BY jennifer

How to Start a Subscription Box Service

Kitting Services Streamline the Packing and eCommerce Shipping Processes

So you have an idea for a unique subscription box and you want to market it! That’s great! The subscription box market is a growing industry. Subscription boxes saw a 40 percent growth between 2017 and 2018, and they’re still on the rise this year.

Consumers love subscription boxes because they provide a monthly “surprise” and the ability to test products without purchasing them individually. They also make great gifts, with some companies offering subscription boxes marketed as care packages.

If you want to start your own subscription box service, follow these steps for success.

Subscription Boxes Require a Niche Market

A broadly popular subscription box would be difficult to build each month or quarter. The most successful subscription boxes are those that fulfill the desires of a more niche, specific market. Your first step is identifying what your market is and how it will fill a gap in the modern marketplace.

Ask yourself how your subscription box will stand out and how you can ensure your products are unique, compared to your competition (and there are more than 3,500 total subscription services on the market today, so your competition is fierce). This requires conducting competitor research to determine how you can stand out. Is it better value? Is it better products?

Identify Suppliers

Where will you get the items you’ll put in your subscription box? You’ll need a supplier that manufactures or carries products that align with your brand and niche, at a price point that you can afford, namely one that leaves you with as large a profit margin as possible.

You’ll also want to vet your suppliers carefully so you aren’t left in the lurch when it’s time to fulfill ecommerce orders. Make sure your supplier is reliable and sells quality products.

Choose Your Packaging for your eCommerce Shipping Biz

How will you package and present your monthly subscription box to your customers? Your packaging materials are almost as important as the products in them, and their size and materials can affect shipping costs, too.

Consider packaging size. In general, boxes with larger dimensions will cost more to ship than those with smaller dimensions. What is the smallest possible dimension your packaging can be while still safely accommodating the contents of your subscription box? Your packaging affects your overall profit margin; be vigilant when making choices that impact your business. 

Hire an eCommerce Fulfillment Service

Unless you want to dedicate every waking moment to labeling and shipping every customer order you receive, you’ll need to hire an ecommerce fulfillment company, like Shipping Pilot, especially if you plan to compete with big-name subscription boxes.

A fulfillment company handles the logistics of delivering your subscription boxes each month; some even offer warehousing and kitting services, in which they assemble the contents of the box for you, too. 

With Shipping Pilot, you’ll save time (and therefore money) every month, and you’ll be able to scale your business rapidly without adding additional overhead to facilitate that growth.

Build Your Branding and Website

Branding helps people take notice of your subscription box service. You’ll need:

  • A memorable name that sticks in the mind of your consumers, that also expresses the type of subscription box you provide
  • A logo that helps people identify your brand; your customer should know who you are simply by looking at the logo.
  • A tagline that helps your customer know what you’re about and identifies the benefits of your business. 


You’ll need to expand your branding to your website, where you’ll choose an overall look and feel, color palette, and tone of the copywriting. Your website is where you’ll be conducting your business, so it needs to be a picture of perfection. You can use a templated site, or custom-build a website to meet your needs. In general, a templated site will be more affordable for starting out, but you may need custom coding of a website to meet your business needs.

Be sure your website is optimized for conversions and for search engines. That’s how you’ll drive traffic to your website and get people to make a purchase while they’re there.

Need Help Starting a Subscription Box Service?

Starting your own monthly subscription box as an entrepreneur can be a great investment. But the process in doing so can be a complicated one. Shipping Pilot can help you by handling many steps in the process, from warehousing, to kitting, to shipping logistics. If you want to be successful, you’ll want to work with Shipping Pilot.

Contact us to learn how our services can help you build and grow your business.

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