As far as I see it, subscription e-commerce is most effective for those purchases that occur 1) on a pretty regular and predictable basis and/or 2) in markets of great diversity or opacity. Regarding 1): it doesn’t make sense to receive a box of [insert goods here] every single month on an ongoing basis if you’re not going to use the product regularly. Regarding 2): receiving a curated selection of goods when there there is overwhelming depth and breadth of choices (and high barriers to understanding) makes a whole lot of sense.
From where I’m sitting, FirstCrush (launched just last week by my friend Melody) seems to fit the profile of successful subscription e-commerce perfectly. They focus on helping you find bottles of wine you’ll enjoy and delivering them to your doorstep once a month! For many folks, a couple bottles of wine every month (whether for personal consumption or for bringing along to parties to share) follows a pretty regular purchase cycle. Furthermore, because the incredible variety of potential purchase options out there and the barriers to understanding what is what, a curated selection of wines seems to be a pretty great idea that can help people figure out what they enjoy and reduce wasted time and money.
If you’re located in New York state and love wine, you should sign up for FirstCrush today! If you want to find out more and meet the founders, you can go to FirstCrush’s beta launch tasting party this Friday the 29th in NYC. Enjoy!