By Aimee chanthadavong

Online experience retailer has launched MarketPlace, an online subscription model that is expected to help deliver aggressive growth targets for the company.

RedBalloon MarketPlace will be introduced within the company’s established gift box range with hopes it will help the company achieve its target of an upwards of 20 per cent growth this financial year.

CEO Kristie Buchanan told RetailBiz the company has been experiencing growth and there are no plans of slowing down.

“We looked at the concept of gifting and thought about how we could deliver more experiences,” she said.

“We plan to leverage on the great relationships we have with our suppliers and use that to deliver these experiences to customers. There are key focus days such as Christmas, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day but we also know there was an opportunity for a new business model to deliver experiences throughout the year.”

“We believe the products we are curating and the concept of receiving something once a month as a surprise, such as a box of your favourite coffee, is absolutely seen as an experience.”

The MarketPlace range will provide customers with access to 60 new and gourmet brands and products that are not readily available elsewhere, across two major categories: Gourmet Food/Wine and Lifestyle (health, beauty, apparel and accessories).

“We’re in the business as an Australian experience provider. We’ve learnt how to act as a marketing channel for suppliers,” Buchanan said.

“We believe we’re supporting their growth through being a marketing agent. We’ll provide them with a new customer base, distribution channel, national reach and help them develop longer relationships with customers.

“Specifically, Hanks Jam use to be a once off purchase. But in this case we’re able to capture that customer and continue a dialogue with them, which will help drive customer value for those suppliers.”

Products are available as a one off gift, or as three, six or twelve month subscription, and will contain full sized products that will be a packaged experience in a box each month.

“We are putting a significant amount of our marketing budget into this and tapping into the existing RedBalloon customer base, which we hope will continue to grow,” Buchanan said.

The confirmed list of local and international brands represented is: Maggie Beer, Simon Johnson, Ghermez Cupcakes, Max Brenner, Hank’s Jams, Bitton, Pukara, Toby’s Estate, Republica Coffee, Spotted Cow Cookies, as well as a range of wine and beer products hand selected by the team at Shortys Liquor.

Prices for the boxes will start $29 a month, including delivery and transaction fees.

“I believe the products have a broad appeal. We believe our core demographic of females between 25-39 years-old will resonate most with this," Buchana said.

“The other benefit is we will offer the opportunity to exchange products for credit.”