Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

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The e-commerce subscription industry has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, with the global subscription box market, including mystery boxes, reaching a staggering value of USD of USD 26.9 billion in 2022

As the world of e-commerce evolves and expands, subscription boxes have emerged as an exciting trend, captivating the curiosity of consumers worldwide. These carefully curated packages of surprise goodies have taken the industry by storm, offering an unparalleled and thrilling shopping experience.

Among the diverse array of subscription box models, one trend has particularly caught our attention—the mystery box subscription model. In this blog, we will delve into the world of mystery box subscriptions, uncovering the reasons behind their popularity, exploring different types available, and sharing tips on how to make the most out of this captivating retail phenomenon. 

What are Mystery boxes?

A mystery box is a curated package filled with undisclosed items, typically centered around a specific theme or interest and designed to provide an element of surprise and anticipation for the recipient. The contents of a mystery box are often kept secret until they are opened, adding an exciting and suspenseful element to the unboxing experience.

Today, the world of mystery boxes has evolved to cater to a wide range of interests and passions. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast, a beauty aficionado, a gaming fanatic, or a connoisseur of gourmet treats, there’s a mystery box subscription tailored to your preferences, making it an exhilarating way to discover new products and experiences. The exponential rise of social media and the widespread phenomenon of unboxing videos have further fueled the intrigue surrounding mystery boxes, amplifying the sense of excitement and sparking curiosity among consumers.

How do mystery boxes work?

Mystery boxes operate on a simple yet very functional concept – offering a unique shopping experience for customers. Here’s a breakdown of how mystery boxes work:

1. Selection and Curation

Businesses curate a selection of products specifically chosen to be included in the mystery box. These products are typically centered around a specific theme or interest, ensuring variety and appeal to the target audience. The curated themes can span various categories, such as beauty, fashion, gaming, food, or even a mix of different product categories.

2. Surprise and Anticipation

The real magic of mystery boxes lies in the element of surprise and anticipation they offer. Customers purchase a mystery box without knowing the exact contents inside, creating an exciting experience. The undisclosed nature of the items generates a sense of adventure, keeping customers engaged and eager to receive their surprise package.

3. Unboxing Experience 

The joy of unboxing is a crucial aspect of the mystery box experience. Once the mystery box is delivered, customers get to unveil the hidden contents and enjoy the process of opening their surprise package. As the box is opened, a range of carefully selected products is revealed, adding to the excitement. Businesses can enhance the unboxing experience through thoughtful packaging, personalized messages, and even additional surprises within the box.

4. Value and Exclusivity

Mystery boxes often provide customers with a sense of value. The combined worth of the items in the box typically exceeds the purchase price, creating a feeling of getting more for their money. Furthermore, including exclusive or limited-edition items in the box enhances the perceived value and adds an element of exclusivity for customers. The surprise element and the potential for receiving high-value items create a unique selling proposition for mystery boxes.

By offering unique and engaging experiences, mystery boxes have gained popularity as an effective marketing and sales strategy, especially in the e-commerce industry.

How do mystery boxes help brands?

The mystery box subscription model holds immense potential for brands, providing a gateway to enhance visibility, engage customers, and fuel business growth. Let’s explore how brands harness the power of mystery boxes in the dynamic landscape of e-commerce:

1. Increased ‘Organic’ Brand Visibility

Embracing the mystery box trend can spark a wildfire of buzz, propelling brand visibility to new heights. Customers eagerly share their unboxing experiences on social media platforms, generating valuable user-generated content that showcases the brand and its products to a wider audience. This organic exposure amplifies brand recognition and establishes a vibrant online presence.

2. Customer Engagement

Mystery boxes ignite a spark of anticipation and excitement, compelling customers to actively engage with the brand. The allure of the unknown and the thrill of unboxing create a powerful emotional connection, fostering a deeper level of customer engagement and loyalty.

3. Product Exposure and Cross-Promotion

Brands leverage mystery boxes as a strategic tool to introduce new or lesser-known products to customers. By carefully selecting items that align with the brand’s ethos and incorporating them into the mystery box, brands can showcase the breadth and depth of their product offerings, driving increased exposure and enticing customers to explore beyond their usual choices.

4. Data Collection and Insights

Mystery boxes offer a treasure trove of data for brands. By monitoring customer preferences, feedback, and purchase behavior related to mystery box offerings, brands gain invaluable insights into consumer preferences and trends. This data-driven approach enables brands to fine-tune their customization efforts, target specific customer segments more effectively, and optimize future marketing endeavors.

5. Brand Differentiation

The element of surprise and the curated experience of mystery boxes create a lasting impression in customers’ minds. By delivering a distinctive and memorable brand encounter, brands differentiate themselves from competitors and carve out a unique position in the market. The allure of mystery boxes becomes synonymous with the brand, leaving an indelible mark on customers’ perceptions.

5 Brands that have redefined the eCommerce game with their mystery box subscription models

Many e-commerce businesses have re-pivoted their sales and growth strategy by introducing mystery boxes; some have done a credibly good job at it. Here are the five mystery box subscriptions we love: 

1. The Munch Bag Collections Mystery Box

Munch Bag calls itself the one-stop shop for goodies from across the world. Their mystery boxes are a handpicked collection of Internationally popular snacks ranging from Oreos, Cheetos, and Pringles to M&Ms and Nutella. People seem to love the fact that Munch Bag chooses exclusively for you and includes new exciting products that aren’t even listed yet to give them an exclusive first taste!

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

2. The Mystery Box

Particularly designed to appeal to women, this mystery box by Meesho has a collection of carefully selected makeup goodies. Right from makeup brushes to sponges and eyelash curlers, this box contains makeup tools that are handy for any woman and are available to them as a collection with major price savings.

