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How to Start Your Own Subscription Box

Subscription bandwagon, hopping on

Subscription boxes are all the rage and more and more customers are partaking in the joy of not just subscribing to these boxes but also the unboxing process, with many celeb customers getting a cult following on the internet.

So, are you pondering over whether you should start a subscription box? Maybe you subscribe to one or more. Maybe the success of the format is intriguing. Maybe you feel your range of products would fit into the sub box model. Whatever your reasons, we give you a quick lowdown on what you need to do if you want to hitch a ride on the subscription box bandwagon.

Find a niche.

You need a community or niche: This really depends on the kind of products you are selling. Either it should be a niche product that is not available easily, or something that is exclusive. More importantly you need a community – a loyal band of people who love the product/niche that you are offering. Customers who will buy again and again…and again. Because if they are going to buy your product only once, then how do you get them to subscribe? An example – if your business is aromatherapy products, you can develop a loyal clientele. If people like your products, they are sure to want more of them every month. And when you bung in little surprises like new offerings or freebies, they will certainly get excited and possibly want more.

Your product should cater to a recurring need: As we said above, unless people keep coming back for more, the sub box model will fail. Let’s say you want to curate a box for plus-sized clothes. That is a good idea because you can surely develop a market for it since there is a dearth of stylish plus-sized clothing. And with clothes, there is always a need, so you can most certainly develop a loyal customer base.

Contents of a subscription box should be important.

Flesh out your subscription box: This is where you need to get into the nitty-gritties. Remember, you will have to send out a box regularly – you can decide whether it’s monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or whatever once you have gauged the market and the demand. But the most important part of the sub box is its contents. They need to satisfy the cravings and anticipation of your customers.  Would you buy the box yourself? Does it excite you? You could ask friends and family for feedback.

It’s all about curating: Curating the subscription box is very important. Every little detail matters. What is the mix of items you are going to put in it? A small card detailing all the items and why they were selected is a good idea. Also, you could curate each box around a theme. For example, if your box is all about cosmetics – maybe it could be evening wear, office wear, party wear, a theme of reds, pastel shades, etc.

Packaging your gift boxes.

Pay attention to the packaging: As we all know, packaging plays a significant role in the marketing mix of any products. Where sub boxes are concerned, it is very important because part of the appeal of it is the packaging and the process of unboxing. So you need to pay attention to how it is packaged and presented.

Value for money is important: Most sub boxes offer value for money. So, it’s imperative to price it correctly. Unless you are offering premium products or luxury goods, remember that the market can be very price sensitive.

Build a market for your boxes.

Build a market for your box: How do you go about marketing your sub box? After all, people need to know about it. Do you tap existing customers? If you are going straight into sub boxes as your first offering, then you need to do some serious marketing. You would need a Facebook page, an Instagram page and ideally, a website. Because, once your subscription box becomes popular, you will need to handle traffic and queries.

Check out the competition: To succeed, you need to know what your competitors are offering. And also, what their pricing is. You can beat them by offering a better range of products or similar products at a more attractive price.  Or, try and figure out how you can make your box different – more appealing, more exciting, what surprise products you can add, etc.

Ultimately, ask yourself:

  • Will my box light up the face of my customer?
  • Is there an element of surprise?
  • Am I offering something of value?
  • Will my customer come back month after month for what I offer?

If the answer is yes to all the above questions, then you are on the right track and you could test the waters by starting your own subscription box!