Posted: by Bronte
11 Steps to Starting your Subscription Box Business
The subscription box business has never been bigger and more successful. The business seems to be soaring, so it makes sense that you are interested in starting one. In a perfect world, all one would need to start this business is an idea, but the reality is it is going to take a little work. The following steps will help you get this business off the ground.
1. Specify the Subscription Service
It is important that your first step is specifying what type of subscription box you are going to start. In order to do this, you are going to have to find your niche. You can start with larger niches, such as fitness or makeup and zoom in from there. For example, if you want to focus on fitness, then consider looking for a smaller niche, like CrossFit or yoga. Makeup could be specified to something like Korean or African-American beauty.
2. Identify the Competition
The next thing you need to do is identify your conpetitors. Not only is it smart for you to find ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors, but you might also want to learn from this business. Obviously, the business has been doing things right, so why not emulate some things they are doing while adding a bit of yourself to set yourself apart?
3. Know Your Customers
The next step you are going to want to do is start to figure out a way to identify the customer that may be interested in your subscription box. An easy way to identify your customer is to look towards your competitor. Let the customers that are interested in your competitor’s box inform you of who to target. It is important that you get as specific as possible, so look for age range, preferred social media platform, and any other specific demographic you can figure out.
4. Price it Right
It is important that you find the right price for your box. Sure, you can look towards your competitor, but that cannot be your only guiding light. As a budding business, you need to make sure you find a price that is just right. Too high could turn customers off, whereas too low can make potential customers think you are selling a subpar product. To be on the safe side, try to keep your price near or at 40 percent profit margin threshold.
5. Continuity Box Prep
The next step is focusing on the subscription box you are starting. You should get two ideas ready: one is a prototype box and the other is the actual box you’ll be preparing each month for subscribers.
The reason you want a prototype is so you can send that to potential customers as a sample. Be sure to keep items in the prototype box that are easy to gather, and make sure the quality of the products inside the sample box match the quality of the items you’ll be sending once your customer is subscribed.
6. Design for Unboxing
A big part of any successful continuity subscription’s service companies is the box itself. The customer needs to have a pleasant unboxing experience, so design is pretty important. You want your box to be easy to open, identifiable, contain your logo, and be made with quality material. Failing to offer the box your customers deserve could end up reflecting negatively on you. Customers may even devalue the products inside your box simply because it feels cheap or was poorly designed.
7. The Importance of Photographs
Businesses have to pay attention to photos more than before. As social media platforms rose in popularity, so did their influence on business. Several customers now expect businesses to be able to present their products or services in an attractive way through photos. You are going to want to ensure your box is photographed professionally so online customers get a feeling of what they can expect from your subscription services.
8. Focus on the Source
You are going to have to figure out where you are going to get your products from. This is a big step for continuity subscriptions that may seem a little nerve-wracking, but try your best to start by breaking it down in order to deal with it more effectively. You want to ask yourself questions like if you want to do business with vendors outside the country or not. You also want to try to figure out the kind of business practices you are willing to associate your business with. Today’s customers care about where their products come from, so keep that in mind.
9. Make Payments a Cinch
There is no way around the fact that you are setting up your business online. This means you have to figure out how you are going to accept payments from your customers. What you want to do is set up a credit card processing account with a high risk merchant account provider. The reason you want to do this is to protect yourself and give your customers a chance to trust you. Getting a good subscription merchant account from a source you trust will give you the ability to accept online payments. Your best bet for a secure, PCI compliant, and fraud-resistant online virtual terminal is to go through a high risk merchant service provider. This way you can reduce the decline rate and churn that is common for the industry.
10. A Closer Look at Shipping
Shipping is a major component of any subscription box service. For one, it is important that you are as transparent as possible because a well-informed customer base could boost your sales. You want to make sure of a number of things when you choose a shipping service, such as making sure their service is quick. Today’s customers expect deliveries to be made in a timely manner.
Depending on what you are sending, it might be a good idea to offer shipping insurance to make sure your items can be replaced if needed. You have to make sure you can answer all customer questions regarding shipping, like if there is a tracking number or if there are cut off dates for subscribers before they can cancel the next shipment. Do not be afraid to take your time figuring out how you will ship the boxes because this is a major factor for customers.
11. Get to Market
Marketing is pretty important, and it is something you start before you launch. You want to use the demographic details you’ve learned about your customers following the steps above as you begin to start your subscription business. Try to create marketing material that will be seen by potential customers and in platforms that are popular with the demographic you are targeting. It might be a good idea to hire a marketing team that has an online and social media marketer to help communicate how great the box is going to be.
Hopefully, you will take your time with these steps to ensure a successful launch. Be sure to talk to a business advisor to help guide your decisions as you take on your next adventure. Do your best to remember two things: try to keep in mind that building a successful business takes work, so expect a few stressful days, and two, you are going to have to be patient because most successful businesses take some time to rise.