10 Things We Learned From Ecommerce Subscription Box Services

September 22, 2021
Emmanuel Cohen

Subscription boxes like Stitch Fix did not exist in 2010 because the subscription model was still considered niche and unfamiliar to most consumers.

Almost every type of product is now available through a subscription box, which explains why the subscription economy has grown at a rate of about 100% yearly over the last five years.

Increased sales for the best subscription boxes come down to solid e-commerce practices. Consumers have been drawn in by unique branding, curated customer experiences, and additional features, which have led to high patronage year in year out.

As an e-commerce merchant, gaining customer trust requires a lot of effort, particularly because you are not meeting your customers in person, you must creatively communicate your brand to customer trust, and encourage patronage.

Subscription box merchants deal with these online selling challenges head-on and many have stood out. They attract buyers by providing what they are looking for through curated product experiences. They don't bother meeting with customers to boost sales because their digital approach of delighting buyers and crafting their brand is sufficient to encourage patronage.

There is a lot to learn from the approach of these subscription boxes and below is a list of ten you can adopt to improve customer experience and profitability. 

1. What Are Your Customers Interested In

Knowing what your customers want is a competitive advantage in any type of business, e-commerce or not. The better you understand and can meet the needs of customers, the more you will stand out from the competition.

Subscription box services make certain that they understand their customers by asking what exactly they want.  This is because most successful subscription businesses begin with a customer survey about their product, which collects important information that allows companies to meet the exact needs of their customers.

Stitch Fix - Ecommerce subscription box business idea

The clothing subscription box Stitch Fix encourages shoppers to take a style quiz so they can curate fashion that will suit shoppers based on their preference

Seek first to understand what your customers want, and you can later adjust your products to meet their needs; this simple approach can boost sales.

2. Craft a Niche for your Product

Sticking to a niche that you know and understand can go a long way in deciding the success of your business. It's unrealistic to expect to sell to every customer. If you create a value proposition that is too broad that leaves your customers confused as to what niche to categorize your product, they will be unmotivated to run through your product list.

That's what Subscription boxes are doing right; they define their niche and leave no room for shoppers to be confused. They carefully research their market to determine the exact problem their box is solving. With this understanding, they craft their messaging around the box’s purpose, so customers realize why they should subscribe to it.

HelloFresh food meal kit ecommerce subscription box business model

For instance, HelloFresh isn't just another meal kit, they put the value they are offering right to your face the moment you enter their site: "Take the stress out of mealtime". This message in itself can increase patronage.

3. Personalize your Product

According to research, 34% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts because they don't feel ready to buy. Many subscription boxes offer multiple options, allowing customers to customize their boxes to fit their needs to entice these hesitant customers to buy immediately.

HelloFresh, for instance, offers a variety of meal plans with the option to customize or personalize them. The service creates personalized weekly menus for customers based on this information.

Ecommerce subscription box

To help customers feel ready and excited to buy from your e-commerce store, you've to find ways to personalize their orders.

4. Product Presentation

Online shopping can sometimes feel passive. Since there are no merchants or physical employees, any poorly built e-commerce store will appear cold and uninviting to shoppers.

Subscription box services reward shoppers by providing them stunning presentations as a substitute. These boxes, which are thoughtfully and professionally designed, give buyers the warm feeling of receiving a gift when they receive them. Their packaging frequently uses bright colors and fonts that make customers feel stimulated and happy.

With clear, beautiful product images, subscription box services also entice shoppers to subscribe. Since consumers can easily see the item specifics, these photographs increase buyer confidence in the box's quality. Aside from clarity, the lighting and staging of these images can help customers perceive things more favorably.

You can creatively mimic your prospective buyer's preferred aesthetic in your product's visual elements, such as customization, landing page, box packaging. Creating this presentation around the interests of the buyers will entice them to buy.

5. Post-order Feedback

Surveying customers for their taste in your product before purchase is but a fraction of the experience. You won't know if they were disappointed or not if you don't follow up with them after purchase. Having this piece of information handy can make all the difference for your business.

Subscription box businesses maintain their great relationship with customers by collecting feedback from customers on a regular basis. Knowing whether they are satisfied or not with the items they received allows these businesses to improve their offerings in the future to keep customers satisfied.

6. Use Social Proofs

The psychological impact of people ascribing accuracy to what they see others do is a primary motivation in online shopping. A shopper will be considerably more likely to purchase a product if they learn that many other buyers appreciated it through user ratings.

Subscription box merchants leverage social proof by creating user-generated content (UGC) campaigns on Instagram. They recognize that potential purchasers want to see what's inside their boxes, so they encourage customers to share photos of their shipments using hashtags and incentives. People get ready and enthusiastic to become subscribers after seeing other consumers share their enthusiasm for these boxes.

7. Use Social Media Influencers

Shoppers look up to industry experts for guidance on products in their sector. They assume that if a well-known figure in their sector recommends a product, it must be worthwhile.

By working with social media influencers, subscription businesses are taking advantage of this social proof. These services can reach more people and get more subscribers by enlisting the help of social media users who have a large following and are well-known in their field to praise their products.

By collaborating with influencers to get your product in front of new audiences, you'll be able to increase brand awareness and subscription.

8. Content Marketing

You don't have to limit your customer engagement to online shopping alone.  You can find additional ways to deliver value to your customers aside from selling products.

Subscription businesses use content marketing to deliver additional value to their customers. They do so by sharing content customers care about, whether it's an article or a video. This not only delights returning customers but also stimulates new interest in their brand.

9. Product Gifting

Customers may not think of your items as possible gifts right away, but if your product is practical, buyers may pass it as a gift to family or friends.

Many subscription businesses have a clear accessible part of their website dedicated to gift packages. Aside from accessibility, these gift pages provide simple, straightforward options for mailing the box as a gift. These businesses encourage customers to buy their boxes as gifts by providing obvious and understandable gift options.

Treatsbox - Gift subscription box business idea for ecommerce store

Show customers how your product can serve as a gift to drive more orders. You might put together a gift guide with your products or provide gift wrapping services. More people will see how they can order your products as gifts if you give them these possibilities.

10. Product Sample For Customers

Shoppers may wonder whether or not to buy your product because of the limitation of not being able to view items in person. They will not make a purchase if they are particularly uncertain, especially making a long-term commitment through subscription.

So that the purchase doesn't make the order feel like a commitment, subscription box providers increase buyer confidence in their purchase. They stimulate sales by making a box order appear like a modest commitment or readily reversible through a number of strategies, including generous return policies or offering products in sample form.

Final Thoughts

It's tempting to believe that subscription box sales have skyrocketed in recent years because the business model is new to consumers. Although this is not entirely false, most of the success the subscription box industry has witnessed can be attributed to businesses adhering to time-tested e-commerce techniques.

Personalization, product presentation, and clear goals are just a few of the ways subscription businesses satisfy customers and drive more revenue. Not just e-commerce entrepreneurs, but any business can generate more revenue and create a more engaging customer experience by adopting the subscription business model.

If you're looking to start a subscription box service or to adopt the subscription business model, reach out to Chargezen support team to get started or write me at success@trychargezen.com.

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