The global subscription box market reached a value of $18.8 billion in 2020. This market has expanded by over 100% each year and shows no signs of slowing down. 

So if you want to get in on some of this success, here’s how you can start your own subscription box company

Step 1: Start With a Unique Idea

You need to start your subscription box company off with a unique idea. Subscription services have become a huge space within the last few years. Some parts of it have become oversaturated, with too many companies trying to take advantage of the boom. And while your idea doesn’t necessarily need to be totally unique to work, it should be something that isn’t overdone. 

When finding your niche, you should also choose something that you’re interested in or have experience in. This will help set you apart from the competition. 

Step 2: Check Out the Competition

Speaking of the competition, you also need to look into competing companies before you formally decide on a concept and launch your company. Your company should fill some sort of space in the industry or improve on products and services that are already being offered.

When researching the competition, you first need to research their products. What products are they offering? At what prices? Where are they getting them? From there, you need to research their customers. Who are their customers? Are their customers satisfied with their purchases? What can be improved? 

During this stage, the information you learn can help you establish a solid foundation for your subscription box company. 

Step 3: Define Your Ideal Customer

While the information you gather from your competitor research may help you define your customer, you need to go a step further and nail down the details on your own. 

The best thing to do is to create a customer persona. A customer persona goes beyond basic demographic information to create a profile that reads more like an actual person.

For instance, you should include components like wants, fears, and motivations within your customer persona. You should also include information about your educational background, hobbies, geographic location, etc. 

Step 4: Research Suppliers and Shipping Companies

Based on what you’ve done so far, it’s now time to start researching suppliers and shipping companies. When choosing your suppliers, make sure that they are reliable and provide cost-efficient and high-quality products. 

Now is the time to start building relationships with potential suppliers so that you can rely on them once you launch your business. 

You also need to decide how you’re going to ship your boxes. There are several options to choose from. You could work directly with shipping companies like USPS, UPS, or FedEx by establishing a business account. Frequently, businesses get shipping discounts based on volume when working with these carriers. 

On the other hand, you could choose to outsource to a fulfillment company. A fulfillment company will handle a lot of the logistics for you. You can choose how much they handle. 

For instance, they can package your boxes, ship them out, and handle returns simultaneously. Outsourcing these tasks allows you to focus your attention on other parts of your business. 

Step 5: Choose Your Items and Boxes

After you’ve done your supplier and shipping research, it’s time to finally start choosing the items and boxes for your subscription service. This is where the fun really begins as you’re able to pick out items that customers are going to love and want to see in their box. Make sure to stay within your niche for the best results. 

While your actual items are important, the box itself also plays a critical role. As a subscription box company, you should never send your items in a plain brown box. This is because an exciting box is part of the experience. 

Instead, you need to go with a customized and branded box. Working with a custom box company like Box Genie can help you design the perfect box for both your brand and your products. 

Step 6: Develop Your Branding

Your box should be an extension of your branding. However, it can be difficult to develop this from scratch. You need to come up with brand colors, fonts, and a logo. Think about what your customers would want to see while also thinking about your niche and products. 

Step 7: Create a Prototype Box

Now that you’ve laid all the groundwork, it’s time to put together a prototype box. Place your selected items in your branded box. You may want to include packaging extras like fillers or inserts to enhance your box’s unboxing experience and overall feel. 

From there, you need to start taking photos of your box and products to sell and market your services and earn customers effectively. 

Step 8: Create a Website

To sell your subscription boxes, you will need to create a website where people can learn more about your services and place orders. If you’re not a web designer, the idea of creating your own website from scratch can seem intimidating. This is where platforms like Shopify come into play. 

Shopify allows you to create an online store for your brand by using intuitive templates. This option is quick, easy, and cost-effective, making it a great place to start for many companies. If you expand and grow enough, you could always transition from Shopify to an independent and custom site. However, this is something that you can decide later on.  

Step 9: Get on Social Media

With your website up and running, now you need to get on social media to start promoting your subscription service. You should make profiles on the relevant social media platforms — starting with Facebook and Instagram. 

Depending on your target customers, you may also want to consider expanding to other platforms. For instance, if you’re targeting Generation Z, you need to be on TikTok and Snapchat. 

Start building your following on these platforms by posting engaging and branded content. You may want to host a giveaway to incentivize people to follow you. You may also want to invest in paid social media marketing. 

Paid social media marketing allows you to target your ideal customers based on demographic information, geographic location, and even past actions. Most platforms only charge you when someone actually clicks on your advertisement — so you know you’re only paying for meaningful leads. 

Step 10: Launch Your Service and Start Taking Orders

Now it’s finally time to launch your service and start taking orders formally. As with any business, it’s important to remain patient and flexible throughout your journey. 

It will be hard work, but you will get out what you put in. With the right amount of effort and expertise, you can run a successful subscription box company. 

Final Thoughts on Starting Your Own Subscription Box Company

You need the right products and boxes for your subscription box company — and Box Genie can certainly help with the boxes. Check out our box templates or design your own on our website. If you need any assistance, feel free to reach out for personalized advice. 

 

Sources:

  1. How to Start a Subscription Business: A Brief Guide | Shopify
  2. Benefits of Using an Order Fulfillment Service | Business.com
  3. The Basics of Branding | Entrepreneur

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