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2019's Best Monthly Subscription Boxes, What We Have Learned And How To Start Your Own Subscription Service

2019's Best Monthly Subscription Boxes, What We Have Learned And How To Start Your Own Subscription Service

 

So after a month of offering our subscription boxes we have had quite a roller coaster of a journey.  We've had lots of customer requests, countless bloggers, vloggers, sites and publications reach out to us.  We've had some amazing reviews including a 10 out of 10 review from the most popular monthly subscription box platform in the UK and so much more.


As you can probably see from our collection page, we have increased our range due to customer demand, so now we offer boxes for specialist thank you, weddings such as thanks for being my bridesmaid etc. Little boys and girls,  and so much more.


We still keep the British gifts theme, with all products being full sized gifts and sourced from British makers and artisans too.  We also still hand pack and wrap each item in locally sourced tissue paper, recycled boxes and then hand print the boxes ourselves in our Shropshire headquarters.  


But what trends are we seeing already in the market this early on.  Well let me explain:


People are happy to pay that little extra for independent brands, British makers and artisan gifts as a whole.  


There should be no non recyclable packaging used unless totally necessary.


People want to be wowed, and have every box delivery act as a slice of suprise and excitement, not mundane same old that becomes boring after 2 months.


Customer want to experience new products and brands. Discover perhaps their favourite new brand without having to leave their homes.


The devils in the details.  Being educated about the products,  brands, the who, what, why and how they are made are find able in your meat products today, so why not in every other way possible.  


These are not brand new ideas.  It's just when coupled together and with a sprinkling of creativity and quality it seems customers will be happy and loyal. I suppose the biggest test will be our 6, 12, 24 and so on updates. We intend to act upon all feedback and strive to champion our British brands in the best possible why.


Now here is where I am supposed to dazzle you with statistics and graphs of how many boxes sell, how ecommerce is booming, how we use search engines differently and that the rise of voice search such as Alexa has to make online shops think and market differently too.  But we all know how much research and shopping we do online. So I think that's a given.


Having looked at the huge rise of certain monthly subscription services and how they monetize their offerings, you should be surprised how creative and forward thinking business can be, and what they will do to diversify and make sure they have longevity in an industry.


Companies such as Bitchbox,  Dollar Shave Club, Ipsy dont see their boxes as revenue incomes or generators, they see them as a channel to customers.


Top tactics used by brands that dont look to make money on their gift boxes try and create demand for the sample products in their boxes so customers then visit their main ecommerce store and buy those products.  Also, they monetize in other ways such as ad revenue from people who do unboxings and on platforms like YouTube and blogs, Another smart way are adverts on your own site. Big brands get given lots of free products as up coming brands want the exposure someone like Birchbox can offer, so although actually Birchbox being a little different and making a small profit on their boxes, this is only a small part of a much bigger tactic and marketing landscape.   


Now, lets be a little logical here.  That is some very smart marketing, but is it at all viable for a new business,  a startup, sole trader, purely new retail brand with no online authority or customer base ( and giving the fact the the UK has a terrible reputation of helping retailers and b2c businesses with funding and grants compared to manufacturing,  social enterprise/ b2b businesses) this is a long term and highly costly approach. So what can new and even small SME's do to support themselves in the early years with the idea of basing their businesses around the previously mentioned subscription services?  Let's look at other and more standard ways of generating income in the short term


Ppc and social media ads


Doing an aggressive PPC campaign such as Google ads and especially Google shopping ads is a great way to drive highly target and relevant traffic to your store from day 1 without any brand recognition, customer base, no existing seo or previous marketing assets anywhere.  The rate of success comes down to your skills with ads, your budget and how good you customer website funnels and conversion rate optimisation is for your store. You need to compel customers to buy with no previous recognition of your brand, nor any authority or reviews.  


Ecommerce


Running a normal ecommerce store alongside your subscription box is a way to raise awareness, customer base, site authority and generate income whilst starting from scratch.  Working with niches as you are all well aware if you have done any online business research in the last 5 years or have probably been bombarded with adverts on YouTube for get rich quick with niche shopify dropshipping.  Another great bonus of this tactic is that you can build up a customer base as well as getting data for what sells, where your target market is and so much more. That gives you a huge advantage when working out what to stock in the future days of you subscription business.


Drop shipping


As previously partially covered.  This is just another way to generate income, brand awareness and that golden data too.


Affiliate


You would be surprised by how many people make a good main or secondary income from affiliate marketing.   Selling someone else's products and services means no overheads, or risk for yourself. You can also be a little more eager with your marketing tactics as the sites you make are not long term brands, they are there just to push a customer down the funnel to the affiliate site. These can be whole sales or you can look at cost per action,  such as a sign up, app download as so much more.


As a complete secondary business whilst still working in a 9 to 5 job


Starting your new business whilst still in full time employment is hard work.  Let's get that out there straight away. Yes you have the security of a regular income for your mortgage payments, but it is a very dedicated person that can do this,  and do it it a manner which means after 5 years their new business has not at all grown and is just a time and money pit.


Start up support and funding.


If you have a killer business idea, and know how to talk about it, this is a totally viable option.  There are lots of platform and places you can generate not just support, but also money to fund your new projects.  You may have to give a slice of the pie away, but if it gets you going and brings some experience on board to boot, well its certainly work thinking about.


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