5 Tips for Starting Your Own Subscription Box

subscription boxFor independent retailers, subscription boxes and clubs are a great way to increase revenues and build customer loyalty.

1. Position Wisely

Think about what other subscription boxes are already out there, including those to which your customers may already subscribe. You need an angle that is different, something that will make you unique. Liz Cadman of My Subscription Addiction says, “look at the category you’re thinking about entering and what you would provide that would be different from current players. For example, it would be difficult to enter the $10 beauty box market right now with Birchbox® and Ipsy®.”

2. Packaging is Everything

For many subscribers, boxes are like presents to themselves, so appearance is important. Liz says, “packaging is so important, it’s the presentation and how consumers perceive the box. It’s their first impression.” Many review sites and social media users also document the “unboxing” process. So, your box needs to be attractive on the outside and inside. Liz says in addition to looking pretty, also be conscious of your branding. Because the “unboxing” process is so highly documented, make sure your brand name and logo is highly visible on all elements of the package. Liz says, “do some research on our site — we always show shots of the box and unboxing process. Imagine what your customers will feel like unwrapping your box.”

3. Utilize Local Resources

Liz advises that because you will likely be operating on a smaller scale than say, Target® or Walmart®’s subscription boxes, you will have access to more products, artists, and makers who can’t accommodate a chain store but would love to partner with an independent retailer.

4. Capitalize on Exclusivity

As an independent retailer with access to a greater variety of products than many larger-scale subscription boxes, you can offer shoppers products that they can’t find anywhere else. Though much of the appeal in subscription boxes lies in the value, offering exclusivity is also very appealing. Liz gives the example of OwlCrate®, a Young Adult book club subscription box. “They can’t compete with Amazon on price, but they get exclusive cover images, author signatures, and other exclusive goodies.” Even if you can’t offer the lowest prices, offering something no one else has can be just as valuable.

5. Offer Additional Perks

Subscription boxes are like a membership club. Keep your customers enticed between boxes with other exclusive discounts, editor’s pick products, and in-store events. Other surprises like birthday gifts and early-access deals will continue to add value to their subscription membership and boost their loyalty to your company.

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