In this post, I’ll show you how to scale your business with a subscription box. That is, how to turn a handful of customers into hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of repeat sales using Cratejoy’s platform, tools, and educational resources. They are the uncontested leader of subscription box sales and software, as well as the sponsor of this post.
Recurring revenue is one of the best things you can do for your business (and your own peace of mind), so I’m excited to share this with you. There are going to be key takeaways for everyone and some really cool business models illustrated along the way, so settle in for some free training (no strings!), and get ready to think bigger.
Let’s get started!
What is a subscription box?
A subscription box is a recurring delivery of products that are curated, packed, and delivered by you. It’s a marketing strategy for your business, the next tier above a product storefront.
Instead of a one-off sale or one-time purchase, the customer subscribes to automated online purchases and receives their delivery as scheduled, until canceled.
Make those customers happy, and this relationship can last for years.
The subscription box business model is seeing explosive growth right now, with different sources citing their rise (in both customer interest and consumption) from 800% to as much as 3,000% over a recent three-year period.
In the creative industry, the market is still wide open. And just like a new social media platform, the faster you get in the game, the stronger hold you’ll have on the field. If you’ve been wondering if subscription boxes would be right for your business, now is the time to get started.
3 reasons to start one right now
Aside from extreme timeliness and opportunity for growth, here are three strategic reasons to start a subscription box for your business.
#1 YOU curate a fresh combination of existing products. Nobody wants a stale product that’s been ignored by others and is now gathering dust on the virtual shelves of your business’ storefront. Your fresh curations will breathe new life into older products and add more movement to your inventory.
As it is human nature, your customers are susceptible to a perceptual phenomenon called “change blindness.” It means we cannot see that which does not move. I liken it to driving along a highway when you suddenly catch movement of a deer in your peripheral vision. You were essentially blind to the sidelines before that deer moved.
When we apply that concept to your customer, it is safe to assume that if you’re not moving toward them, they’re not thinking about your business at all.
Therefore, constant and consistent movement is paramount to your success. Even when the product isn’t necessarily new and moving, the box combinations always are. This will result in fresh turnaround for your business and customer loyalty as often as you distribute your subscription.
#2 Your customer’s inertia—Think about how long you think about some purchases. Have you ever …
- Browsed an Etsy shop for weeks, and though you love and adore the product, you still haven’t made the decision to buy?
- Daydreamed of an accessory, pair of shoes, or new piece of clothing, but talk yourself out of making the investment over and over again?
- Added a much-needed book to your wish list, and then left it sit there for months?
Why do we do this? It’s simply human inertia. From Wikipedia,
“Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. It is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity.”
In other words, inertia is the tendency to remain unchanged. The subscription box shifts the customer’s inertia from a constant state of not buying (which you, as the seller, are forced to overcome each time) to a constant velocity of buying.
#3 Recurring revenue. The hardest thing about online business is weathering the slow seasons. There will be times when it feels as though you’re talking and no one’s listening, you’re selling and no one’s buying, or you’re reaching out but no one’s connecting.
It’s the nature of business to have hot and cold seasons, most do. The best thing about recurring revenue, of any kind, is the peace of mind in knowing that money is always coming through the business, even during the harshest winters.
- $10K in 10 Days: Scribbler Case Study
- How to validate your subscription box idea
- How to build your own subscription box
- How to source products for your subscription box
How to expand your business in a box
I had three best-selling books on Amazon last year, and as you’ll often hear me say, writing books is never about selling the book. It’s about introducing more clients to my work. Amazon is one of the most searched websites on the internet. That’s a very obvious reason to have my name and area of expertise listed prominently there!
When you make a decision to expand your offering, it should always widen your business’ reach.
Cratejoy’s Marketplace is an optional marketing venue once you start your own subscription box. This dedicated marketplace receives more than 3 million views/month from box-loving consumers, and for good reason. Pay attention to the pull you experience when you land there. It’s irresistible; I almost subscribed to four boxes on my first visit. What are the front-page featured boxes doing well?
How can you create the same experience for your customer? If you have fans craving more, a subscription box can become a significant service to your customers and a valuable source of recurring income for you!
A subscription box is akin to a membership program, in that it’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship you’ll be able to treasure for years to come. It’s way more intimate than a one-off sale, and your customers will be all the more loyal to you for it—and you to them!
What you need to get started
You are ready to start your subscription box if you have …
- E-commerce products or a lifestyle idea you can package in a small box
- Some interested buyers (you’ve proven the marketability of your product or validated your box idea; you know people are willing to pay money for it)
- An email list manager
If you have these three items under your belt, you have more than you realize. You’ve got all of the components of a working subscription box, now it’s simply time to build it!
Next ask: How can I WOW my customers? What would make them want to take their parcel into a room and carefully unbox the contents one at a time. How can I know this delivery will make their day?
Some examples of Cratejoy subscription boxes I love:
- Shelf love Reads: Monthly fiction box
- Trendy Memo: An office makeover in a box
- Boho Berry: Monthly creative journaling subscription
- My Reward Box: A monthly beauty subscription box for busy women
- Sea Crate: A monthly subscription for beach and ocean lovers
- Southern Cigar Co: The world’s best cigars delivered to your door monthly
- Paletteful Packs: A monthly delivery of art supplies
- The Hygge Box: Bring Hygge into your home
Scale your business with a subscription
As you expand your offer by adding the subscription box model, your presence—the amount of people you attract, connect with, and convert—grows as well. Growing larger (aka scaling) becomes easier, because you’re no longer a speck in the midst of vast and limitless space. Instead, you become a massive presence commanding attention in the industry.
Whatever you build online lives there, like a growing orbit of attraction. The more space you claim, the more space becomes available to you. The more movement you generate around you, the more momentum you gain as a whole.
That is the ultimate goal of adding a subscription box to your business—to grow your orbit. The resulting recurring revenue will not only help your business’ bottom line, it will also help you find more customers.
Marketing your box will be a constant presentation, and the ultimate goal is to dominate space and claim a stake in your industry. In the next and final installment of the series, I’m going to show you how to create a gravitational pull around your subscription box that attracts and converts more customers.
Get started today!
If you’re ready to get started, click here to sign up for Cratejoy’s extremely user-friendly seller accounts. They offer step-by-step tutorials, an insanely easy sign-up process, free training to help you grow your service, educational weekly webinars, Customer Success Managers to guide you, a 14-day free trial, and a monthly flat rate thereafter. I had an account up and running in minutes!
Here’s to your success.