Birchbox raises prices for the first time, promising elevated service

For the first time since its founding in 2010, personalized cosmetics subscription service and retailer Birchbox announced Tuesday that it will raise its prices and introduce a new tiered pricing structure.

Instagram @birchbox

Originally charging a flat fee of $10 per month, the company will now charge $13 for existing subscribers paying month-to-month, $15 per month for new subscribers, or $13 for new subscribers who purchase a full-year subscription. Members of the Birchbox loyalty program get an extra reward. Dubbed "Ace" subscribers, these are customers who spend over $300 and will see their fee remain at $10 per month.

The tiered system will launch on March 25 for new subscribers, while current subscribers will pay the new price after June 1. In order to soften the hike, the company will begin billing subscribers monthly, rather than asking for full upfront payment, in June. 

According to a blog post written by company co-founder Katia Beauchamp on the Birchbox website, the major impact of the extra dollars are set to be seen in service upgrades, which will roll out over the coming months.

Two key changes target the loudest demands from customers: increased personalization and access to higher quality brands. On the blog, the company promised new brands, higher-value samples, never-before-sampled products and exclusive launches in future boxes, and said it will update its Beauty Profile Q&A to ensure stronger product suggestions based on individual subscriber preferences. 

With the monetary boost, Birchbox will also retail a wider selection of products, offer multiple curated assortments each month, as well as faster shipping. The firm said it plans to introduce a new Swap for Points system in June, that will allow subscribers to skip a box and convert that month’s dollars into Birchbox Loyalty Points, which can be used to buy full-size products in the company's shop.

These updates come as the U.S. prestige beauty industry hits new heights among American consumers, reaching sales of $18.8 billion in 2018, according to the NDP Group. 

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