to BURST, digital innovators are helping consumers take care of their oral health with electric toothbrushes and brush heads conveniently sent to their doors via a subscription business model.


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