343: Are Subscription Boxes Filled with Data Gold?


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By Adam and Jeannie. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Jeannie and Adam discuss the past, present and future of custom subscription boxes and their growing role in the data revolution. Subscription boxes enter the data revolution In the past few years, we have seen explosive growth in data collection methods. As a result, marketers get a better ROI on their campaigns while delivering more personalized products, services, and experiences. And now we’ve seen a growing trend in subscription boxes, where consumers offer much richer information from the start. Services like BirchBox, StitchFix, BarkBox, Blue Apron, and many others, offer custom-tailored boxes based not only on their initial preferences, but their behavior of returning merchandise, upgrading and downgrading service levels, and more. “The data that you CAN get is so much richer…” -Jeannie Walters But now these services are beginning to use Artificial Intelligence to analyze this data, and really leveraging the power of smart algorithms. This serves not only to reduce the costs of keeping stylists and consultants on the ready, but to create richer customer profiles and inform new ways of segmenting. The robots are collecting and acting on information about size, weight, dietary preferences, styling preferences, and many more things marketers wouldn’t have dreamed of having access to in the past. So, this all sounds great, doesn’t it? It’s a win/win where organizations have increasingly powerful data at hand and consumers save precious time knowing someone (or something) is making good choices for them, possibly better than the choices they’d make on their own. “Organizations are using every action we take as a data point to understand us.” -Adam Toporek However, you might guess that we’ve been wondering if this is sustainable, and we certainly are! What happens when algorithms start sending things they think customers should like, but don’t? Then what happens when customers “settle” for those choices simply to receive incentives for future purchases? In the search for perfect data, marketers and their robots continually open the door for new imperfect forms of targeting, and consequently, imperfect customer experiences. So this growing trend of subscription boxes coupled with the use of AI is rife with potential for disaster! In this episode, we dive into this trend from the customer’s perspective, look back at how it all got started, where it is today, and what it may mean for the future of marketing and big data. Our robots say you need to listen in! Related Content 360Connext® post, What’s Missing from your Data Insights? Customers That Stick® post, What Great Brands Do Episode 335: Do You have a Purchase or Usage Brand? Episode 311: Which Retail Touchpoints Matter Most We're on C-Suite Radio! Check it out for more great podcasts Sponsor message Give your team the customer service training they deserve Want to bring game-changing customer service training to your team? CTS Service Solutions offers a half-day in-person workshop designed to motivate and educate your customer-facing team members. Using energy, excitement, and interaction, our workshop helps frontline teams embrace a customer-centric outlook, then — using the principles from our book Be Your Customer’s Hero — gives them the skills and confidence they need to handle any service interaction. Don’t leave your frontline team hanging… Give them the training they deserve. Learn more at customerheroworkshop.com, that is customerheroworkshop.com. Take care of yourself and take care of your customers.

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