Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 10

THE PULSE

HEADLINES

It's in the Box
The hottest trend in curated shopping, subscription boxes appeal to customers who
want to trust experts and love to find a surprise on their doorstep each month.
by Amanda Janae McCraken
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SHOPPING MADE SIMPLE.
That's the best explanation for the skyrocketing popularity of subscription boxes. According to a 2018 study conducted by global consulting firm
McKinsey, the subscription e-commerce market has grown more than
100 percent each year, over the past five years. In the same vein, consumer insight group Hitwise reported that sub-box sales increased 831 percent
from 2014 to 2017. The sub-box craze covers all categories: Current sellers
capitalizing on the trend range from classics like Wine of the Month Club
(which originated in 1972) to newcomers like the Surprise Pawty box for
pet owners to the unexpected like Wurkbench box, full of the latest in erotic
adult toys, to niche offerings like Scribblers for the budding writer. While
beauty, food, and apparel remain the top three categories-thanks in big
part to the groundwork laid by Birchbox, Blue Apron, and Stitch Fix-
curated subscriptions can be found in every market.
In the outdoor industry, subscription box pioneers such as Cairn and
Mercury Mile have found innovative ways to reach some of the most athletic consumers in the market. On a mission to disrupt the shopping experience, Cairn's surprise boxes deliver camping- and outdoor-themed
gear intended to get subscribers out and exploring. Mercury Mile tailors
its boxes to fit customers' individual running profiles. Like most successful sub-box companies, they've both removed the intimidation factor
from participating in a particular activity by playing the role of expert.
It seems illogical that customers would pay for gear they have never
touched, but giving up control to an expert is the draw. The Information
Age created a paralysis in the marketplace, says Dan Ligon, professor
of practice, media design at the University of Colorado. "With so much
information available, there was a loss of the naiveté of the unknown.
Consumers often didn't know what they wanted until they had their hands
on it (consider why vinyl records have stayed alive in the marketplace)."
Having a trustworthy expert who can sort through a multitude of options
and make decisions for you has become very appealing.

10 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Summer 2018

Jennifer Dinan, Cairn's "marketing guru,"
refers to the monthly Cairn box as a discovery
vehicle. The element of surprise and anticipation is a huge draw for sub boxes. "We get to
work with the latest and greatest gear on the
market and get it into the hands of consumers,
not just expose them to it," says Dinan.
Matt DeLeon, creator of Mercury Mile,
also recognizes his role as an educator in the
field. Mercury Mile is like Stitch Fix for running clothing-offering multiple brands in
boxes curated by a personal stylist. Keep what
you want and return what you don't. DeLeon
likes to give customers access to products they
may not know or try-from companies from
which they normally wouldn't buy. Each box,
built upon a thorough customer profile survey,
comes neatly packaged with a letter from your
stylist describing why each item was chosen
for you.
"Gift giving can be painful for both the giver
and the receiver. Sub boxes are gifts born out of
a passion-filling a niche," says Cratejoy general manager Vivek Garg. Established in 2014,
Cratejoy is like an Etsy for sub-box companies,
listing 2,000 on its site. Cratejoy provides business coaching and web design services. The
company sees 50,000 monthly transactions,
many of them as gifts for others. This exclusivity feature is another part of what makes subboxes so popular: By serving passionate niche



Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MERCHANDISING
MARKETING
BIG PICTURE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
SHIRA EPSTEIN
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
RESEARCH
SAWYER LAND + SEA
DISASTER STRIKES
BE THE BRAND
BREAD+BUTTER
PADDLING HARDGOODS
THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
COUNTER CULTURE
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
FROM THE ROAD
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MERCHANDISING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BIG PICTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SHIRA EPSTEIN
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SAWYER LAND + SEA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 38
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - DISASTER STRIKES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 43
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BE THE BRAND
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - PADDLING HARDGOODS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - COUNTER CULTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 69
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailySM2022_Day3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day3_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day2_summer2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
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https://www.nxtbookmedia.com