Subscription box businesses have taken the world by storm, and we don’t need to tell you that. It’s difficult to overlook the business potential offered in this expanding market, with more than 2,000 subscription box firms cropping up in recent years. Subscription boxes are hands down, one of the best ways to shop. They provide consumers with one-of-a-kind experiences centred on products and ideas and introduce new businesses.
Subscription commerce provides a reliable business model based on recurring monthly revenue tailored to practically any niche, from puzzles to cosmetics to pets. If an online community exists around a product or genre, there’s a chance one can create a subscription box brand. However, creating a successful subscription box requires much more than a solid idea and a love for the things you’ll be shipping, and that’s why we break it down for you in this article with the help of a step-by-step guide.
Here's the step-by-step guide on how to start a Subscription Box Business.
1. Subscription Box Business Idea
2. Creating a Prototype for Subscription Box
3. Fulfillment Services for Subscription Box
4. Creating Budget for Subscription Box Business
5. Pricing the Subscription Box
6. Establish Your Brand
7. Creating a Website for Subscription Box Business
8. Marketing Strategies for Subscription Box Business
9. Growing Your Customer Base
1. Subscription Box Business Idea
When it comes to subscription box businesses' success, a good idea is its backbone. Specificity distinguishes decent ideas from fantastic ones, how your concept would fill a gap in an overly crowded market. Your box must stand out, but how do you intend to accomplish this? Some of the important questions for detailed analysis are market research, competition, and customer base.
Conduct market research before launching your subscription box to ensure a business possibility in the sector you’re enthusiastic about. Try to get specific and break down your ideas to find a perfect product. The more specialized your box is, the easier it is to pick products for a certain audience, allowing you to increase client retention and provide a positive experience.
There are two types of competition for you: direct and indirect. Identity both Big names of your sector, as well as those who have failed, and ask yourself where the success and failure stem from in both cases. You'll want to be prepared to answer queries like, "How many boxes are you competing with?" during your study. What do they have to give, and at what cost? How can you set your box apart from theirs? Answering these questions will assist you in developing a viable and appealing business.
Spend time researching your potential customer. What is the age of your customer? What stores do they frequently visit? What is their degree of income? Which social media channel do they prefer? Trends and customer purchasing habits in the subscription box industry and the things you intend to send, whether they be cosmetics, food, etc.
2. Create a Prototype for Your Subscription Box
When you launch the subscription box, one of the most common misconceptions is that you have to get your first shipment ready for launch before you begin marketing. This isn't accurate, and relying on it could slow you down in the process of preparing your launch. The idea behind the prototype box is to introduce potential customers to the kinds of items they'll receive month in and month out.
Here are the steps you’ll need to create a prototype for your subscription box:
Choose the Products
Make sure you round up only 5-7 items representing the types of items your customers could anticipate receiving once they sign up. The most important thing is to avoid misleading people by using a prototype box. People are likely to decide to cancel their subscription if they believe your advertising efforts have deceived them.
Choose the Box
Depending on where you are in the process depending on your progress, you might or might not have your box finished. It's probably the most important aspect of unboxing, and it's worth the time to understand. The good thing is once you've worked out the dimensions and layout, it's not necessary to purchase 2,000 boxes to begin.
The most important things to take into consideration are branding as well as the design and size. Your box is the face of your company, regardless of how high quality the items are inside. A box that is not up to scratch can negatively impact the user experience.
Choosing Packaging Supplier and Materials
It could be crinkle paper, tissue paper, or even wrapping your product. To help with marketing, we suggest starting with crinkle paper since it won't block out or cover your products from being taken.
Among the most crucial decisions to make is which firm will provide your packing. Sure, you want to send a low-cost box. However, you'd like to send a package that makes receiving and opening it each month an adventure. Many organizations can design your packaging, so shop around until you find one that provides the ideal balance of quality and cost.
3. Find a Fulfillment Service for Your Subscription Box Business
If you're starting, you'll probably be able to manage all of the fulfilment on your own. If you want to create a subscription box that can take on the big companies, you'll need to employ a fulfilment company to handle the logistics of sending your boxes each month. Look into fulfilment in the same way you looked at packaging. Numerous organizations can assist you in saving hundreds of hours per month.
4. Create a Budget for Your Business
You'll need a clear and well-defined budget to fully assess things like return on marketing expenditure and overall profitability.
- How much do you think your customers would be willing to pay for the items you'll be sending them?
- How much can you anticipate paying each month for the products you ship? What about packaging and fulfilment costs?
- Average LTV (lifetime value) of your niche's customers?
- What is the maximum amount of money you can spend on marketing to get each customer?
Consider all of the costs associated with production, fulfilment, client acquisition, and customer retention to get a clear image of what you'll need to spend/charge to be profitable and successful in the long run.
5. Set the Right Price for Your Subscription Box
One of the most costly mistakes an owner of a subscription box will make is pricing their subscription box. Suppose you're pricing your subscription too low to remain competitive or charging too much to make a substantial income margin. In that case, each side of the spectrum can affect the viability of your business.
If you've come up with an amount, but you feel there's something wrong with it, don't hesitate to send out questionnaires or other deals to your customers. Find out the details to determine which price points seem to be most popular with your target audience? If you're diligent about pricing, you'll create the foundation to ensure a steady, reliable stream of income.
