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A Complete Guide to What is a Subscription Box

Home Blogs A Complete Guide to What is a Subscription Box

As each day passes by, strategies for getting customers and retaining them are invented. The use of subscription boxes is one of the trending strategies. In this case, customers subscribe to getting some set of products every month.

The intriguing feature of this strategy is customers’ anticipation of having a well-designed product box that’s filled with products in front of their doorstep. They become so elated that they post a video of their surprise and unboxing experience on social media, and in turn, they indirectly promote your business. It’s a two-fold win – you satisfy your customers and promote your business.

To help you understand how you can further use this to your advantage, we’ll be sharing with you what a subscription box business is, what a subscription box is, the different types of subscription boxes, how they can be applied, and so much more.

Stay glued to this page. It’s going to be very beneficial!

What is Subscription Box Business

The subscription box business is a type of business where sellers send out boxes of products to their customers every month. It is different from the normal selling of products that happens between customers and businesses. It is a monthly surprise package that reminds your customers that you care about them.

This business is more than the products inside the custom subscription boxes, it is more of the feeling your customers will get. This feeling is in three categories. They are:

  • The anticipation of the monthly surprise package.
  • The unboxing experience.
  • The satisfaction of using the products.

A business sends subscription boxes of products to customers every month. The products could be new goods that the business is yet to put on the market or higher qualities of the goods they’ve been buying, and they could be variations of other brands’ products. This heightens customers’ curiosity and expectation of what the next month’s subscription boxes will contain.

As surprises make everyone happy, so also does receiving a neatly bespoke box filled with products makes every customer happy. Sometimes, they get so delighted that they post their experiences on their social media accounts. Videos of such are very common on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Customers feel loved by getting products they didn’t directly demand for. The knowledge and usage of new or high-quality products make them have a sense of belonging. This makes them loyal customers and they will always be expectant of what your business has to offer.

In the subscription box business, consumers who subscribe to receiving monthly products from you are not regarded as customers; they are called subscribers. They are different from other customers who only patronize you when they feel the need.

With subscribers, constant monthly sales are guaranteed as their credit cards are automatically charged every month after they receive their monthly surprise package. They don’t have to make purchases from you directly before they get boxes filled with products, with you, charging their credit cards.

However, the goods in the subscription boxes are not always charged at market value. Subscription boxes always contain goods that are of higher value than the amount the customers will be charged. For example, if the market value of the products is $100, they might be charged $80. This is due to the fact that it’s a guaranteed sale – if other people don’t patronize you, you’ll surely get revenue from the subscribers. Also, sometimes the products serve as a marketing enquiry strategy – you want to know their take about the products.

A subscription box business can reduce the number of dead stocks in the warehouse. In the surprise packages, you can include products that were not sold in the market. It acts as an addition to the products in the box and also as a fantastic incentive.

Apart from having the assurance of constant sales every month, the value of subscription businesses when put up for sale are always high. Because it’s guaranteed that there will be sales every month, subscription businesses are always worth more than other forms of businesses.

Definitely, you’ll lose some subscribers along the way as you can’t keep all your subscribers forever, but with those that will remain and the new subscribers that will be gotten, your business will continually boom.

A subscription box business is a great income flow business, as well as a business that grows rapidly month after month. It’s more than a one-time sale business.

What is a Subscription Box

A subscription box is a package that contains various products that are delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis. Customers sign up to be on the list of people who will be receiving this monthly package by filling out a form with their details, including their credit card information.

Plastic Subscription Box
Source: Hongyi

The benefits gained from sending out subscription boxes are endless. Some of them are:

  • Predictable Revenue: Unlike trading with people that buy products from you only when they feel like, sending out subscription boxes every month guarantees a certain amount of income. Once you know the number of subscribers you have and the amount you’ll be charging them every month, you’ll be able to predict a constant sum of money that will come in every month.
  • Retained Customers: Customers are not always good at canceling expenses that saves them work. They are ready to spend any amount of money to lessen stress, so helping them out is very much appreciated. They are ready to stay with your business as long as you keep helping out. The convenience outweighs the expenses.
  • Better Inventory Management: With a knowledge of the total number of subscription boxes you will be sending out every month, it will be easy to control your warehouse stock. This means that you can reduce unnecessary expenses and reduce waste.
  • Indirect Marketing: Private labels like logos and slogans are always put on subscription boxes to promote brands. Asides from your subscribers who get to see your business logo and slogan on the subscription box, the whole world can also see it. It has become a trend to make videos of receiving surprises and sharing the unboxing experience on social media. When your subscribers post a video of their private label subscription boxes and the products they got, they indirectly market your business to the whole world.

