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Find Subscription Boxes takes its fast-growing industry mobile

Helena, MT-based Find Subscription Boxes, a one-stop directory and marketplace for consumers, said its new app makes readily available the answers to questions that buyers have about the hundreds of subscription boxes available. Some of the boxes listed through Find Subscription Boxes include BarkBox for pet products and Plated for daily meal-preparation ingredients.

“New subscription boxes are emerging almost daily, and not a lot of them have created their own app or have gone mobile,” said Rachel Deonier, co-founder and president of Find Subscription Boxes.

The app allows users to view see the latest boxes, deals and coupons, browse reviews and check out the “spoilers,” which is the subscription-box industry term for a early look at a few of the items that will be included in the box. Find Subscription Boxes, which launched as a Web site about a year ago, earns revenue through advertising and by referring buyers to the individual box purveyors.

Key information
The app was designed to readily convey the most important data points that fans of the subscription boxes are seeking, Ms. Deonier said.

“We noticed that customers were looking for more information, especially coupons and box spoilers,” she said. “For the most part, the appeal of the boxes is the surprise, but some customers love getting a sneak peek.”

Bloggers are particularly interested in such information, said Carlos Underwood, co-founder and CEO of Find Subscription Boxes.

“The blogosphere has a huge following,” he said. “They want the information about the latest coupons, the spoilers and the hot deals.”

The Find Subscription Boxes mobile app has a simple design with the most popular subscription box topics accessible on every page. In addition to the directory and the latest coupons, hot deals and spoilers, the app also displays a featured box and a popular subscription box deal.

Emerging industry
Ms. Deonier and Mr. Underwood founded the company to help promote the fast-growing industry, they said. They estimate that there are nearly 1,000 such subscription boxes available worldwide, with new players emerging at a rapid pace. Most are independent, but increasingly they are being snapped up by larger, established brands or by venture-capital firms.

Nordstrom recently agreed to acquire one such company, Trunk Club, for example. Trunk Club employs stylists who hand select menswear for customers from more than 50 high-end brands, including John Varvatos, and ship them to the customer. The client keeps what he likes and returns the rest with a prepaid shipping label (see story).

Walmart, meanwhile, had launched a subscription box of its own in 2012, called Goodies, but canceled the service after about a year. When Walmart announced the cancelation, Find Subscription Boxes published a blog post on its Web site suggesting five food and snack subscription boxes as alternatives.

Ms. Deonier said the company will continue to monitor how customers are using the app and the Web site so it can better deliver what they are seeking.

“Right now we are focusing on providing the information that we know people need,” she said. “We’ll continue to monitor how customers are using the app, and we may add functionality over time.”

Final Take

Mark Hamstra is content director at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.