The Internet and mobile communications technologies have changed the landscape of business immensely over the past few years. Whereas businesses and retailers traditionally interacted with consumers in physical brick-and-mortar stores, it is no longer just the case today with online shopping.
Furthermore, rather than having customers come to shop on site, many retailers are now bringing the products closer to the customers. This is the main concept behind enterprises that offer subscription boxes. In many cases, it is a more effective and efficient way of bridging the gap between a company’s products and its target market.
Enterprises that develop subscription box services curate and send a package of sample items to a customer according to the individual’s specific needs, wants, or preferences. This greatly cuts the guesswork in marketing and saves time and money on both ends of the consumer and the manufacturer or retailer.
With the wealth of available virtual tools these days—from websites and social networking sites to automated business solutions such as smart subscription billing—you might be thinking that setting up a subscription box business may be something you’d like to get into. Subscription box services are lucrative indeed, and there is perhaps no other better time than now to get into this business idea.
Here are a few tips to help guide you and get you started on your own subscription box business. There are basically four things you need to think over and develop.
Product. Begin by determining which type of product you wish to work on. It’s best to start with a category that you are passionate about or deeply interested in. A lot of successful entrepreneurs in the subscription box business started out with the strong desire to share with other people the products that they personally love—from makeup, perfume, and shoes, to food, wine, and even toys.
The advantage of working with products that you love is that you would also be a good subject matter expert on it, and thus have innate expertise in curating and recommending items. Consumers would appreciate the added credibility of your online enterprise.
Marketing. After determining the product category you want to work with, you need to figure out how to promote your service and reach your target market. Sometimes, the creative idea comes the other way around—you may see a particular market segment whose needs are not being met, so you can seize the opportunity to provide them with particular products. That’s a perfectly fine way of starting, too.
Come up with a memorable and catchy name for your business. It is important to set yourself apart especially if there is tough competition in your segment. As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of resources now available for budding entrepreneurs. Needless to say, prioritize building a website because the Internet and social media are where you will most likely find your customers.
Other things to think of and develop are the suitable packaging for your subscription box and other design-related items like business cards and welcome cards for subscribers. Marketing materials such as flyers and postcards might also be necessary, depending on your marketing strategy.
Operations. Running the actual subscription box business would usually require aspects such as assembly and packaging, shipping and logistics, and payment methods. Again, the good news is that there are a lot of online solutions that can help you on these matters of operation.
Services such as automated subscription billing, for instance, will take care of charging the credit card accounts of your customers, helps keep their subscriptions up to date, and eliminates frictions in transactions. Also, consider digital marketing efforts such as search engine optimization for your website or content marketing initiatives such as creating blog posts. Don’t forget to strengthen your presence in social media channels by developing regular content, announcements, and promotions.
Starting any type of business may be daunting, but online enterprises such as subscription box services may be a great way to start because of the relatively good support that online tools, solutions, and services provided. Just make sure to choose the right service providers, vendors, and partners who will be able to help grow your business further.