“If you’re more committed to us, then we can give you more for less,” said Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox cofounder and chief executive officer.
New monthly and three-month subscribers will pay $15 per month, while existing customers will pay $13. New six-month customers will pay $14 per month, while existing six-month subscribers will pay $12.50, and new yearly subscribers will pay $13 per month, while existing subscribers will pay $12. The changes go into effect March 29 for new subscribers, and June 1 for existing subscribers. Ace subscribers, Birchbox’s high-spending tier, will continue to pay $10.
Birchbox said the pricing shift is partially due to an increased cost of doing business, in part because of USPS rates, but also part of a larger plan to invest more in customer experience. This year, the business plans to roll out customization options, a learning that Beauchamp said came from Birchbox Select, a $15 box program tested in 2017.
With this generation of customization, box subscribers will be able to pick a sample, select from themed feature boxes or opt out of having a box at all in favor of more points, which can be used to shop for full-sized items on the site. Birchbox samples will also start to include pre-launch items and exclusives, and customers will be able to fill out a more detailed preference Q&A to get samples more closely tailored to them. Birchbox also plans for faster shipping times.
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“There are times when you have a specific need, and you want to tackle that thing,” Beauchamp said. “You’ll see us testing a lot with choice and how much we give certain cohorts of people in these coming months to understand what is the new offer.”
“How many of the samples in a given month does it make sense to allow you to choose? We love being at this intersection of utility and delight — that’s a really important thing to balance….We don’t want to necessarily remove all elements of surprise,” Beauchamp continued. That being said, the business has seen higher conversion rates for sales of full-sized products after allowing customers to pick samples, Beauchamp noted.
That falls in line with Birchbox’s larger goal to create incremental beauty sales by targeting the casual beauty shopper versus beauty enthusiast, and getting the former to spend more in the beauty category.
Birchbox’s new pricing plan comes after the business — which went through a rough patch after investors switched from growth to profitability mode in 2016 — landed a retail deal and investment from Walgreens. The duo are rolling out 11 locations, and according to Beauchamp, they are “exceeding expectations and increasing beauty sales in all the Walgreens stores” that Birchbox is in.
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