From specialty snacks to cosmetic samples, there’s a subscription box service for seemingly every possible need. As of February 2018, it’s estimated that there were close to 7,000 subscription box brands in the world. For a new subscription box business owner just entering the industry, knowing how to scale can be a challenge in the competitive eCommerce marketplace.
Whether you’re selling online or in a brick-and-mortar retail space, there are three main principles that contribute to business growth: save time, save money, and sell more. However, we’d like to introduce a fourth ingredient into the mix that is just as important in order to effectively scale: spark joy.
While we can’t take credit for this concept (shout-out to Marie Kondo!) — understanding these four principles can help subscription box brands increase their revenue and take their business to the next level.
Save Time: Invest in Automation
Running an eCommerce business takes a village. This is why it’s important for subscription box business owners to invest in automation tools that can accomplish repetitive, time-consuming tasks with minimal effort.
Automated email campaigns, such as abandoned cart, can engage and nurture new subscribers throughout their buying journey. Subscription box business owners can integrate their eCommerce platform with accounting software, like Quickbooks, to automate inventory management. Installing a chatbot program can guide customers to help themselves and minimize customer support inquiries.
By automating tasks that feature few variances and require little creativity, automation takes care of manual processes and streamlines workflow to improve efficiency. This allows business owners to focus on revenue-generating activities.
Save Money: Optimize Your Fulfillment and Shipping Strategy
There comes a point in the lifecycle of every successful eCommerce brand where doing it yourself may cause more harm than good. While it may be tempting to keep all operations in-house, one of the main aspects of eCommerce that holds back subscription box brands from effectively scaling is fulfillment.
The self-fulfillment process of prepping, packing, and shipping can be both time-consuming and costly, especially as the number of subscribers increase. By having a reliable, third-party fulfillment partner to allocate these tasks, subscription box business owners can devote more time and effort to improving their profitability through marketing, customer service, procurement, etc.
Subscription box brands must also continually review their shipping strategy for improvement opportunities, such as choosing a different carrier or shipping from multiple locations. While it may not increase revenue, having an efficient shipping strategy can increase profit margins in the long-run.
In a three-part blog series, we detailed how subscription box brands can optimize their shipping strategy to improve supply chain efficiencies and impact their bottom-line.
Sell More: Maximize the Value of Your Current Subscriber Base
As competition in the subscription industry continue to rise, the cost of acquisition for subscription box brands is undeniably increasing. This is often considered as one of the key factors in preventing business growth. To counter this, subscription box brands must maximize their average customer lifetime value and increase the return for each acquisition.
One way that a subscription box brand can maximize the value of their current subscriber base is to upsell. Upselling involves encouraging a customer to purchase a more expensive product, service, or package. For subscription box brands, this can mean promoting a higher-tiered subscription level, with more features, flexibility, and incentives to benefit the customer experience.
For example, Dollar Shave Club offers three levels of razors to choose from at different pricing tiers. They also cross-sell add-on products that subscribers can include in their box. Not only does it help subscribers get more value from their initial purchase, product recommendations are known to drive an average of 10-30% of eCommerce site revenues.
Spark Joy: Focus on Your Subscription Box Packaging
Everyday objects — even something as simple as a box — can have the power to spark joy or stir emotion in the end-receiver. According to Marie Kondo, only objects that spark joy are worth holding onto. Subscription box brands have the opportunity to create memorable packaging that sparks joy for their subscribers, increasing the likelihood that they will share it with their friends, family, and online audience.
Instead of delivering plain, forgettable shipper box, consider investing in a well-thought-out design that leverages vivid graphics, color, and creative messaging to extend the branded experience. There are many elements to consider when developing a design, including box style, material finish, and labels. This is why subscription box brands must partner with a custom packaging supplier that can provide a wide range of offerings to fit their specific needs.
Start Scaling Your Subscription Box Business with Fantastapack
Scaling a subscription box brand takes time, strategic planning, and having dedicated vendors on your side to help you through every step of the growth process. Fantastapack is your go-to partner for top-quality subscription box packaging. Take a look at our popular mailer box styles here and upgrade your subscribers' unboxing experience today!
If you're interested in learning more about creating your own subscription box, check out and download our ultimate guide to subscription box packaging.