Subscription Box Types

The best subscription boxes start with their materials and their capacity to deliver their function. Below are the different types of subscription boxes.

Cardboard Subscription Boxes

Cardboard subscription box
Source: Hongyi

These are widely used subscription boxes that help to protect products. Cardboard subscription boxes are highly favored because they can be customized to the exact shape and size you want. They are flexible to changes. These boxes are affordable and if neatly detached, can be used by your customers to package other things.

Also, they are easy to disengage. You wouldn’t want to use subscription boxes that your subscribers who are in a hurry will find difficult to open. If your products’ packaging are difficult to disassemble, you’ll be giving your business a bad image, especially if the whole world gets to see the stressful unboxing experience. 

Wooden Subscription Boxes

Wooden subscription box
Source: Hongyi

These boxes are a means of encapsulating your subscribers with the beauty your business can create. A well-polished and designed wooden box sends a sense of high-grade and distinguished aura and heightens the curiosity of what is contained inside.

Wooden subscription boxes can be used to package fragile products. They keep the products in a safe condition throughout transit, while maintaining their elegant looks. These boxes have unmatched advantages when it comes to transporting bulky and strong items. They are also very resistant to different weather conditions and can be easily customized to the size, shape, and firmness you want.

Plastic Subscription Boxes

Plastic subscription box
Source: Hongyi

Plastics are preferred because of their lightweight. They are easy to carry about and their durability is top class. Plastic subscription boxes are made with solvent-free polyurethane materials that boast of longer shelf life and improved protection from heat and moisture. They are very much sustainable; they can be kept for ages without any damage happening to them, and can be used for other purposes after the unboxing experience.

They are less costly, you don’t need to bother about the amount of money you’ll spend on acquiring them. All you will be concerned about is putting quality products in them.

Rigid Boxes

Rigid box
Source: Hongyi

These are boxes that are constructed to be hard. These boxes have fine and smooth outer surfaces that create a feel of toughness to the touch. They perfectly cover the content inside them. Their looks and touch radiates quality and in turn, gives a sense of quality to the products inside. They are mainly used to transport products that require strong packaging.

Rigid boxes are durable both in looks and material. They last very long and are mostly linked with luxury items. Materials with strong and extremely tough textures are used to make these boxes fit for packaging items.

Mailer Boxes

Mailer box
Source: Pinterest

They are the best alternative for subscription box packaging in terms of technicality; mailer boxes are robust and solid. These boxes are very durable to the extent that they ensure that products remain the same way they were when they were packaged to be how they will be when they are delivered. They are used to deliver your products safely so that you don’t have to worry about them becoming damaged in the middle of the shipping.

These boxes can be modified based on the products’ quantity, shape, and size. They are ideal for retail gift boxes, subscription boxes, and e-commerce product packaging.

Folding Cartons

Folding cartons
Source: Pinterest

They are made from paperboard – a lightweight paper-based material. They are best for packaging products that are used directly on the skin such as makeup and body lotions, or products that are consumed, like food.

Folding cartons are very much suitable as subscription boxes, but they cannot be trusted for shipping across borders. In fact, they should not be used for long distance transport, even if it’s within a state. This is because they are not strong and they are vulnerable to heat and moisture. The beauty of these cartons is that they are inexpensive and they are easy to carry and unbox. In general, if they are used within a short distance radius, they will create a fantastic unboxing experience.

Shipping Boxes

Shipping box
Source: Pinterest

If product protection is a priority, then shipping boxes are an excellent choice. They are very hefty and are corrugated for added protection. They can be tailored to match your preferred design, size, and shape.

These boxes are nature-friendly as they can be recycled, so they can be used and reshaped for other uses later on. Personalizing these boxes is very easy as they boast smooth surfaces meaning that you can easily design your logo and slogan on them. They are very light in weight and at the same time, they are strong and sturdy, so it’s rare that the products inside them will get damaged during transportation.

