Retailers   //   July 8, 2019

How Boxed is promoting its private label brand

As Boxed continues to add products to its private label brand, Prince & Spring, it’s looking for more ways for the market the brand outside of existing Boxed channels, and continues to experiment with which promotion type will drive up average order value.

Boxed launched Prince & Spring four years ago. Now, approximately 100 of the 1,800 SKUs that Boxed carries are Prince & Spring products, and Prince & Spring accounts for about 15% of Boxed’s sales. And, Boxed says that 50% of its repeat customers buy 1 or more Prince & Spring product each time they shop through Boxed.

Jeff Gamsey, senior vp of private brands for Boxed, said that his team looks at Boxed’s existing sales to determine which products are the most consumable — that customers frequently place repeat orders for — to determine which new product categories to enter into. The brand covers a number of categories — from packaged food to bottled drinks household cleaning products — with an additional emphasis on product categories that customers are interested in buying natural and organic products in. For example, later this year, Prince & Spring plans to release a line of pet treats, as natural and organic food remains one of the fastest-growing segments of pet products.

While Gamsey said that Prince & Spring has experimented with some paid advertising in the past, the main way that Boxed has driven customers to Prince & Spring products is through three promotional weeks that it holds throughout the year. During these weeks, Prince & Spring does a home page takeover, and Boxed promotes the sale through email marketing, as well as a mix of organic and paid social. During last July’s promotional week, unit sales for Prince & Spring products nearly increased 200%.

Gamsey said that these weeks have been valuable in allowing Boxed to experiment with what types of sales will lead to an increase in average order value, since the more products a customer buys, the more cost-effective it will be for Boxed to ship orders. While he said that while Boxed just  took 15% off all Prince & Spring items during the first sale it held for the brand, it has started to push more tiered promotions — like “buy two products, get $8 off, buy 3 products, get $16 off” — to drive up average order values. Tiered promotions have also become increasingly popular among direct-to-consumer startups like ThirdLove.

Boxed is also experimenting with other ways to help Prince & Brand stand out — it created an Instagram account for the brand a few months ago, though Gamsey said that Boxed has yet to run paid ads against it. But Gamsey said that Boxed’s ultimate goal is to get Prince & Spring products on the shelves of other retailers. He said that Boxed is in talks with a few retailers, and the hope is to get Prince & Spring products in retail shelves by the end of the year.

“We wanted to build Prince & Spring like its own brand, and design it so that it’s virtually indistinguishable from a national brand,” Gamsey said.

“It’s a fantastic move if you can pull it off,” Keith Anderson, svp of strategy and insights at e-commerce analytics company Profitero, said of Prince & Spring’s desire to sell through other retailers. “It can be a great way to get more utilization out of existing production facilities and distributing it beyond your own customer base.” But, Anderson said that there’s more Boxed can still do to promote Prince & Spring within its existing channels and encourage customers to try it, like by allowing customers to post reviews of products.

But, the risk ahead for Boxed, Anderson said is to figure out a way to get customers to “view that Prince & Spring brand as a brand that is a preferred choice in a very noisy landscape of brands,” without doing so at the expense of alienating existing sellers.