Subscription boxes are a growing revenue opportunity for publishers – almost a fifth of UK consumers have signed up for a subscription box scheme in the past six months, double that of 2016. Vast numbers of consumers are now signing up for regular deliveries from publishers like Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, etc. and brands such as Abel & Cole and Dollar Shave Club.
WNIP caught up with Carola York, Managing Director of subscription box specialist Jellyfish Connect which has recently launched a digital subscription marketplace, uOpen. The new service promises to drive traffic from consumers interested in, and searching for, subscription boxes, and provides a single digital platform for both consumers and publishers alike.
Can you give us some background about your company?
Jellyfish Connect is a specialist company within the Jellyfish Group offering its magazine, newspaper and subscription box clients leading-edge subscription marketing and management.
The company owns and runs magazine.co.uk, the fastest growing print magazine subscription website in the UK, and Pocketmags.com the online newsstand selling digital publications worldwide through its website and apps.
This year, subscription boxes were added to our client list through the launch of uOpen.com – the UK’s first online marketplace dedicated to showcasing both new and established subscription boxes.
What’s your main business challenge?
Acquisition is a big challenge for subscription box businesses, particularly smaller companies and start-ups. uOpen provides the marketing power to drive high volumes of generic ‘subscription box’ traffic and convert this into new sales – sales the subscription box businesses would otherwise find very expensive to generate directly themselves.
Some publishers are already taking advantage of this growing subscription box market; First News have their First Wonder Box and Stack Independent Magazines, Stack Box. uOpen supports publishers with reaching consumers interested in subscription boxes and growing their sales.
What is your core service addressing this issue?
Through large-scale digital marketing campaigns and social and influencer activities, uOpen drives huge volumes of traffic from consumers interested in and searching for subscription boxes, and makes it easy, fast and safe to buy through the website.
uOpen can help publishers sell their subscription boxes. It operates on a risk-free commercial model so offers a simple and cost-effective way for publishers to reach this new market.
uOpen can also help publishers build relationships with existing subscription box businesses who may be looking for partnership opportunities.
How does your product/solution work?
uOpen is the UK’s first subscription box marketplace and is dedicated to showcasing both new and established subscription boxes and giving consumers great choice, whether it’s to buy a treat for themselves or a gift for someone special. Each box is approved based on quality, value for money and first-rate customer experience. uOpen also supports the growing subscription box community of entrepreneurs, established brands and businesses through its online knowledge base, industry insight guides and uOpen Insights seller events.
What are other people doing in the space and why?
There is no other UK website where consumers can browse and buy subscription boxes all in the one place.
There are blog sites which review boxes and drive traffic direct to the individual box websites, but nothing that offers a complete shopping experience. uOpen provides a digital doorway to brands and publishers.
It is free and straightforward to set up and list a subscription box on uOpen. Jellyfish Connect covers all the marketing costs. The subscription box seller only pays an agreed revenue share when a subscription is sold via the site.
How do you view the future?
Subscription boxes are a huge revenue opportunity for publishers – in a survey we recently conducted, 16-24 year olds who participate in subscription box schemes now spend over £66 a month on single boxes containing their favourite magazine along with a variety of other gifts. uOpen has first launched in the UK, but in the long term the site will look towards expanding internationally.
Thank you. We look forward to hearing about uOpen’s progress in due course.