Subscribing to a growing retail trend

More than just a buzzword, the subscription e-commerce market in Asia has been growing in the last few years. Muneerah Bee had a quick chat with Jen Li, co-founder, CubeCrate Malaysia to get her views on the matter.

Why are we seeing more companies in Asia offering e-commerce subscriptions these days?

Li: We have been seeing it around too, looks like it is trending in the region.

Why do customers enjoy subscription-based shopping?

Li: I guess people enjoy the convenience of shopping online and the expectation that “what you pay is what you get” makes it worth it. I think it is also about the excitement of getting a monthly box.

Why did you decide to offer a subscription service for your business?

Li: We thought of this idea of doing a monthly surprise box filled with random items as people always have a hard time figuring out what to get. And as this is a subscription-based service, people can subscribe for themselves or for their loved ones.

Can you briefly tell us a bit about your subscription service and the products that are included in the boxes/bundles?

Li: We try to focus on themed boxes. For example, in December, we distributed a Christmas box while October was a Halloween-themed package. This way, we can narrow down the stuff we can include and the items varies from snacks, skincare products and more. For example, in April this year, we curated a tropical-themed box inspired by the upcoming summer holidays as we notice that people tend to go on vacations mid-year.

For subscriptions in West Malaysia, consumers can enjoy a six-month subscription for RM197 (US$50.6) or RM90 for three months. There is an additional RM14 charge for subscriptions in East Malaysia.

How do you see subscription commerce growing in Asia in future?

Li: The future is unpredictable, just like viral videos

What is your advice for retailers that want to launch a subscription service?

Li: Understand your market and consumers and map out your business plans before you execute them. Lastly, it is also important to build relationship with other retailers

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