Savvy subscription providers see an opportunity to blend the consumer’s desire to indulge in self-care with community-driven online experiences. Lifestyle subscription box provider FabFitFun’s Michael Broukhim explains how social media and member-only forums drive member loyalty and create beneficial feedback loops in this month’s Subscription Commerce Tracker.
The pandemic has caused many consumers to rethink their personal health and well-being, and many are becoming more willing to indulge in self-care, try new things and spend money to get on a healthier track. As it turns out, many of these consumers are in the same boat as others looking to be introduced to new products without the need for in-store contact. These factors have created the perfect recipe for lifestyle and wellness subscription services to thrive.
FabFitFun is one such service that has branded itself as a lifestyle membership best known for its flagship product, the FabFitFun subscription box, which has a customer base made up mostly of women, according to co-founder and co-CEO Michael Broukhim. The FabFitFun box includes a selection of full-size products from the beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, home and technology verticals and is delivered each month or each season, depending on which plan customers choose.
“People are looking for ways to take care of themselves, and self-care is high on people’s minds,” Broukhim said. “FabFitFun is a place where they think that they’re basically kind of treating themselves to that.”
For an annual subscription of $199.99 per year, or a seasonal subscription delivering a box four times a year for $54.99 per box, members can receive items curated by a team of experts or customized boxes based on personal taste and preferences for health, beauty and wellness products from both premium and emerging brands. Boxes include items such as bathrobes, hair and skin care products, purses and wine glasses.
While the company has connected with customers and partnered with merchants to give their products visibility, it has also been a great way for FabFitFun customers to connect with each other, creating goodwill and customer satisfaction that will lead to a loyal customer base, Broukhim said.
“I think one of the things that we do that is super unique is that we create context for our members to speak directly among each other and with members of our team,” he said, adding that while the company provides traditional customer service, they also have social media platforms and member-only forums that create a community in which subscribers can participate.
“That drives all sorts of feedback loops that make us stronger over time, make our members feel heard and have helped us build the company we’ve built,” he said.
Delivering Value and Lasting Relationships
One of the biggest attractions of subscriptions is the promise of a periodic delivery made just for subscribers and the repeated charge to their payment method with no further action required on the customer’s part — a benefit to both users and the company. It gives the customer peace of mind and something to look forward to, while FabFitFun receives a more predictable revenue stream.
There is no shortage of similar subscription box competitors in the market, and with the continued demand for online, contactless shopping options, Broukhim said most retailers will need to pivot and change their offerings if they hope to succeed in the new normal of shopping behaviors.
“Broadly, on an industry level, subscription commerce is going to have to continue to proliferate, such that even describing it as a category loses some meaning any more than you’ll talk about retail or stores as a category within retail, because stores are so many different manifestations of an experience you can create,” he said.
In other words, retailers have a channel to create long-lasting relationships that transcend the average brick-and-mortar experience, but it goes much further than finding new ways to deliver value to consumers that are beyond today’s standard models of commerce.
With the growth of a connected economy and the power of brand exposure through online and social media channels, it behooves companies to work together and promote each other for mutual success. From there, word of mouth and shared experiences from customers can give partners the boost they need to become more successful.
“There’s just this tremendous amount of value for our brand partners, and we’ve seen it at a time where brands are increasingly challenged, in terms of how to stand out from the noise, that we could really cut through it and help them access consumers and tell their amazing stories,” Broukhim said.
Creating personalized, engaging customer experiences has helped FabFitFun grow from a newsletter business to a comprehensive membership community — not just offering subscription boxes, but also access to year-round perks, including FabFitFunTV, a streaming video service that offers on-demand wellness content, the FabFitFun online community and members-only shopping experiences that help foster loyalty. That’s a business-growing incentive to which any company looking for success in today’s retail economy should subscribe.