Recently, I’ve been asked about whether any product business can move to a subscription model …
Short answer: No.
Finding the right subscription category fit is a good first step in assessing whether or not a business has subscription potential.
Personal care, pet food, and vitamins, to name a few, are perfectly conducive to subscriptions. As we’ve seen with Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club, razors, for instance, are lightweight, easily packaged, and purchased frequently. This consumption and replenishment cycle fits neatly into the model.
Crossing over into other subscription categories, we see similar themes. Products like coffee (e.g., Blue Bottle Coffee), diapers (e.g., The Honest Company), and snacks (e.g., graze) make for great offerings.
Beauty products, too, are generally lightweight, novel, and frequently purchased—and, as a result, we see companies like IPSY, GLOSSYBOX, and Boxy Charm taking advantage.