How To Start a Subscription Box Business That Sells

Starting a subscription box business is the new goldmine! Take a look at this, according to eMarketer, sales from subscription boxes grew by an entire 41% from 2019 to 2020 and another 64% In 2023. 

This makes the subscription box business one of the most profitable eCommerce businesses online. So, how do you start a subscription box business?

Let’s find out!

What Is a Subscription Box?

A subscription box is a box containing different products of a certain niche, delivered to customers repeatedly. Think of it as curating a surprise package catering to an aspect of an individual’s life (exciting isn’t it?)

How Does a Subscription Box Business Work?

It is a win-win situation. consumers of your brand pay you to deliver a group of Related items to them regularly so they don’t have to worry about it, it is your job now. Pretty convenient and you can strike a perfect price-value balance as subscribers spend more than regular customers.

If a subscription box business is the type of eCommerce business for you, here are steps on how to start a subscription box business that sells.

  • Pick a niche
  • Choose the product, price, and frequency of your subscription box
  • Create a prototype subscription box
  • Launch and market your brand

Step 1: Pick a Niche

A subscription box business is no different from other businesses when it comes to starting. Picking a niche is of utmost importance.

Specificity will help your brand reach its maximum potential as it can better resonate with the consumers.

You can create a subscription box for everything. Boxes have been curated for beauty, fitness, office, sewing, health, maternity even nostalgia.

Look around you, and reflect inward, what would you love to have a subscription box for? What are you good at? Figuring out the perfect niche for your box involves extensive and intensive research. Apart from general niches such as fitness, it will be helpful to narrow it down.

Your subscription box business can be for women’s fitness, African skincare, etc. Here are a few questions to ask when carving out the niche for your subscription box business.

  • What do I love to do?
  • How saturated is the subscription box niche?
  • Who are my potential competitors?
  • What is the demand for my targeted niche?

You might not get the ideal niche for your business on the first try. Take your time, study the existing subscription box businesses and you’ll have your answer.

Pro tip: After choosing your niche, pick out a Name. Yes, pick out a name that embodies all that your brand is about, a name that will attract your target consumers. Keep in mind that you might have to stick with whatever name you choose, as a change of name will not be easily done in the future.

Step 2: Choose The Product, Price, and Frequency of Your Subscription Box

Now that you have picked out a niche ( and a suitable name) for your subscription box, it is time to pack your box with a matching price tag.

How To Pick Products For Your Subscription Box

What goes into your subscription box is largely dependent on what your consumers want, look into what your target consumer will love. For Instance, if you are Curating a postpartum subscription box for women between the ages of 18-25, you will find the products they would require will differ from those for ages 35-45. 

For better understanding, create a buyer persona, and to do so, you need to ask the following questions.

  • How old is the buyer?
  • What is the average income of the buyer?
  • What are the hobbies of the buyer?
  • Where is the buyer from? (demographics).
  • What is the buyer’s lifestyle?
  • How can my products help the buyer?

Tip: Make sure to pick quality products to sustain the credibility of your brand.

How to Price Your Subscription Box

Placing a price tag on your subscription box is easy but oftentimes poorly carried out. Why? Many brands end up either overcharging or undercharging, which disrupts the price-value balance.

How then do you determine how much you sell your box?

  • Calculate the total cost of Curating the subscription box

To do this, make a well-detailed list of everything you used to make your subscription box. Boxes, products, packaging materials, shipping fees every single thing, add up the individual costs.

  • Decide on a profit margin

It is of great advantage that you decide on a suitable profit margin to use as this will eliminate a whole lot of issues. A profit margin of 40% is advised.

Avoid overpricing just as much as you avoid underpricing, this will create a great bond between your brand and its consumers as they will get proper value for their money and you get a balanced profit margin.

How to Choose Subscription Box Frequency

The frequency of your subscription box is based on the type of products you sell. It can be on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Step 3: Create a Prototype Subscription Box

What makes subscription boxes so enticing is the mystery (and also convenience). On One hand, consumers know what the package will contain in terms of the niche your business caters to, on the other hand, they have no idea of the exact products they will get. 

What is a Prototype Subscription Box?

A prototype box is simply a representation of what your subscription box would contain. Of course, you will not be exposing the exact products, but it is used to create that buzz around your product just before you launch.

Use it for your photo shoot sessions to get the appropriate photos for advertisement.

Step 4: Launch and Market Your Subscription Box Business

Yay! It is time to launch your subscription box! How do you go about it?

Launching of a subscription box typically takes place on the internet (obviously) and your brand will need to create and develop a strong online presence. To do that, it is important to choose a suitable subscription management platform.

There are several platforms to use, however, here are three main types to consider.

  • Custom Platform

This involves creating a website for your subscription box. For this, platforms such as WordPress hosting make the process easier. 

This will take a lot of time and research.

  • Subscription eCommerce Platform

There are companies such as cratejoy and Subbly, who provide the platform to new subscription box businesses. Making use of such platforms will help you get started quickly and easily.

  • eCommerce Marketplace Platform

On this platform, you will be selling your products alongside many other similar products. This platform does not allow for special attention.

To help you select an eCommerce marketplace platform for your subscription box, you can check out successful subscription box businesses in your niche and what worked for them.

Once you have started your online presence, you can begin marketing your business. Research and make the perfect online marketing strategy that will attract your target consumers and keep them coming for more.

There You Go!

In four simple steps, you can make your idea a reality. Remember, building an empire takes time, consistency, and dedication. 

Starting a subscription box business not for you? Click to find more eCommerce business ideas.


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Meet the Writer

Rhoda Royal Writer

Rhoda Royal

Writer & Blogger

Hey there! I'm Rhoda, a writer with a head full of stories and a keyboard that just can't keep up. At Techdella, I'm learning the ropes of wrangling tech lingo into blog posts that don't put you to sleep. But when I'm not creating awesome tech content, I'm off designing and making bespoke dresses for women.

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