Aspects to be considered when determining the price of your box
- Cost of the product: The items included in your package.
- The cost of the box: Your box and accessories for your box (stickers and stamps).
- Materials for packing cost: Filler paper bubble wrap, filler paper, or inserts.
- Postage and shipping cost: Mailing labels packing tape, mailing labels, etc.
- Fulfilment cost: Physically packing your box.
- Transactions and platform fees: Charges from your payment processor as well as your e-commerce platform per transaction.
- Fixed monthly cost: Gmail fees, prices for accounting software, etc.
- The acquisition costs: Advertising & marketing to attract new customers.
6. Build a Brand For Your Subscription Box Business
Branding is a very important part of growing a successful subscription service. It helps people notice, share, and remember your service long after exposure to it. If your branding is compelling, people will understand your brand at first sight. People are more likely to share your box if they are impressed by the packaging and the contents, giving you free advertising you did not have to pay for.
Effective branding entails more than just a clever name. It should inform customers about the type of business you're in (subscription box) and the things they'll receive if they place an order with you.
Consider a logo as a company name that you don't have to read to recognize. People will likely know the shape of your logo before they read it, even if it is a script that reads out your box name. Overly intricate logos should be avoided. Keep your design minimal while remaining unique. People will be far better able to identify with your brand if they can comprehend it right away.
Some companies are noted for their catchphrases, which clearly state the advantages of doing business with them. While it isn't necessary for branding, creating a memorable slogan is a fantastic way to help your consumers and future buyers remember what the company is all about. For example, when we hear Have a Break, our mind instantly reminds us of Kitkat.
7. Build a Website for Your Subscription Box Business
Your website is more than just a place to sell products; it's also your marketing tool. The foundation of any successful subscription box business and public face for what you stand for.
Use a Template Site: Depending on your starting capital, a template site from an e-commerce platform like Shopify may be the most cost-effective way to get up and running. They're simple to make, cheap, and come with a plug-and-play interface that allows you to set up a website in a matter of hours.
Template sites have drawbacks, but they're a smart place to start if you're on a budget and don't have the technical know-how to develop a conversion-optimized, custom e-commerce website.
Any eCommerce firm can outgrow the capabilities of template sites; therefore, if you're starting with a good budget, a conversion-optimized, custom e-commerce site should be preferred. The opportunity to fully personalize every design aspect and functionality to maximize the customer experience and generate more conversions is one of the advantages of this type of site.
Expert marketers create conversion-optimized websites after conducting comprehensive research into your target buyers, rivals, and user behaviour on your website. The process entails more than just creating a nice-looking website that showcases your stuff.
8. How to Market the Subscription Box to Reach Maximum Customers?
Make a website that is all about conversions
To begin selling, you'll need a website that is optimized for conversions. It would be best if you comprehended your ideal buyer's journey as well as the types of content they will require at each stage of their relationship with your firm. You'll need to know what kinds of material your target subscription buyer enjoys so you can create content offers for them at each point of their journey and capture their information so you can groom them to buy.
It's all about purchasing and repurchasing in subscription boxes. Begin creating more "deals" for your visitors and continue to nurture them with great material until they are subscribers.
Create Tutorials to use your products
Creating instructions on how to utilize the products you send your members every month, whether your box focuses on beauty, crafts, nutrition, or even men's grooming, is a terrific way to serve your audience. It's a tried-and-true way to show that you genuinely care about what you're offering and that you're there to assist them.
Develop Referral Program
Once it comes to subscription box marketing, referral programs are extremely important. When starting a referral program, there are a few things to consider.
- How is it going to work?
- What does the individual who makes the reference stand to gain?
- How will you persuade them to act?
- What system will you use to keep track of referrals?
- How will you ensure that the system is not abused?
Your goal and marketing plan will determine the type of ad you launch and provide your audience. If you want increased sales right away, a "purchase now" offer is the way to go. If you're going to grow your subscriber base and nurture them into making purchases via email (which is typically more cost-effective), you'll need to use a different technique. Before you run any advertising, make sure you fully grasp your aim and approach, as well as how you'll track campaign success or failure.
9. Grow Your Customer Base
Many recurring subscription businesses are overly focused on customer generation and stop investing in keeping their current customers happy. The goal is to keep growing your company. One of the most efficient methods to keep your clients pleased is to provide excellent customer service. It's unavoidable that problems develop. This is particularly true for startup companies. The way you address them will determine your success.
Rather than attempting to push difficulties under the rug, devote resources to resolving the issue for your consumer as soon as possible. Then, regardless of the problem, work to over-deliver and ensure their customer service interaction is happy.
Social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter are ideal places to operate your customer support business. You could want to create a separate Facebook page or Twitter account solely for customer issues and questions.
Many entrepreneurs have been drawn to the subscription box sector because of its potential. However, it would be best to ask yourself how to start a subscription box business from a solid foundation that is poised to produce predictable growth and long-term success, not how to create a subscription box business.
The suggestions in this article may help you get a head start on developing and launching your subscription box business.
Are Subscription Boxes Profitable in 2021?
Yes, Subscription boxes are, in fact, more popular than ever.
Is a Subscription Box business worth it?
According to research, subscription models are more than 200% profitable for organizations than one-time payment methods.
How much do subscription box businesses make?
Subscription Box businesses have a 40% to 50% profit margin.