Applications for Monthly Subscription Boxes

Monthly subscription boxes can be used in different industries. However, the most popular and trending applications are discussed below.

Perfume Subscription Boxes

Source: Unsplash

This is one of the most popular subscription box applications. Perfumes are an everyday deodorant used by many people, so there is a ready-made market for them. To put a smile on the faces of your subscribers and increase your revenue, send them their favorite perfumes with exquisite perfume subscription boxes every month. You can also send them perfumes of brands that are new to the industry. This is a strategy of strengthening B2B and B2C businesses. Venturing into this category guarantees a recurrent flow of income every month.

Clothing Subscription Boxes

Source: Pinterest

Clothing is an everyday commodity. The clothing market can never go dead because as more people are given birth to, the need for more clothes increases. To be successful in this category, you can send trending clothes to your subscribers. This makes them have a feel of importance; it creates a sense that you’ll like them not to be left out of the trend.

Another means to thrive in this category is to notice the kinds of clothes your subscribers buy and then send the same to them. For example, if they buy more newly-born clothes, then you send them clothing subscription boxes containing kids’ attires. They could be buying these clothing because they have a newborn.

Skincare Monthly Subscription Boxes

Skincare Products
Source: Pinterest

Skincare monthly subscription boxes are popular because the products in the boxes are an everyday need. Everyone wants his/her skin to be flawless, so they do anything to make their skin just how they want. Sending skincare products to your subscribers can never be a wrong move because even if they don’t use it, one of their loved ones will want it.

Beauty Monthly Subscription Boxes

Beauty Products
Source: Pinterest

Another big industry taking advantage of subscription boxes is the beauty industry. Your subscription boxes can contain solely products from one brand or a range of brands. Less-known brands can become popular and successful through this means. This subscription box is a great marketing tool that appeals to mostly female subscribers.

Hair Care Subscription Boxes

Hair Care Products
Source: Shutterstock

Some people cherish their hair a lot. Other than their hair staying clean, they can do anything to ensure that it looks how they want. Some people like to style their hair in preferred ways, so they are ready to have their credit cards charged every month to get the products they can use.

Men’s Grooming Subscription Boxes

Men's Grooming Products
Source: Shutterstock

Throughout the year, men always have to purchase grooming products like shaving accessories to trim and cut off their beards and their public hair. This has made the relevance of men’s grooming subscription boxes essential. Subscription boxes ease customers of the stress of going to buy these products every now and then. Packaging them in a box and delivering it to them makes them convenient.

Gift Subscription Boxes

Source: Shutterstock

Sending people gifts can sometimes be tasking and confusing, especially when you don’t know the person so well to be specific about what he or she wants. So, sending a gift subscription box will suffice. There will be a variety of options to choose from. So, rather than having endless thoughts, you get a number of options to choose from.

Wine Monthly subscription Boxes

Wine Glass Bottle
Source: Pexels

This is another major player in the use of subscription boxes. People who love wine can be given a monthly delivery of different kinds of wine. Sometimes, it could be vintners selling off excess inventory, and other times, it could be new wine with a unique taste. In fact, this method can be used to get feedback from your most rated customers to know if the wine is good enough to be produced in large quantities for the market.

Coffee Monthly Subscription Boxes

Coffee Beans
Source: Pexels

Coffee lovers are always specific about the type of coffee they take, and they generally drink it every day. In fact, they sometimes take it several times a day. So, if you are a good coffee roaster, you can take advantage of this by sending them monthly subscription boxes containing coffee beans or teaching them how to make coffee to their preferred taste.

Flower Subscription Boxes

Source: Pexels

Flowers make every home feel fresh and welcoming, so having a monthly delivery of flowers to make your house smell nice is a great idea. These flowers are sent on a monthly basis to make your customers’ abode feel fresh. Customers will be happy to have their credit cards charged to make their homes feel welcoming.

Candle Subscription Boxes

Source: Pexels

You can send just about anything to customers through subscription boxes, including candles. It could be long-lasting light candles or candles that spread a fresh smell across the room. Sending a subscription box containing candles that can be used to create a dim-like light or make the home smell nice is a fantastic way that customers will like for their credit cards to be charged. This is because it saves them from the stress of going to the market and most times, it’s always cheaper.

