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Appeal of online subscription boxes takes off: study

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The appeal of online subscription boxes has taken off in the UK, with more than two million Britons visiting the sites each quarter, new research suggests.

Visits to subscription box sites, such as Graze , Loot Crate and Gousto, have risen by 155% over the last year, the Connexity Hitwise report suggests.

It found that 2.2m shoppers visit such sites each quarter, with 47% of visitors coming via mobile devices in the 12 weeks to January 23. Almost a third (30.6%) begin their journey on a search engine, although the influence of social media, multimedia and blogs have, says Hitwise, a "disproportionate power" in this category. Visitors are typically women aged between 25 and 34 years old with above-average income.

The report placed Graze, which offers a snack selection by post, at the top of the category, with 927,498 visits in January 2016, followed by Loot Crate (443,297 - boxes for gamers, anime fans or dog owners), Birchbox UK (254,5533 - women's beauty), Pact Coffee (165,806), Gousto (146,173).

“Whilst the subscription shopping category remains a niche market, the digitally savvy and social media-driven lifestyle of its audience has helped drive recognition and uptake," said Nigel Wilson, managing director at Hitwise. "Given the dominance of mobile for subscription box site visitors, its critical marketers have a strong mobile strategy, as it’s likely that the first interaction with a subscription box shopper will be on a mobile device. Marketers must also ensure they are aligning their strategies to the common profile of subscription searchers, to help secure a greater click through frequency and likelihood.”
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