Is beauty subscription box boom over, or is it just Birchbox?
A few months ago, lured by the very enticing marketing image of the Birchbox April Magic Box , I decided to give Birchbox another try after cancelling its service a year ago due to constant disappointment in its sample offerings – the alleged personalized samples lead me to end up with too many samples from unheard brands that I was just too scared to put on my face. Unfortunately, nothing changed, I end up with only one of the samples showed in the image, and the rest are products that I will never use, that Birchbox probably acquired at 0 cost from these small brands, and could not wait to get rid of.
I really respect Birchbox as the forth runner in beauty subscription services. However, they expand their business to online/retail beauty store too quickly that they lose the very core of their service, which probably is not too profitable, but is indispensable in bring in loyal customers that they can build their business upon.
To be honest, it is not fair to compare Sephora Play! (Sephora’s subscription service) with Birchbox, one is a 50-year-old company with 40 billion revenue a year and one is a relative new startup. But from a customer’s perspective, Sephora Play!, although not one of the first beauty subscription box, is far better than Birchbox – in terms of curation, samples quality and comparable price ($10/month). Read more of my review on Sephora Play here.
With Sephora Play!, which provides the same (if not better) service as Birchbox does, will Birchbox slowly dies or rise above the competition?