Starting a subscription box business can be an exciting venture, but it can also be overwhelming to navigate. From deciding on a niche and choosing products to sourcing suppliers and creating a marketing strategy, there are many factors to consider.
With proper planning and execution, a subscription box business can be a great way to turn your passion into a profitable endeavor and promote your brand. In this article, we’ll explore some key steps to get you started on the right track. Take a look at how to start a subscription box business.
What Is A Subscription Box?
A subscription box is a product that is compiled and delivered on a monthly or semi-monthly basis. It can provide useful items like razors and toiletries or it can be a fun box of games that the whole family can enjoy. As long as it’s a box of curated items that are delivered on a regular schedule, it qualifies.
Why Should You Start A Subscription Box Business?
You can find plenty of reasons to consider starting a subscription box business. It’s a fun way to connect with customers and give them more than just a product to purchase. Plus, it allows your brand to be more creative and stand out from the crowd.
Different Types of Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes have become more popular over the years as they offer a hassle-free way to receive the products you love straight to your doorstep. From beauty products to food items, subscription products serve the needs of a variety of sectors and cater to everyone’s interests. Some worthwhile subscription box ideas to explore include:
- Beauty Subscription Boxes
- Food Subscription Boxes
- Pet Subscription Boxes
- Fashion Subscription Boxes
- Book Subscription Boxes
- Fitness Subscription Boxes
- Kids/Toy Subscription Boxes
- Lifestyle and Home Subscription Boxes
- DIY and Crafting Subscription Boxes
Benefits of Offering Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes offer many benefits. As a business tool, they provide a steady stream of guaranteed monthly revenue. It also makes it easier to see where your business is going and to predict the needs and wants of your customers more easily. Another benefit is access to upfront profits since a lot of subscriptions promote a discount for paying upfront. If you allow people to pay for a year’s subscription in advance, you’ll help them save money and give yourself access to the capital immediately.
9 Steps to Start a Subscription Box Business
If you’re ready to dive in, here are the nine steps you need to get started with your subscription box business.
Step 1: Perform Your Research
The first thing you’ll need to do is research the existing market, potential suppliers and where and how to find your target audience. Use the information you obtain to build out your business model and strategize how you’ll approach your new subscription service. Focus on the areas discussed below.
- Competitor Research: What are the current brands doing right? Where can they make improvements? Is there an oversaturation of a specific type of box on the market to consider? Use the information you obtain here to generate some subscription box ideas.
- Supplier Research: Where will you source your products from? Do you already have an inventory of products from which you’ll create these boxes or are you starting a business from scratch?
- Customer Research: Who will your target audience be? What types of people would be interested in your box and how can you reach them best?
- Packaging Research: Packaging is a huge part of subscription box success. When the packaging is fun and matches the excitement of the items that are packed inside, it gives people an entire experience and strengthens your brand image.
Step 2: Identify Your Niche Market
What is your product idea? Is there room in the market or is it already saturated? You’ll need to make sure there’s room for your box. If there are already 10 of the same exact style on the market, for example, you’ll want to reconsider your approach to ensure you actually have a box worth buying.
At the same time, identifying a niche that is still largely untapped can be a great potential revenue stream. Numerous meal kits have entered the scene in recent years and were able to capitalize on an unexplored market. Consider how your subscription box business model could bring something new to target customers.
Step 3: Establish Your Brand
When it comes to subscription boxes, branding is a critical component of your business strategy. It is important to establish effective brand curation to make your product stand out from the competition. Your brand image should be unique, identifiable and cohesive. This includes selecting a distinct name and logo and developing package design and other visual elements that evoke the personality of your company. These elements will serve as the face of your subscription box, and they will be what sets it apart from the competition.
Creating an effective branding strategy is no easy feat. However, this is where Print Bind Ship can help you in the process. Our experts can help you navigate the package design process, ensuring that your brand captures the essence of your subscription products and that your packaging materials are crafted in a way that attracts customers. With our team guiding you through every step of the branding process, you can be sure that your product package is a cohesive representation of your brand values and personality.
Step 4: Create Your Website
If people are going to subscribe to your box, they need somewhere to do so. A Facebook or other social media page isn’t enough. You need a fully-functional website where people can create an account, manage their subscriptions and see what’s coming up. Remember, your website is an extension of your business and the customer experience it will provide.
Without this tool, people won’t want to sign up because they’ll feel like they have no control over what they’re getting. It’s essential for marketing your brand online to have a proper business website. Many sites allow you to create a professional website in little time, such as Wix or Shopify.
Step 5: Create Your Business Plan
How much money do you have to work with for your new business venture? What are you going to have to spend on suppliers, marketing, shipping and other costs? How much can you afford to spend on these things? A solid business plan is a must to get your business off the ground effectively.
You’ll want to take into consideration your expected costs and revenue. Know how much you can reasonably expect to bring in from subscription billing over time and compare this to your shipping costs, fulfillment costs and product costs.
Step 6: Subscription Box Marketing Plan
Marketing is critical in the world of subscription boxes. People are inundated with ads for subscription boxes, and while they are popular, it can be easy to gloss over something new because it looks like more of the same. Make sure that you have a dynamic marketing plan in place to ensure that your box is a success.
Step 7: Build Custom Packages
Since packaging is the core of this business, you’ll want to choose a professional, experienced supplier to help you create custom packaging and shipping solutions. When you choose the right fulfillment partner, they can even help with marketing.
Step 8: Find a Fulfillment Partner
Speaking of the right fulfillment partner, working with Print Bind Ship allows you to get a full-service fulfillment solution for your new subscription box. From packaging creation to product sourcing to distribution and everything in between, we’re here to help your subscription box business succeed.
Step 9: Become Proficient in Customer Service
As the owner of a subscription box service, the absolute best thing that you can do is to become an expert in customer service. People are going to have questions and they’re going to want to know a lot of different details. You might answer the same question 20 times in a day, even if you’ve got it on your social media AND your website FAQ. While Print Bind Ship is handling your fulfillment needs, you can focus on honing your customer service skills. That combination helps guarantee success.
Make Subscription Boxes Seamless With Print Bind Ship
If you think a subscription box is your next best business move, contact the team at Print Bind Ship today. We can help you explore all your options, choose the right products, create the perfect packaging and handle distribution for you. Whether you’ve already got your million-dollar idea or you just have a good feeling about this business, we’re here to help. Contact us now to learn more and get started.
To start a subscription box business, you will need a concept for your box, a target audience, suppliers for curated products, a platform to showcase and sell your box and a shipping and logistics plan.
The cost of starting a subscription box business can vary depending on the products, packaging and size of your box. It is recommended to start small and gradually expand your offerings to keep costs manageable. Some estimated start-up costs can range from $500 to $5,000.
You can market your subscription box business through social media, influencer partnerships, collaborations with complementary brands, email campaigns and SEO strategies. It is important to have a strong branding presence and clear messaging to attract potential customers.
The frequency of your subscription box shipment can vary depending on your target audience and product offerings. Most subscription boxes ship out monthly but some can be quarterly or even bi-monthly. It is crucial to have a consistent schedule to keep your customers engaged and invested in your brand.
Providing excellent customer service is essential for a successful business, including subscription boxes. You can set up a customer service email or chat support to address inquiries, questions or concerns from your customers. It is important to respond promptly and professionally to maintain a positive brand image.