I’m a big fan of subscription services from makeup (no I don’t), to shoes, condoms, socks and even tamponia (nope not them either). Pay your money each month and receive your goods on a specified date, or very near it. For example, you pay on the 1st of the month then choose your items by the 6th and they arrive with the customer by the 10th. Should be like clockwork if the supply chain is right and your stock monitoring is good.
Customers can plan their lives around your deliveries and safe in the knowledge that the next package arrives on a certain date on their doorstep and the whole cycle goes round again. Everyone’s happy.
Until the supply chain goes bad and you really piss your customers off.
Glossybox is such a service and it seems to have become foul to a very simple supply chain issue, the Easter holiday. So when your scheduled delivery is on the 10th you know you are about to unleash all manner of hell by telling your customers they won’t get delivery until the end of April (25th) well there’s going to be words said, subscriptions cancelled and a rebellion on Facebook. A few days here or there and most would have turned a blind eye, this was two weeks.
It happened. And these are my three observations….
1. Your supply chain is not to blame, you are
The Royal Mail deliver things, the Royal Mail have holidays too and like Christmas you know there’ll be a cut off point. Royal Mail are not to blame you are ultimately responsible for posting early to keep a smile on your customer’s face.
2. Don’t change the flow of your customer’s life
Customers don’t need a feast or famine approach with your stock. The regularity of your subscription means they are fitting your product in to their lives. If you rock the boat, which Glossybox did to the tune of two weeks, then all manner of issues occur from your customer running out of stock to then having too much when the next delivery arrives. As a service the last thing you want to do is give your customer an excuse to run out to a competitor.
[Thanks to @rudedoodle for pointing out that Glossybox is a selection of random products so a customer is never really going to “run out” of anything that’s sent. I’ll leave point 2 in though by way as an example :)]
3. This could have easily been avoided.
Okay Easter ran into a unfair time for Glossybox with Good Friday being so close into the month and then no postal delivery or collection until the following Tuesday. I still think with some planning, data review and customer communication they could have pulled a small customer win.
A few late nights from staff would have ride the storm as well. And if employee loyalty was high they wouldn’t have minded at all to keep customers happy.