Subscription boxes are an up-and-coming market that could be a great startup business. You’ll need to collect the items you’re selling, package and ship them, and be able to accept online payments and organize your financials. Throw in a website and some marketing and you will be running your own business before you know it!
If you haven’t yet personally delved into the wonder that is subscription boxes, let’s get you up to speed. A subscription box is a box that contains an assortment of products automatically delivered to the customer, usually monthly, with the specific items inside being mostly a surprise. Boxes contain items around a central theme such as beauty, food, or pets. Think of an updated, more relevant “fruit-of-the-month” type subscription.
The boxes usually provide a sample of products received monthly for the duration of the subscription. The price per month varies, but usually a discount is applied if you purchase 3, 6, or 12 months at a time. These subscriptions can be a successful business model. Who doesn’t love getting a package in the mail full of things they love?
Read on for some ideas to get your creative wheels turning if you’re considering starting your own subscription box business.
Women are always looking for new beauty products, and receiving a sample of different selections in the mail each month is a huge draw if they are looking to invest in a subscription. Try to find a niche for your beauty box. Maybe you offer organic products, or locally sourced homemade products.
Many people find great joy in the care and investment of their pets. Receiving an assortment of toys, treats, and accessories for their dog or cat is fun and enjoyable. You can consider allowing your customers to personalize their box by specifying what type of pet they have and their gender.
Book subscription boxes are very exciting for book lovers. Finding a good book can be a challenge, so people are paying not only for the books, but for the research you do that assures the selections are quality and enjoyable.
There’s no need to defend the current popularity of cooking. Offering the latest in cooking gadgets, kitchen tools, recipes, and spices would be an excellent box for the novice or experienced cook.
Along those same lines, baking is also very popular and affords itself to many accessories and products the aspiring baker would love to receive. Quality recipes and tools such as specialty cookie cutters and fancy baking tins can set you apart.
Despite the surge of online calendars and communication, there is still a huge niche for paper and pen. Offering a box of notecards, pens, planners, etc. is a great idea for a monthly subscription. An idea to customize this box could be to ask your subscribers their favorite colors or their initials.
Offering consumers something new to wear each month is appealing and fun! There are already subscription boxes for socks and t-shirts but you could challenge yourself to become set apart by originality or comfort in what you offer. Accessories such as bow ties, scarves, even hair bows for babies are all items to consider honing in on.
Educational subscription boxes for kids of all ages are a huge market. They can appeal to home educators, public or private schools, and parents/grandparents. You can go in many directions with an educational box, and get as specific as you wish.
For years, companies have been offering monthly shipments of razors. Men’s grooming supplies are a no brainer when it comes to subscription boxes. After all, most men do not like to shop for their supplies, they would much rather buy online and not have to leave their home. The box can include hair products, shaving tools, soaps, cologne, etc.
Offering a box that includes gear for the guitar player is a great idea. It’s a way for the musician to try different brands of strings or guitar picks. Or, you can have them personalize their box and get exactly the type of equipment they need every month.
With such a DIY craze in today’s world, a box with a different craft project each month could be a very successful business. You could categorize your boxes into age groups and each would of course include all supplies and directions needed for a fun craft project!
Along those same lines, a box with a sewing, knitting, or crochet project that includes the needed supplies would be very appealing to the avid knitter. Knitting has become quite popular, which would help as you are marketing your product.
Consider creating boxes for children. Parents and grandparents are always looking for gifts for their kids that are different and fun. Giving a child a subscription box is the gift that keeps on giving! You can offer a variety or stick to a certain niche. Some ideas for kids are stickers, kid crafts, fashion, science, travel, gardening…gearing any of these themes towards children would make your box marketable!
14. Geek Out
Another group that can get excited about a subscription box is the geek/gamer/nerd demographic. This could include everything from novelty t-shirts to dice for tabletop games. If this is an area you already know something about and can see yourself putting together a top-notch geek box, go for it!
Packing a box with goodies to eat is a huge market. You will need to figure out what type of food you’d like to focus on. Some ideas are healthy snacks, jams/jellies/preserves/honey, gourmet food, meal delivery, candy, jerky, nuts, chocolate…the possibilities are endless! Here is an informative article about a gin subscription club.
Because of the wide variety of coffees and teas out there, a subscription business in either of these brews would offer an ability to appeal to a wide range of people. And as a bonus, it would be very lightweight and inexpensive to ship! Here is a great article and interview with the founder of a subscription tea business.
Soap is actually a much broader category than you may think. It offers many varieties and can appeal to a wide range of people. There are kitchen soaps, bars, bath soaps, shampoos, baby soaps, and soaps for sensitive skin. And think of how good your home office will smell!
Whether it be golf, fishing, rock climbing, skateboarding, or martial arts– if there is a sport or hobby, there is gear for it. And you can create a box that is appealing to that group of hobbyists with up to date items they need.
Creating a box with seasonal seeds, tools, and garden plans would be a very sought after box if you like plants and gardening. You could offer a way to customize your box based on the location/climate of your subscribers.
An art box could easily appeal to all ages and all types of people. There are many people who enjoy making art but find it hard to fit it into their busy lives. Subscribing to an art box every month could give them the boost they need to create again. The boxes could contain different mediums such as pastels or paints, as well as the specialty paper needed to complete a project. Instructional videos could be linked online through your website.
Wrapping It Up
You can build a subscription box business in almost any area. Pick something you are passionate about and you already have a little knowledge of, and you’ll realize how much fun it can be to choose products and build your boxes!
There are many available online tools out there to make billing and keeping track of payments a breeze so that you can focus on your product and getting the word out about what you have to offer! So good luck getting started and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!