If you're interested in learning how to start a subscription box, the first hurdle is trying to choose what types of subscription boxes to sell.
Do you pick one that's popular but has a lot of competition, or something more niche?
We've compiled a list of some of the best and most profitable subscription box ideas to help you get started. Just remember to invest in a subscription payment service so you can make money from your new venture.
Subscription Ideas: Subscription Box Business Ideas
Subscription boxes are a valuable product kitting tool that can be used by nearly any business as a primary or supplementary revenue source. In fact, the subscription box market has grown into an over $15 billion industry.
When choosing what type of box you want to sell, you need to make sure it meets three criteria. First, there needs to be an existing market for it in your product category. Second, customers should have a recurring need for the products. Third, the category should not be seasonal or short-lived.
Now, read on to see our top high demand products for the most popular subscription box categories that meet these criteria.
Food Subscription Box Ideas
Food subscription boxes are becoming more popular each year, as the convenience of food-to-table delivery becomes more apparent. These boxes benefit from a definite need for recurring shipment and a very large, existing market.
Luckily, BlueCart Subscriptions was designed to grow food sales for businesses of all types and sizes. It's an all-in-one food subscription platform and online marketplace. Whether you sell groceries, pantry items, non-perishables, or pre-cooked meals, we can help you increase your eCommerce sales.
Meal Prep Delivery
The largest market in the food subscription box sector comes from subscription boxes with all the ingredients needed to create a meal. These meals may be marketed as healthy food, region-specific, or just cheaper or more convenient than a trip to the store. This is a great option for suppliers that offer a wide range of DTC food.
Meat Subscription Box
Another fast-growing portion of the food box industry comes in the form of fresh meat boxes. These boxes offer customers high-quality cuts of meat delivered directly to their door. They are often more exclusive or high-end than other food boxes and offer the meat supplier a high profit margin. However, you may want to invest in custom subscription boxes to ensure the meat stays fresh for your customers.
Coffee Subscription Box
The third food box with tremendous upside is offering customers a monthly coffee subscription. Whether you're a food wholesaler or a coffee bean roaster, you can easily supplement existing sales by adopting the subscription box business model. Luckily, coffee is one of the food items that is almost guaranteed to be needed on a regular cadence for most families. That means there's a big, sustainable market for these boxes.
Arts and Culture Subscription Box Ideas
This category includes a wide array of product categories including art, music, books, crafting supplies, and more. Essentially, these are all products that serve to entertain or enlighten customers. There are many opportunities for carving out an untapped niche in this category. It's also a great choice for anyone just starting an eCommerce business.
Craft Subscription Box or Maker Crate
These boxes include all the necessary supplies to build or create a pre-designed craft. They can be anything from paint-by-numbers to a knitting supply box to plans to build a drone. Pricing on these boxes can vary greatly, but customers are willing to pay a premium for well-designed, attractive crafts. Make sure to invest in good eCommerce packaging for these boxes, as missing parts will render the entire box useless.
Activity Box for Kids
Anyone with kids can tell you that they go through toys and crafting supplies almost as quickly as they go through food. That sounds like the perfect opportunity for a subscription box! These boxes are often themed by age and offer crafting supplies or educational toys on a monthly basis. This is a fast-growing market with plenty of upside for a new DTC business.
Book Subscription Box
Book of the month clubs have been around for years, but the subscription box model has made them more popular than ever. Some book subscription boxes even have more than 50,000 monthly subscribers. These boxes are heavily curated and often stick to a niche theme. They also boast very high community engagement and customer satisfaction.
Pet Supply Subscription Box Ideas
Pet supplies are another area where recurring purchases are the norm. This makes them a perfect choice for the subscription box model. Whether you're looking to supplement sales in your pet food business or starting a new venture, there's a very large market at your disposal.
The most common choices are to start a dog subscription box or a cat subscription box. There's a lot of competition in these fields though, so you'll need to really invest in DTC marketing. Otherwise, look at more niche markets like birds, turtles, or fish. All pets deserve supplies!
Fashion and Beauty Subscription Box Ideas
One of the largest, and most profitable, sectors of the subscription box industry is the fashion and beauty market. This includes makeup, clothing, accessories, and more. They're great for cross selling multiple product types and brands. They present a unique opportunity for small businesses and designers looking to get their products more visibility in the market.
Some of the largest subscription boxes in the beauty market are makeup boxes. Since the makeup market is so congested, these boxes are a great marketing tool that helps bring exposure to smaller brands. They're also great at creating return customers and the markup isn't bad either. Just make sure to invest in a good subscription website builder, because these boxes can become very popular very quickly. You don't want to have your website go down when demand surges.
Clothing Subscription Box
These boxes cover a very large market and can range in cost from $10 to $100 per month. Some are personally curated for the customer, while others change themes each month. However, they all have the same payment model in common. The customer pays a monthly fee for the box itself and then will pay for the clothes they choose to keep. These boxes are some of the most evergreen on the market and a great choice for a long-term business investment.
Jewelry Subscription Box
Handmade jewelry is a booming business that continues to grow each year. There's a reason they made our list of the best eCommerce business ideas. There are many sub-genres that can be targeted here and custom or handmade goods can fetch a high price. Customers regularly seek out boxes and artists with styles that match theirs, so you don't have to worry as much about marketing.
Health and Fitness Subscription Box Ideas
The health and fitness market has seen a major surge in the past decade. Now, with gyms closed and people working at home, the subscription box industry is getting in on the action. These boxes offer customers the chance to manage their fitness experience and goals from the comfort of their home.
Whether it's aerobics, yoga, lifting, or cardio, there's a fitness box for everyone. These boxes offer predetermined workout plans and the tools to do them. If you have a background in fitness and an existing base of followers, this can be a great way to take your business to the next level. Even better, overhead expenses are fairly low since the boxes don't need to contain a ton of product.
Vitamin Subscription Box
Vitamins are another great choice for the subscription model since customers need to replenish their stock regularly. These boxes are most suited for supplementing sales of businesses that already sell vitamins, or niche brands that offer specialty vitamins. The key is to work with other fitness and health companies to cross market your products.
Sports Subscription Box
Sports fans are notoriously passionate about their favorite teams and sports. There's also so many avenues to go down. Football, baseball, soccer, and more. Find the right niche that you can provide value to and you can find a very loyal and dedicated customer base.
Geeky Subscription Box Ideas
Geek culture has become mainstream over the past decade and that is reflected in the number of subscription boxes available. From comics to gaming to film and more, these boxes can be as niche as they come. They can also develop a very loyal following and see exponential market growth.
Gaming Subscription Box
One of the most popular types of geek boxes, gaming subscription boxes bring in a lot of revenue. Rather than come from a gaming company, these boxes aggregate toys, comics, and other merchandise from disparate companies. They then bundle theme by theme and sell them for a premium. Gamers, like sports fans, can be a diehard customer base as long as you offer them real value in your box.
Trading Card Subscription Box
Another popular pastime in geek culture is trading card games. Think things like Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, or Magic: The Gathering. Now take those and put them in a box that gets delivered right to your door. Add in some apparel, toys, or card game accessories and you've got a successful subscription box.
So Many Options, So Little Time
There's a market for nearly any subscription box you can think of. It's just up to you to find the right way to create and market your creation. Focus on quality and savings and you can grow your business in a sustainable way. You can even pair it with the dropshipping model to further increase margins.
You'll also need to find good subscription box suppliers so you don't waste money on inefficient eCommerce shipping. Integrating subscription management software will help you manage your subscription box business. BlueCart Subscription is a great tool you can start with.