How the Boxed App is Changing the Mobile Commerce Industry

Jun 19, 2014Reading Time: 3 min

You’re at work. You’ve just finished your lunch. Now you have 20 minutes to lax and browse your smartphone. The day is lagging, and you remember you have to hit Costco for a two-hour grocery session after work. You sigh.

If only someone would invent an app that provides the ability to conveniently shop in volume without the need to trudge square-mile warehouses and wait in line. Surely that would make the experience bearable—even satisfying.  

Wait no more. Someone did invent that app, and it’s evolved into a competitor of Amazon, Costco, BJ’s, and every other budget-friendly warehouse club. That app is Boxed.

What is the Boxed app?

Dubbed the “Costco of Apps,” Boxed is the perfect solution for time-strapped folks who would rather shop from their phones. People can find the most popular household items at discounted prices. Factoring in the time it takes to drive, shop and wait in line, this simple commerce app may be the modern solution for busy moms and cash-conscious consumers everywhere. Boxed is free to download and requires no yearly fee, opposite the $55 annual cost for Costco and $45 annual cost for Sam’s Club.

How does Boxed get away with it?

The business model is unique. Boxed only has the most popular 500 to 700 items at clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club, and they refuse to carry items that require heavy-lifting or especially cheap price tags. Costco, for example, normally stocks 4,000-5,000 products on a regular basis. This, along with seed funding of $1.1 million from the likes of ENIAC Ventures, Social Starts and Bessember Venture, allows Boxed stay profitably afloat: This year, they’ve expanded from two to 48 states in one quarter alone.

What does this mean for warehouse club shoppers?

The mobile universe is expanding. It’s becoming easier to get what you want at any time. With Boxed, this includes groceries. Users can expect their orders to be delivered within two days and save anywhere from 25 to 50% on a majority of purchases. They also send to nearly every location in the continental US, for free. I must emphasize free again.

This means great things for those who don’t have access to a warehouse club or a car. While people in rural areas have to deal with a void of low-priced wholesalers, city dwellers have to deal with a lack of mobility, especially considering a sizeable population who function without a car. There’s a reason why Boxed as listed one of the Hottest Startups of 2013 by Forbes.

We waste so many hours screwing around with our cell phones and wonder why lines exist in grocery stores. The next time you join the 75% of people who bring their smartphones to the toilet, consider upping your time-management game.

The Boxed app is available on Apple iTunes.