In the past year or two, there’s been a lot of hype around the subscription commerce market, and the Japan market is no exception. There is Sakelife, which delivers you nice Japanese sake every month, or Coffee365, which delivers fresh coffee beans right to your door. But Japan has more than just those two.
There is also a fun subscription service that brings you a new cosplay costume every month. Haco is a line of fashion items by a mega commerce company Felissimo. Felissimo launched its ecommerce service back in 1994 and since then have focused on a monthly subscription model which they call ‘Collection’. On its website, there are different product lines such as ‘anone’ for kids clothes, ‘Couturier’ for hand-made items, and ‘Flufeel’ for underwear. The aforementioned cosplay costume are all inspired by fairy tales, letting girls to dress up as princesses or fairies. The costume subscription is available for a monthly fee of 9,800 yen (or about $100). You can see some pictures of these costumes below.
The company has both printed catalogues and a website, and according to an article over on Markezine, the ratio of orders coming in from the website was 53% back in 2010. But we can assume this number to be far higher now. Back then, the site had 2.5 million monthly visitors, over 80 million page views per month, and the total number of subscribers (number of households) exceeded 1.5 million.
The subscription model is very simple, users can buy a subscription of their choice, and after the product arrives every month, they can decide whether to continue the subcription, end it, or switch to another subscritpion. Users can select the category of the items they receive, but the details or colors of the products are not known until they actually arrive. 90% of Fellissimo’s users are women in their 30s, and often are decision-makers when it comes to purchasing in many households.
Many of Felissimo’s products are very much affordable, and they give people something to look forward to each month. The company covers everything from decorative sheets for mirrors for 950 yen a month, pancake mix for 1,600 yen, and nail stickers for 1,000 yen.
The company frequently engages with its customers as well. One good example of this being the ‘design a packaging box’ campaign where it collected 50 package box designs subsequently used to send out products to customers. The company operates its own social good projects as well, such as the ‘Peace by Peace Cotton Project’. These fashion items use organic cotton harvested in India and have designs drawn by children in the country.
Felissimo’s long-established subscrition commerce business can serve as a model for up-and-coming startups looking to break into the sector.