An Introduction to Subscription Boxes

By October 7, 2021 No Comments

A subscription box is the automatic delivery of a curated selection of products on a recurring basis – usually monthly, half-yearly or yearly. It can even be weekly as is the case with food delivery boxes.

You’ll find subscription boxes themed around a broad range of products, from a variety of sectors, such as food and beverages, personal grooming and hygiene, health and fitness, childcare, apparel, books, games, luxury goods, pet care, etc.

If a product is something someone needs, or would enjoy receiving a regular delivery of, it could be an ideal candidate for a subscription box.

Perhaps you’re a subscriber yourself?
It’s a booming industry!

If you’re new to the world of subscription boxes, and even if you’ve been a subscriber yourself, you’re in the right place.  In this blog post I’m going to introduce you to the world of subscription boxes from the seller’s perspective, so you can decide if the subscription box model would be a good fit for your business.

What are the benefits of launching a Subscription Box?

MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global subscription (& billing management market) size will grow from USD 4.0 billion in 2020 to USD 7.8 billion by 2025. There are a number of factors contributing to this but one of the key ones is the rising adoption of subscription business models. In other words, online businesses are offering subscriptions because there is a demand from consumers for them.

But as an Ecommerce business owner, or someone with an interest in opening an online store, there are a number of other benefits that make the Subscription Box Model worth considering.

These include:

  • Monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
  • More manageable stock control.
  • Low, one-time acquisition costs and increased lifetime value of your customer (it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than keep an existing one).

What these benefits can mean for a Subscription Box business owner is better control over expenses and inventory, a much steadier flow of cash into the business and more time to focus on servicing your existing customers so they remain subscribers.

Now as much as that might sound like a sound business model, I’m sure you’re smart enough to know that it’s not going to be as straightforward as packing a few products into a box and signing up the subscribers and you’d be right.

What makes a good Subscription Box?

When someone subscribes to receive products on repeat from you, they’re making a commitment to your brand. That’s a pretty big step for a consumer.  Which means you have to give a consumer a good reason to hand over their credit card details so you can regularly debit money from it.

We believe there are three key reasons why people will subscribe to receive a regular supply of products from an online store:

  • Value for money
  • Convenience
  • Entertainment or access to products and brands they wouldn’t normally buy or haven’t tried before

When determining what to sell in your Subscription Box, keep coming back to this list and ask yourself, am I fulfilling one of these needs or desires for the subscriber with this box. The other important factor is the ongoing experience of receiving the box. Even if a consumer is receiving a commodity item such as pet food, studies have found that they want to be ‘delighted’ by the experience of receiving those items. This means paying attention to everything from how easy it is to order from you, to the delivery process and how you package up the products and say thank you to the subscriber.

How do I find my Subscription Box idea?

Whilst you’re researching the market to find your niche idea, you may discover that there is more than one type of Subscription Box type or model. In fact there are three main categories of subscription models for you to consider for your online products:

Suitable for products consumers need a regular supply of; pet food and cleaning products for example.

A handpicked selection of products; organic produce or luxury products for example.

Turns subscribers into members and offers rewards (discounts etc) in return for loyalty – this model works well for online clothing stores.

We’ve gone into even more detail about the different models and provided examples of businesses using them in our guide to Subscription Model types.


Where to from here?

If this introduction to Subscription Boxes has you seriously interested in launching your own version, make sure you head back to the blog for articles that will help you to create a successful Subscription Box business. The essentials of starting a Subscription Box service provides a detailed outline of how to start your business once you have your unique idea.

And we can help too.

Keesubscriptions has been designed to help Maropost Commerce store owners sell products on repeat. If you’re ready to learn more about offering subscription services via your Maropost website, contact us.


Author Katie

More posts by Katie

Leave a Reply