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Scentbird Sees Giftable Subscriptions Capture Consumers’ Last-Minute Holiday Spending

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With last-minute gifting providing a valuable opportunity for companies that can offer consumers an immediate solution, Scentbird is seeing its giftable subscriptions drive eleventh-hour holiday purchases.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Elena Lécué, chief marketing officer at the subscription-based fragrance company, noted that, while most of the company’s holiday season revenue comes from curated and personalize-able one-off gift sets, giftable subscriptions still play a significant role.

“Gift subscriptions become up to 20% of our revenue for eCommerce during holiday time of the year. What’s interesting is that for gift subscriptions, we have big spikes on December 24th and 25th,” Lécué said. “So, they really help those who maybe haven’t had time to get that holiday gift.”

She added that, while consumers begin purchasing a la carte gift sets for the winter holidays as early as October, subscriptions capture the most spending on the holidays themselves.

Overall, the holiday gifting spending opportunity is significant, as revealed in the report “The Credit Economy: How Consumers Are Approaching Holiday Spending and Travel,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and i2c collaboration. The study found that spending on gifts will rise moderately compared to last year and average roughly $1,000 across demographics. Additionally, 94% of holiday shoppers said they are taking action to make sure they don’t have to cut back on gifts.

Scentbird has not seen its holiday gifting business negatively impacted by the current economic climate.

“We’re having our best year ever,” Lécué said. “Those holiday purchases are the highest level we’ve ever had.”

She added that, while spending is strong, consumers are indeed highly motivated by deals and discounts, with much of this year’s purchasing occurring on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Additionally, Lécué said that giftable subscriptions, which tend to be purchased by people who are already highly involved in the fragrance space, extend these consumers’ influence to their friends and families, with some of those gift recipients then becoming longer-term subscribers.

Overall, a significant share of retail subscription customers hold box subscriptions, according to the PYMNTS Intelligence study “The Impact of Subscription Models on Consumer Choice,” created in collaboration with sticky.io, which draws from a census-balanced survey of more than 2,100 U.S. consumers. The results reveal that 40% of retail subscribers are enrolled in surprise box programs, and box subscribers have an average lifetime value (LTV) of $1,683.

Moreover, Lécué noted that one of the largest learning curves for Scentbird in holiday seasons past was learning to harness social media attention to drive sales.

Indeed, a large portion of consumers, especially younger ones, find information on what to purchase through these platforms, per PYMNTS’ study “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Monetizing Social Media Edition,” created in collaboration with Amazon Web Services. The report, which drew from responses from nearly 3,000 U.S. consumers, found that 43% of consumers — an estimated 110 million individuals — browse social media to find goods and services.

“Our curation has been this year has been really successful. [We] try to include as many products into those curated sets that are currently trending on social media,” Lécué said. “We’re going to capitalize on that much more. So, I think for me that has really been a theme from last year and most importantly, this year.”