Stockbox is your subscription delivery site for household essentials


In the South African market we constantly see the rise and fall of different online shopping ventures. Some of these businesses use proven cookie-cutter methods of trying to replicate the success of others, while a select few take a more unique approach. Stockbox focuses on the latter approach by trying not just a standard click-to-buy model, but a service as well.

Founded by Ryan Egnos, Stefano Sessa and Donovan Schönknecht, Stockbox is the new kid on the block, having only launched a few weeks prior. Since then, several design changes have been implemented, new functionality added, and it is all the more better for these. Ventureburn spoke to co-founder Egnos via email about some of the store’s traits and Stockbox’s business model.

The store focuses on household essentials, such as dishwashing liquid, men’s shaving kids, and tampons. While that may all sound like a strange or off-beat choices to the traditional ecommerce ranges of books, DVDs, and games, the combination is actually quite ingenious. Stockbox circumnavigates having to constantly go out and actually purchase these sorts of items in crowded malls.

What seems to be inspired by other subscription delivery services like Rubybox, Guybox or even Dailydish, Stockbox allows customers to schedule re-orders depending on their needs. If you know you’ll be running out of razors in four weeks, schedule the store to send you some more. This scheduling model is the kind of thing we haven’t seen from larger players, which is quite surprising, but it sets Stockbox apart from the rest of the market.

We want to make it easy for customers to build a product usage cycle for products they find themselves using frequently.

The store is financed by a combination of bootstrapping and investment from a undisclosed angel investors. Stockbox still faces the same problems as normal ecommerce stores, such as procurement and making sure customers have the prices they want, without having to inflate operating costs. This is a difficult task in the South African market due to rising petrol prices and import taxes distributors pay, among other things.

Egnos says customers need to be satisfied with a service in order for it to work properly: “It’s important for us to ensure that the customer is satisfied and any business that puts the customer first will jump through hoops to ensure their happiness.”

Their desktop website has proven to be the most popular destination though the mobile store is gaining traction. Given the type of products in Stockbox’s range, desktop may stay in the lead for a long time to come. Egnos says Stockbox is constantly looking to improve its product range. Customers are encouraged to request new items as well.

According to Egnos, Stockbox is still fleshing out their marketing plans, but as of writing it has 711 Facebook likes.

The website has been built on a custom solution. When asked about this, Egnos stated the startup needed dynamic billing and custom cycles, which wasn’t possible with an off-the-shelf solution. Once established it plans to continue using the platform for other businesses. “Further to functionality, our vision is to build multiple businesses using this model, and having the flexibility of our own platform allows us to do this,” he says.

Stockbox takes the free shipping route with customers. At present it is self-funding their courier drop-offs and hopes to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. It’s a route that may or may not pay off, but as some ecommerce veterans have pointed out (here and here) it’s not always necessary.

When asked about what advice he’d give to others wanting to start an online store, Egnos stated people need to create their business to enable ease of use for customers. A store owner either needs to make things simple or implement a better process than what’s already available.



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