In a recent story, I explored the $2.6 billion subscription box economy, describing how some startups have emerged to become thriving multimillion-dollar companies, while many others have died off, unable to achieve a successful business model.
FabFitFun, an L.A.-based company that offers seasonal boxes of lifestyle products for women, appears to be one of the winners in this battle. Today, they announce they have surpassed 1 million subscribers. While this is a smaller figure than those claimed by brands like Ipsy and Birchbox, which have several million subscribers, FabFitFun has a significantly higher price point of $49.99 per box, which also means higher margins.
Katie Rosen Kitchens, the company’s cofounder, believes the key to its success is that it goes beyond just delivering products. For instance, members get access to videos on FabFitFunTV, a streaming service on the brand’s website that offers fitness classes, styling tips, and other lifestyle content. “The idea has always been to bring the products to life through content,” Kitchens says. “That bridge between content and commerce has been one of our biggest differentiators.
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There’s also an active message board on the website that has led to relationships among members. “We see them forming real friendships in the community,” she says. “They are self-organizing into FabFitFun community meet-ups across the U.S. and Canada.”
Managing such a large subscriber base also comes with challenges, since members are now more diverse. To ensure that the products in the boxes continue to hit the mark, Kitchens says FabFitFun is incorporating more customization into the box. Members can effectively pick what goes into their box, choosing from a list of options.
But ultimately, Kitchens says that boxes themselves are just a small part of the business. “We don’t think of ourselves as a subscription company,” she says. “The box is one of the premium components that drives tons of value for our members, but it is only piece of the puzzle.”