Are subscription boxes replacing in-store shopping? Research shows it's likely

Subscription boxes are redefining how we shop with a customized approach to beauty products

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Shopping for our go-to beauty products can quickly add up over time, which may explain why more and more shoppers are switching to a more affordable option: subscription boxes.

In-store shopping can be hard to transfer onto an online landscape, just like online shopping loses the personal touch we receive in stores. Subscription boxes have been redefining shopping for years with a more personalized approach, and this trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Whether you're looking for the best dresses for summer or the best foundation, there's almost a subscription box for anyone.  

According to research done by McKinsey & Company, these personalized approaches to shopping have increased in subscribers by over 100% a year since 2013. 

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Much like streaming services, this burst in growth in the subscription landscape is showing that we shoppers value convenience. Rather than make time to go shopping or scour the internet hoping to find something we like, subscribing to such services provides personalized curation. Just like with streaming services, most people have at least two subscriptions. It seems to be easier to subscribe and be surprised each month with personalized picks than to go through the work of finding things you like yourself. 

Subscription boxes tend to be targeted more towards women. According to the research, these boxes are usually more appealing to women, who make up close to 60% of subscribers. This could be because women typically do most of the shopping, whether it's for groceries or self-care products.

This service also provides a cheaper method for stocking up on your beauty essentials, such as the best eyeliner. The cost of luxury beauty products can quickly rack up, but subscription boxes are offering you a variety of products for under $20. For instance, the top two beauty subscription boxes most people turn to are Ipsy and BirchBox. After taking a quiz, each month (or every other month depending on how often you want to receive them) the brand will send you a box filled with travel-size products to test out. There are options to receive full-size products, which usually cost a little extra, but will still put you at that $20 mark. 

When you do the math, it makes sense why most people are ditching in-store and online shopping as their main methods. Since the beginning, subscription boxes have quickly made their mark in the shopping realm. It aims to provide recommendations personalized to you, like you may receive from a sales associate in-store, and allows you to do it all from the comfort of your home just like online shopping. Also, who doesn't love that feeling of excitement when you get a package? It's no wonder people are continuously moving over to the subscription box trend.

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.