[Executive Edge] Popularizing the subscription box model in PH
Philippine startup Trinquets has a unique subscription box business model.
Most Filipinos are probably unfamiliar with the concept, so Wenslyn Reyes, its marketing and public relations director, best illustrates it through newspaper delivery.
“But instead of news or written articles, we bring the latest accessories,” she said.
Trinquets delivers women’s accessories in a themed box to the subscriber’s doorstep on an every-other-month basis. Reyes said that box themes range from classic ensemble and modern chic to summer leisure and formal night.
Trinquets has a fashion team that scouts the items for these boxes and sources the best ones from carefully selected companies. The boxes also include tips on how to maximize the use of the accessories.
Since these accessories are curated, the value proposition of Trinquets is supposed to be convenience.
“Since finding and purchasing trendy, coordinating accessories can become increasingly difficult amid life’s busy demands, we want to remove the hassle and keep the fun in women’s search for the best new look,” Reyes said.
Targeting the market
Trinquets, of course, makes money through subscription. Users do have the option to choose 1 box for P950 ($21.37), but are incentivized via a small discount to avail of 3 boxes for P850 ($19.12).
There may also be opportunities in the future to monetize on the business side. As of now, the Trinquets team is buying the products for its boxes at a discounted price due to the volume of their order.
“However, very soon within the year, we’ll be opening our doors to companies who wish to sample their products to reach their potential customers right in their own homes,” Reyes shared.
She suggested that some companies could offer Trinquets discounted or free items, or even payment, in exchange for product placement.
Reyes identified the target demographic as women between 18 and 30. The company markets to them through bloggers and media personalities who command respect in the fashion world.
“We also reach out through Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks where young women converge for fashion discussion or purchases,” Reyes said.
These channels are crucial particularly for the off months when Trinquets will not deliver any boxes to its subscribers to sustain people’s enthusiasm for the brand through both online and offline outlets.
“During the months wherein we don’t ship new boxes, we interact with our users through online contests, newsletters, and other special events,” she said.
Given that Trinquets must focus so much on interacting with their subscribers, which is no easy task, one might wonder why the company simply did not choose to sell their boxes in brick-and-mortar stores. After all, the themed boxes would be a perfect fit for a wide variety of boutique outlets in any number of our malls.
Reyes said that e-commerce is more accessible, particularly for this current generation. “Having an online platform rather than a physical one also falls in line with our mission to increase convenience for our users,” she said.
E-commerce brings with it its own particular set of challenges.
Filipinos who own a credit card are only around 5%, most sources pegged. From that already small group, fewer still are comfortable enough to use those credit cards to purchase goods online, much less sign up for a subscription service.
These apprehensions are so strong that sometimes they even go against our better judgement.
“Despite secure safety precautions, most consumers in the Philippines are still unaccustomed to trusting online sources,” Reyes shared.
Luckily, Trinquets is not alone in trying to convert more Filipinos to the convenience that e-commerce can bring.
In addition to larger online marketplaces like Zalora or Lazada and classifieds platforms like OLX Philippines, there are even a handful of subscription delivery services operating in the Philippines.
One of them is Glamourbox, which delivers a sampling of beauty products in its boxes, many of which are imported from abroad. Glamourbox was founded by Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2006 Lia Andrea Ramos.
Ultimately, Reyes wants to make the subscription box model known in the Philippines.
“We at Trinquets want to enable people to understand and appreciate the subscription box model while enjoying the latest fashion services,” she said.
Ultimately, she wants her brand to be recognized for excellence in curating fashion and lifestyle accessories. – Rappler.com
Rappler Business columnist Ezra Ferraz brings you Philippine business leaders, their insights, and their secrets via Executive Edge. Connect with him on Twitter: @EzraFerraz