Amazon has created a new subscription program that’s called STEM Club, which is aimed at children from ages 3 to 13. The program delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month, and is grouped into 3 age categories: 3-4 year olds; 5-7 year olds, and 8-13 year olds. Amazon selects which toys are shipped each month, and ensures that each of the items picked are appropriate for each age category. And of course “STEM” means that the toys will be focused on the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The subscription program will feature only those toys that have recently launched, or those that are exclusive to Amazon. To sign up for the subscription program, parents visit the STEM Club homepage, and then select the age range of their child (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7UAJJI). After parents sign up for the subscription, the first toy will arrive in under a week’s time. The toys are shipped free, and the appropriate taxes are collected. From that point forward, the service will select a new item to arrive each month. For the initial launch, Amazon says that the service is only available in the U.S.
Prior to this new subscription service Amazon launched the STEM Toys & Games Store in 2015, (https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=14725559011). This was a dedicated area for browsing through these types of products on their site. This is a typical approach as Amazon sees increased demand levels for various categories of products, not just educational toys. At the time, STEM toys were their second-most visited section and had seen the highest sales volume during the prior holidays.
The move to a subscription service for these STEM Club toys is aimed at getting shoppers to subscribe once and then forget it going forward. Having a subscription revenue stream is a way of leveling their revenues, but in the case of the consumer, it does serve a narrow market focus.
Amazon seems to be counting on the fact that STEM toys are going to remain a continuous category of interest, but it remains to be seen if that interest is going to be strong enough to merit a monthly subscription. Perhaps this will be a category that home-schooled children rely on to continue their education. That is currently a very large target population.