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

3. The Knitroot Mystery Box (3-pack baby onesies)

Targeted at parents, this mystery box by The Knitroot contains a collection of three onesies at a much discounted overall price. While the designs are chosen by their team, customers can customize the onesies to have various initials like ‘mom,’ ‘dad,’ ‘aunt,’ etc, and also choose the age of their kids to ensure a snug fit.

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

4. The Craighill Mystery Box

Craighill, a trailblazer in the world of mystery box subscriptions, has captivated consumers with their innovative approach. Renowned for curating a collection of funky and functional items, Craighill’s mystery boxes are a treasure trove of daily utility products. With their Standard Mystery Box featuring at least three items valued at $175, including a standout piece worth $65, and a larger mystery box showcasing a remarkable value item worth $98, Craighill has redefined the game by offering unique and delightful surprises to their customers.

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

5. HEAT Mystery Box

Catering to the ever-growing Gen-Z audience, HEAT has captured the hearts of fashion enthusiasts with their highly sought-after mystery boxes. Renowned brands such as Alexander McQueen, Off-White, JW Anderson, Maison Kitsune, Maisie Wilen, Nanushka, and MMissoni have eagerly contributed their coveted products to these enigmatic packages.

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

Why does the mystery box subscription model work? 

The mystery box subscription model works because it delivers the desired “aha” moment, satisfies consumers’ quest for unique experiences, fosters a sense of discovery and surprise, and builds customer engagement and loyalty. By capitalizing on these factors, brands can leverage the appeal of mystery boxes to stand out in a competitive market and create long-lasting relationships with their customers. Here is why the model works so well: 

1. Delivers the “Aha” Moment

Studies indicate that approximately 62% of consumers actively seek surprises, and mystery boxes provide that exhilarating experience through the anticipation and reveal of undisclosed products. The element of surprise triggers a positive emotional response, creating a memorable moment that customers enjoy.

2. Focus on Experiences Over Discounts

In today’s saturated market, consumers are no longer solely motivated by discounts. They crave unique and memorable experiences that go beyond just a price reduction. Mystery boxes fulfill this desire by offering curated selections of products, allowing customers to discover new and exciting items. The thrill of uncovering hidden treasures adds a sense of adventure to the shopping experience.

3. Drives a Sense of Discovery and Surprise

By removing the burden of choice and introducing an element of surprise, mystery boxes cultivate a sense of discovery, allowing customers to explore new brands and products they may not have encountered otherwise. 

4. Builds a Sense of Connection

The mystery box subscription model actively engages customers from the moment of anticipation to the unboxing experience. Customers often share their unboxing experiences on social media, fostering a sense of community and deepening their connection to the brand.

How to plan your mystery box subscription model? 

Planning your mystery box subscription model involves careful consideration of various factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

1. Identify Your Target Audience

First and foremost, clearly define your target audience based on demographics, interests, and purchasing behavior. Understanding your audience will help you curate products that resonate with their preferences and increase the chances of customer satisfaction.

2. Identify Product Preferences

Even though the contents of your mystery box are a surprise, it is crucial to research and identify the types of products your target audience is likely to enjoy. Conduct surveys, analyze market trends, and gather feedback to ensure the products you include align with their tastes.

3. Set Value Options

Offer customers the flexibility to choose the value of the mystery box they want to purchase. Provide different price tiers or subscription levels that cater to various budget preferences, allowing customers to select the option that best suits their needs.

4. Create Engaging Packaging

Design visually appealing and enticing packaging that adds to the excitement of unboxing. Consider incorporating branding elements and personalized touches to create a memorable unboxing experience for your customers. The packaging should reflect the theme or concept of your mystery box and enhance the overall customer experience.

5. Set Buying Frequency Options

Give consumers the option to choose how frequently they want to receive the mystery box. Offer different subscription plans, such as monthly, quarterly, or seasonal, allowing customers to select the frequency that suits their preferences and budget. This flexibility ensures that your subscription model accommodates a wide range of customer preferences.

6. Find a Reliable Logistics Partner

Partner with a reputable logistics provider to ensure timely and efficient delivery of the mystery boxes. Reliable shipping and tracking processes are crucial to maintain customer satisfaction and keep the excitement intact. A reliable logistics partner will help you deliver the mystery boxes in a timely manner, ensuring a positive customer experience.

By following these steps, you will be able to effectively plan your mystery box subscription model, ensuring that it aligns with your target audience’s preferences, provides value options, creates an engaging unboxing experience, and delivers a seamless customer experience from start to finish.

Ready to roll but don’t know what to do next?

Mystery boxes have gained popularity for their ability to deliver the sought-after “AHA” moment to consumers. However, creating a successful mystery box subscription model requires careful planning and execution. From identifying the target audience and their preferences to designing engaging packaging and ensuring timely delivery, each step plays a vital role in delivering a memorable customer experience. 

If you’re looking to streamline and optimize your mystery box subscription model, look no further than Appstle. Coveted as Shopify’s most powerful subscription solution, Appstle offers a comprehensive set of tools and features to enhance the subscription experience for e-commerce businesses. 

With 24×7 customer support and analytics support, Appstle ensures that businesses have the resources they need to thrive, and over 15,000 businesses have already used it to scale up massively! 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create unforgettable moments for your customers with a well-crafted mystery box subscription model.

Book a free demo with Appstle today. 

About the author

Appstle | Complete Guide to Mystery Boxes in the Ecommerce Subscription Industry

Vanhishikha Bhargava

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer for Appstle Solutions. You’ll always find her creating content or reading up on the industry with a cup of coffee in hand, which makes her anxious at times! But stay tuned for insightful pieces. Always.

If you are looking to understand more about Appstle Inc’s products and solutions, you can get in touch with us. Our 24x7x365 available experts will be happy to assist you further.

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