Cheese Subscription Boxes

Source: Pexels

Having cheese at home during gatherings is a fantastic means of creating a conducive atmosphere. Also, eating cheese with wine to whet your appetite is great. So, instead of having people go through the stress of going to the market to get cheese periodically, you can put the weight on yourself by delivering cheese subscription boxes to them monthly. By making their life less stressful, more income comes into your business.

Plant Monthly Subscription Boxes

Plant in a brown vase
Source: Pexels

Other than buying plants to use in beautifying your house, you can also send them to your loved ones far away to show that you care about them. Plant subscription boxes have grown in popularity in recent years, and there are now a variety of options available. Plant subscription boxes could contain everything, from houseplants and cool cacti to seed boxes and a whole ‘garden-in-a-box.’

Snacks Monthly Subscription Boxes

Source: Pexels

Snacks are needed in all homes as they act as appetizers and can be eaten between meals. In fact, anytime you need to bite on something, snacks are the go-to, which makes their availability essential. Sending your customers boxes of snacks every month is a great business to venture into.

Things to Consider When Getting Your Custom Subscription Boxes

In the subscription box business, you need to personalize your boxes to reflect your brand. Print your logo, slogan, and brand information on the boxes to make people know who they are coming from. Other than this, there are still some important things you must consider when getting your custom subscription boxes. They are discussed below.

Create a Unique Packaging Design

The first stage of making a custom subscription box is to create a unique packaging design. Subscription boxes are designed to make customers feel special, so while creating your design, your customers should be considered. The texture of the box and the ease of unboxing it should be put into consideration.

Also, custom subscription boxes are designed to show your brand identity and to safeguard your products. So, while creating your package design, your company logo and other necessary identification information should be printed on the subscription boxes. Don’t just be better, be different from your competitors. You must stand out amongst other options.

In addition, your customized subscription boxes should be made with durable materials that are sustainable and nature-friendly. They should be usable for something else after their seals are removed.

Finally, your custom subscription box should be created to fit all products conveniently; it shouldn’t be too big, nor should it be too small – it should just be perfect.

Work With a Trusted Subscription Boxes Manufacturer

After you’ve designed your unique subscription box, you need to get a manufacturer who knows how to bring ideas to life. You should contact a subscription boxes manufacturer with a wide range of expertise and a handful of experience about making subscription boxes.

Your subscription box manufacturer should be a partner rather than a dictator or an employee. The manufacturer shouldn’t dictate what to do to you. As the popular saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one.’ You should deliberate with your manufacturer on how best to make the most of the design.

Work with your manufacturer to make bespoke subscription boxes that are unique, sustainable, fine to touch, easy to open, and share worthy on social media. Also, your manufacturer should make a sample before mass production begins. You should assess the sample critically to see if it’s exactly what you demanded.

Manage Shipping and Fulfillment for Subscription Boxes

After you’ve packaged the products in your customized subscription boxes, you have to oversee the shipping and fulfillment of the boxes. The assurance of the boxes getting to their destination must be ascertained.

However, it’s advised that you employ the service of shipping and fulfillment organizations like Federal Express, UPS, and DHL to help you in the dispersion of the boxes to your customers’ residence.

Follow Up the Marketing Campaign Response

The subscription box business doesn’t end with your customers getting their monthly products. After the boxes are delivered, you should be on the lookout for the feedback they will give i.e., the expression that follows the unboxing process, what they post on social media, and the comments they give to posts related to your service.

In fact, after the boxes have been delivered, you can privately message them to get their feedback on the products they received. For example, if you included a new wine in the subscription box, ask for sincere feedback to know if the vintner can go ahead with bulk production for the larger market.


A subscription box is a trending method of how to get more customers and constant sales. The subscription box business is for you if you want to make a steady income every month despite the market fluctuation. It’s a means to connect with your customers and build a deeper relationship with them. This business is also a means of marketing and when it’s done well, investors can partner with you to push your business forward.
To make your custom subscription boxes, you need to create a unique packaging design and choose a subscription box company to bring your ideas to life. And to further have a successful subscription box business, shipping and fulfillment should be managed well, and you should do a follow-up to get feedback from your subscribers.

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