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Boxed, which positions itself as an online warehouse club store, seems to be getting into the auto-replenishment business.

Existing customers are getting emails from the company pointing out that brands they have bought are now available as a subscription under a new program called AutoSave.  The program is guaranteeing the lowest price, with an addition 10 percent savings on the first subscription order, and another five percent on every subsequent order - "on top of whatever sale price is running onsite when your order ships."

The email makes the point that "you set up the schedule that works best for you … we deliver when you need it … so you can set it, forget it, and focus on the more fun things."

Based on a survey of the site, there appear to be an enormous number of products on Boxed that are available for subscriptions.

KC's View:

Boxed does not appear to have made any announcements about its new automatic replenishment program, and is making the point in the emails that "you’re one of the first customers we’ve reached out to, so please feel free to let us know your thoughts on our latest feature."

I know all this because Mrs. Content Guy is a big fan of Boxed, and she got one of those emails yesterday.  (She forwarded me the email with a note that said, "I think this may be good for MNB.")

This is very smart, because it plays right into the Boxed value proposition, and its customers should be enthusiastic adopters.

We've always made the point here on MNB that auto-replenishment - pioneered by Amazon with its Subscribe & Save program (which, for the record, was created by our own Tom Furphy and his team where they worked there) - can be a powerful tool for creating loyalty and sustaining shopper relationships.  Once a person signs onto one of these programs, it takes that shopper out of the market for whatever the product happens to be - and these are sales that are likely never to go back to the stores where they used to take place.

This is a category that until now, Amazon has pretty much had to itself.  While I am impressed that Boxed is making this foray, I have to wonder what took it so long?  (I think Tom Furphy and I were speculating about this here on MNB years ago.)

Next question:  What is taking everybody else so long?