Interested in learning how to start a subscription box company? You’re not alone! The subscription box business model has taken off like a rocket in the eCommerce world in recent years – and for good reason, too!
In recent years, people have come to see subscription boxes as a unique way to shop for trendy and unique items, especially fashion, lifestyle and beauty products. With this guide, you’ll be better able to understand how to start a subscription box company and entice people to try your products, creating more brand awareness. Here’s how to do it - plus some useful information on the basics of subscription box businesses!
What is a Subscription Box?
Subscription boxes are recurring and physical deliveries of given products which are packaged with the aim of offering consumers additional value and a unique experience, added to the actual product contained within each box.
These monthly subscription boxes give consumers the opportunity to try out new products and experiment with new brands without incurring exorbitant expenses. For retailers, it offers them a stable financial model that ensures recurring monthly income, which is certainly achievable in almost every niche, from beauty and fashion products to DIY items, pet products and much more. If there are trending products or categories online, there are chances that you might just be successful in building a subscription-based business around them - if you play your cards right!
Features of subscription boxes generally include:
- Physical items
- A recurring subscription
- Surprise items within a given box
- Curated content
- The opportunity to see clear savings from the subscription price
- Visually-appealing presentation and packaging
The subscription box business model isn’t going anywhere anytime soon - meaning now’s the perfect time to dive right into it!
How Can I Get Products for Subscription Boxes?
In order to build a successful subscription box business, it’s important to understand how you can source high-quality products. This shouldn’t be an issue in this day and age, as some places to source products for a subscription-based business include:
- Various search engines such as Google
- Local retail stores
- Niche eCommerce websites
- Networking with other vendors
Prior to starting a subscription box business, you should first determine if you’ll be sourcing free products, paid products or both. This way, you can offer items that add value and turn a tidy profit!
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Subscription Box?
There is no fixed price on the amount you should expect to spend in making subscription boxes.
Being that each box typically goes for $10 to $40 per month, however, you can build your budget around these prices as a general rule of thumb. Depending on your target audience and products being offered, you can offer your boxes to be low-priced or high-priced, as long as you’re able to make some profit without reducing the value of the subscription box.
If you can afford it, you can also liaise with other vendors who offer free subscription boxes and use them to build your audience before introducing the paid service.
How Do You Market a Subscription Box?
To successfully market a subscription eCommerce business to your target audience, consider the following strategies:
Initiate Affiliate Marketing Programs
These entail paying affiliates when they refer customers to you. This can result in increased shares and promotion of your boxes. You can always use affiliate programs like Flex Offers, Avantlink, Sharesale, Skimlinks and others to do this!
Work With Social Media Influencers
This is another unique way to get your business before a wider target audience. You can reach out to influencers on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see about working with them. A good number of these influencers could be willing to endorse products for a fee!
Reach Out To Bloggers
This is another unique way to make your subscription box business ideas grow quickly and cost-effectively. Your target should be bloggers with high traffic and relevant content. Send them an email, letting them know that you would love to offer them a box in exchange for having a review done on their blog. Doing this can expose your subscription box business to a broader audience quickly.
Use Your Existing Customers
Yes, you can actually create more awareness for your subscription boxes business through your current customers! Offer incentives like additional items or a free monthly subscription in exchange for referrals.
Be a Part of Social Media Communities
Another unique way to give a boost to your subscription box business is by being a part of various social media communities. From forums to Facebook groups, there are lots of communities out there that you can use to spread the word about your subscription box business. You can start by creating engaging content and with time, you can potentially build a large following that you can market your business to.
Steps to Create a Subscription Box Service
If you’ve been thinking about how to start a subscription box company, you need to fully understand the steps for creating one. Some of the steps to starting a subscription box business include:
1. Start Off With a Unique Idea
Do proper market research before starting a subscription box business. Find a niche that interests you and examine the competition, target audience, pricing and growth prospects in that field.
2. Research and Price Your Box Right
Do some competitive research and closely examine the budget for your subscription box business. See how you can turn a healthy profit without pricing your subscription box too high, which could turn potential customers away from your company and towards your competitors.
3. Create a Prototype Box
Next, create a prototype subscription box in order to find out how best they’ll be packaged when the customer receives them, what packing materials to use and what box dimensions and packaging design works best.
4. Create a Website
You guessed it - this is a pretty important step!
Create a user-friendly website with engaging copy and content about your company, crisp images, links to your social media channels, a simple and transparent buying and checkout process and an intuitive navigation structure. Be sure to include a link where customers can sign up for email newsletters too.
5. Market Your Subscription Box Business
You’re almost ready for takeoff!
Start marketing your subscription box business with blogging, social media marketing, SEO and paid advertising campaigns while also collecting emails and promoting your company on relevant forums and online communities. By generating enough buzz before launching, you can be better poised for success when you start shipping.
6. Start Taking and Fulfilling Orders
You’re almost there!
Be sure to test your website extensively to ensure it can handle orders without any technical errors. If fulfilling the orders yourself, be sure to do so efficiently and in an organized manner. If you’re outsourcing the fulfillment process, find a partner that’s affordable, cost-effective and has a reputation for reliability.
Remember, Easyship can help with the fulfillment process for your subscription box business too!
7. Ship the Ordered Boxes to Customers
Congrats - you’ve just made your first shipments!
Launch day can be overwhelming and chaotic, but stay on top of things and field any customer inquiries quickly. If you run into shipping issues, don’t wait to fix them!
8. Keep Growing Your Subscriber Base
So, you’ve launched your subscription box business successfully. Time to kick back and watch the revenue roll in, right?
Nope! Even after a successful launch, never rest on your laurels. Keep marketing and promoting your business relentlessly, collecting emails and innovating your product. As you ramp up your customer base, try implementing a referral program to offer incentives to get existing customers to sign up their friends and family!
Starting a Subscription Box Business: Follow the Right Steps
In order to make the most of offering a subscription box service, devote enough time and energy into creating and developing your business, following the above steps one after the other. The feeling of satisfaction that comes with shipping your first set of monthly subscription boxes is enough motivation to make a success of your business.
Consistent promotion on social media platforms can also result in further exposure for your brand, as can other strategies like blogging frequently, sending out email newsletters and launching a paid advertising campaign. Stick with it and don’t give up!
Ultimately, understanding how to start a subscription box company is crucial if you’re looking to get into the fast-growing subscription-based business model. However, by following these steps carefully and taking the time to promote your business consistently and frequently, you’ll unbox many new opportunities for your subscription eCommerce company!
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