July 21, 2020
By Jackie and Nathan Bueg
What if you were able to guarantee an inflow of cash even when day to day life gets disrupted? We can no longer rely on one method of doing business. In this day and age, we must rethink the box or more specifically THINK subscription box. What is the best part of a subscription box, besides getting one? Shipping it out and knowing your customer is going to be excited to be experiencing your store. You could offer a year of self-care, holidays, gemstones, location themes, or cooking. The possibilities are as endless as the products you offer. Let's look at what it would take to create a subscription box. Request a Subscription Box Planner PDF.
How often would you need to make it available to ship to customers? Pick a time frame that allows you to plan and pack the maximum number you are going to ship - Monthly, Bi-monthly, or Quarterly. Make sure you can meet your limitations and your customers' expectations. Remember it needs to extend the experience of your store into their life. It should reflect your store's style and narrative. You can also offer different prepaid subscriptions to your customers based on how often they want to receive a box in a year. Nathan said he would have liked every other month because he didn't have the time to participate in all the "extras" every month. This was one of the leading reasons we paused his subscription.
What did Nathan mean by extras? His box included challenges that subscribers could post pictures and videos to social media. Sometimes this included prizes for the most creative or just a randomly drawn participant. The prize could ship with their next box or as a separate shipment. Offer a gift card for a prize and there would be no need shipping.
How many subscriptions do I need to make available? Start by checking your current inventory. What items do you have that are related and can tell a great story? How many of these items do you have? 15-25 is a great place to start. You can add more to meet demand. Don't worry if you sell out. That is what makes the boxes special. You can even have special enrollment times to make bookkeeping and shipping easy.
Why would your customers want to register? Nathan said he enjoyed expanding his collection and the joy of a surprise. For others, it is getting something new on a regular basis. Your out of town customers will love their favorite store coming to them. You might include a "Tips and Tricks" flyer or a newsletter featuring images from your store with staff using this month's products or subscribers using the previous month's products.
You could also offer 2 or 3 different levels of boxes - Starter, Beginner, Classic, Masterpiece, Pioneer, Elite, Diva, Goddess, or Hero. Make the names relevant to your store.
Advertise using suspense. After shipping out your boxes, wait a day or two and go live or release an unboxing video.
Be upfront about pricing, shipping costs, restrictions (no returns, in-country shipping only), how to report damages, how to pause or cancel, and your contact information.
Ask about partnering with our vendors and let us know if you plan on any of our products to be featured in your boxes. We would be happy to check stock levels of items, so you aren't caught off guard waiting on an out-of-stock item. We are also available to help you create custom items for something extra special.