Every so often, a trend within the ecommerce world emerges and takes the industry by storm. Subscription boxes have been one of the hottest trends over the past few years. A subscription box is a box of carefully curated products designed to meet the needs of a particular target market that is delivered to customers on a recurring basis.
Over 2,500 subscription box companies have emerged in the past three years, and there is no sign of this growth slowing down.
If done correctly, selling your own subscription boxes has the potential to be a smart business decision. Use these tips to create and manage a successful subscription box service:
- Create buyer personas: Subscription boxes target specific niche markets. To have a successful subscription box business, it is necessary to get inside of your customer’s head and learn what they need. Creating buyer personas, profiles that represent your target customer base, will help you understand their needs. These profiles are created using market research and data from your current customer demographics. Your buyer persona will allow you to uncover your ideal customer’s motivation, lifestyle, and purchasing behavior. With this information you can create a successful subscription box, determine a marketing strategy, and accurately price the subscription. For example, Birchbox met a need for women interested in sampling beauty products and was a huge success. Their founders said that data was their “best friend” and the sole reason for their success in the ecommerce world.
- Establish quality customer relationships: The success of a subscription ecommerce model is highly based on a company’s relationship with their customer base. When a person signs up for a subscription box service, they are initiating a long-term relationship with the business. Ensure it is a meaningful one. Do this by cultivating high quality products, delivering your boxes on time, having exceptional customer service, and having a reliable billing system. At the end of the day, keeping your customer happy is your number one job. Without them, your business will not survive.
- Create an experience: A subscription box is considered a luxury good. When a customer purchases a luxury good, there is a higher expectation for the value of the product and the experience with the company. If your customer perceives a drop in value or becomes bored with your product, you are at risk of them unsubscribing. Combat this by including only the highest quality items in your boxes, creating variety from month to month, and customizing the box to the needs of your customers.
- Set a competitive and sustainable pricing strategy: Your pricing structure for each subscription package you offer will set the course for your business. You want to find a middle ground where your prices are low enough to be competitive, but high enough to sustain profitability in the future. Use this helpful subscription box pricing calculator to ensure your set prices are profitable.
- Find a niche that requires recurring deliveries: The best subscription box businesses are created based upon groupings of products that fulfill an existing need within a certain niche. When designing your product concept, think about something that can solve a problem you have seen in your day-to-day life. Also, it’s important to ensure your box is something that makes sense for scheduled deliveries. A product that is purchased only once in a blue moon would not be a good candidate for a subscription box. Dollar Shave Club is great example of a successful subscription business that solves a problem and is needed on a recurring basis.
Subscription boxes are a big wave in ecommerce at the moment. They’re a unique way to connect with your customer and create an original product. If you’re thinking of starting your own, use these tips to help point you in the right direction.