Why subscription services aren’t dead yet


Mary Biggins, right, with her MealPal co-founder Katie Ghelli .

Image: mealpal

Before she co-founded ClassPass, Mary Biggins sold subscriptions for leather-bound books.

“I love the subscription space, ” Biggins said in an interview on Mashable ‘s Biz Please podcast. “From really early in my career, I’ve been thinking about subscription division economics and how you acquire customers. The thing that’s very cool about subscriptions is there are so many different levers to think about.”

Biggins joined Mashable social media producer Tracey Edouard and me in our New York headquarters to talk about her history in the subscription space and her new venture, MealPal.

“For consumers, subscriptions make sense in ways where you can really bucket an expense.”

MealPal, which lets customers pay a situate monthly fee to pick up weekday lunches from participating eateries, is developing. The startup simply moved international with a launching in London and created another $15 million in venture fund. And even as the subscription space get more crowded, and startups struggle to make as much of a trade mark as the boutique fitness subscription service ClassPass once did, Biggins says MealPal is built to last.

“In the yesteryear of Groupon, the sell to a shopkeeper was, ‘Join our platform, we’re going to bring you a new customer and theyre going to buy again.’ The reality is that’s simply not what happens, ” Biggins said. “With MealPal we knew going into it that that couldnt be the value proposition. We had to understand how we could bring value to a shopkeeper if the consumer only came one time and they never bought directly from them.”

Instead, MealPal tells merchants who sign on that it’ll making such a labor more efficient, so they can build more fund from one MealPal order than they would from a regular order.

Besides MealPal, Biggins watches more potential in the subscription space for the operations and services, if not for subscription containers and other things you buy.

Startups still haven’t fully tapped the potential of subscriptions for food, and customers in the suburb are still waiting for subscription frameworks to serve them. Even airlines and metroes are ripe for subscription innovation, she said.

“For consumers, subscriptions make sense in ways where you can really bucket an expenditure, ” Biggins said.

Listen to the full episode to hear more about MealPal, the origin narrative of ClassPass and the potential still out there for subscription services. For more Biz Please, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and find us here on Stitcher.

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