Consumer Confidence Crisis: Why is Birchbox Out of Stock?

February 1, 2017

I’m an 8.5 month pregnant lady. It’s fair to say I’m in perma-crisis-mode. When I received a wonderful gift of a 3-month subscription to Birchbox from my sister-in-law, I was thrilled. To have something show up monthly that gives me beauty products that make me feel better about myself, as I cross over 30 lbs weight gain, is really a blessing.

To top it off, two products in particular seem to be amazing. A Nuxe facial cream combined with dr. brandt pore cleansing product. No wonder, as advertised, these are best sellers! I’ve tried a million products, and nothing has worked as quickly or effectively to improve my skin texture.

I’m ready to move beyond the sample and buy the full sized products.

I know I can go to Amazon and get these products, but since Birchbox has introduced me to them, I’m going there first to give them my business as a thank you.

Here’s my problem: Birchbox is out of stock.

Birchbox out of stock.png

 

One of their self-proclaimed top selling products - out of stock. But who has stock? Amazon. So today I buy Nuxe from Amazon.

 

Amazon in stock.png

 

What happened next is even more interesting. Because I’m already in Amazon’s experience, and buying something else, I look for the Dr. Brandt product so I can price compare.

Dr. Brandt on Amazon: In stock, $20.95.

Amazons price.png

 

 

Back to Birchbox because I’m really trying to give them some business: In stock, $36.

 

Birchbox price.png

 

Where we’ve landed is this: It’s unacceptable to be out of stock, and overpriced. Even disruptive subscription-based, digital native models like Birchbox have not been able to figure out how to achieve endless aisle and price competitiveness.

This is why Amazon is winning - and not just in growth. They’re winning in loyalty. They’re winning in experience. They’re winning in reliability.

Amazon is has achieved the holy trinity of customer experience: Never out of stock, competitive prices, and outstanding service. In Amazon I trust.

Birchbox - take note. Your business depends on this.

Jess Iandiorio

Written by Jess Iandiorio

Jess runs marketing globally for Mirakl. Prior to Mirakl, Jess ran product marketing at Acquia while they grew from $30M to $100M+. Jess was also previously in product marketing at Endeca, a commerce site search vendor sold to Oracle in 2011 for $1B+.

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