Building A Subscription Box For Outdoor Explorers

Subscription Boxes For Outdoor Explorers

The Nomadik Founder Pat Hines grew up in the outdoor and action sports industries before he was inspired to start his subscription box service for adventurers. Hines, who was a pro-amateur surfer, loved seeing the latest and greatest gadgets. But for an everyday person to find the best gear and vet all the brands, “You have to be really in the know or spend a lot of time researching and reading reviews,” he told PYMNTS in an interview. In many cases, he noted, consumers might have to buy products only to end up returning them.

As a result, Hines decided to start The Nomadik, a provider of premium outdoor subscription boxes for adventurers. His company ships out themed monthly boxes packed with the “latest and greatest gear” from "top-notch" outdoor brands. It also includes an outdoor challenge to match the items in the box.

The Nomadik offers multiple subscription plans, ranging from a month-by-month option to a six-month offering billed biannually to a 12-month offering billed annually.

For curation, Hines said the company has a team that sources, tests, vets and arranges products into themes. Categories of items include gear, tools and health and nutrition, with specific products ranging from inflatable solar lights to hydration mixes. Although the offerings span many product areas, Hines said that “it’s mostly outdoor camping and hiking gear.” The Nomadik works with brands ranging from up-and-coming providers to well-known names. Its brand partners include RXBAR and SealLine, among others.

The Market

Hines thought his company's target market would include more die-hard adventurers at launch. As it scaled, however, he has found that its core audience is actually “casual outdoor adventurers who are just getting into hiking and camping.” Most of them are about 22 to 45 years old, and the base is slightly more female-oriented. Most of The Nomadik's market loves camping, road-tripping and hiking. Many of them have 9-to-5 jobs, and just want some inspiration to get out and explore.

The company also has another segment of customers, which includes gift-givers. That market includes parents in the 40- to 65-year-old range who are seeking items for their children or significant others. Although the boxes are suitable for someone who is just getting into the outdoors, Hines said they are also appealing to anyone who likes gear or innovative gadgets.

The Marketing

On the marketing side, Hines said The Nomadik finds that a lot of the sales, traction and growth comes organically.

The company also has a loyalty program for its customers, who can refer other shoppers and earn points. They also receive points for signing up and renewing. Customers can redeem points for gifts and discounts on renewals, free boxes or gifts. Hines noted that many people will get a six-month subscription and earn enough points for a free gift.

When it comes to timing for The Nomadik, Hines pointed out that Instagram and other social media content has helped people see the world and inspired them to explore places such as Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. He added that more people are getting outdoors, and that consumers are a lot more conscious of the brands they buy. For that reason, The Nomadik takes an analytical approach to its procurement process.

Of all the inbound requests that arrive, Hines estimates that only 5 to 10 percent make it into the box. It may seem like a selective process, but he explained that when the firm puts something in the box, it is demonstrating its backing for that product.

The Nomadik plans to expand its product catalog in the future, and to distribute more content to educate consumers and help them pursue their adventures with the help of subscriptions.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.