Subscription boxes are becoming an ever-growing portion of all eCommerce growth. So, it should come as no surprise that more and more entrepreneurs and businesses are flocking to the subscription box business model.
To be successful with subscription sales, you need two things: first, you obviously have to determine what types of subscription boxes you want to sell. Second, you need a subscription box website.
Here's the low-down on how to create a subscription box website, what website builders are available to you, and some of the best current subscription box sites.
Subscription Website 101: Best Subscription Website Builder
The subscription box business model relies heavily on a solid eCommerce website. Unlike your average transactional eCommerce website, a subscription website must have some unique features.
Here’s a look at the six core features every subscription website builder should have:
- Trial period subscriptions. Not everyone who visits your site will make a purchase. They may be shopping around or just aren't ready to commit yet. By allowing them to invest less money from the start, you're more likely to make sales. If they're happy with the first box they receive, you'll very likely have a new long-term customer.
- Subscription billing and payment functionality. Subscription boxes are paid for and shipped on a recurring basis. That means your website builder will need to be able to accommodate this payment model. This may be a part of the platform itself, or you can use an integrated eCommerce payment gateway and subscription management software.
- Private forums or content. Many subscription box memberships come with additional benefits. Private forums or locked content are some of the most common, and a very simple way to add value to your membership plans. The sense of exclusivity it can generate is also a great way to incentivize purchasing a subscription.
- Built-in membership capability. If you can't have people sign up for a subscription, then you don't really have a subscription box. Your site needs to be capable of accepting subscription sign-ups and give access to individual user dashboards for each member.
- Robust visibility options. Since your subscription box is essentially a members-only product, your site needs to be able to block certain pages from being seen by all visitors. Make sure the builder has visibility options that can differentiate between members and normal users. You may even want pages that are only visible to people who arrive via email campaigns. These pages are great for promotional offers that you don't want the general public to access.
- Easy software integration. All eCommerce businesses use a wide array of eCommerce software and eCommerce analytics tools. Stick with a website builder that can easily be integrated with any tools you already use. Otherwise, you'll be investing a lot of money in a sub-optimal product and increase the workload on your team.
How to Create a Subscription Website
Whether you’re just learning how to start a subscription box or you’re looking to increase eCommerce sales, creating a subscription box website can seem overwhelming. Since the site has to have such unique features, you’ll need to take a step-by-step approach to ensure a successful launch.
Here are the steps you should take:
- Pick your niche. The very first thing you need to do before investing in your subscription box website is to determine what type of subscription boxes you’ll sell. To do this, you need to consider who your target customers are and how to convince them that your subscription box is better than others.
- Create a content plan. You'll need more than just a shopping cart on your site if you want it to convert customers. Come up with a basic plan for the content and pages you want on your site. You'll need a main landing page, individual box pages, and possibly an FAQ or blog with more info.
- Choose an eCommerce platform. Now that you've got a plan for your site, you need to invest in the right platform. You have a few options here including a headless eCommerce platform or an online marketplace. Pick the platform that fits your unique business needs and capabilities. For food suppliers, BlueCart Subscriptions is a great choice. It was designed to grow food sales for businesses of all types and sizes.
- Establish your pricing model. Are you going to have multiple tiers of subscription levels? Will you give discounts for pre-purchasing multiple boxes? Think about the best way to maximize your profit margin while serving as many customers as possible. This will be vital in setting up the backend of your site.
- Design page templates. Your website design is a major factor in convincing people to purchase from you. You need to focus on providing a smooth user experience that will highlight the perks of your subscription products. You also need to establish your unique brand identity and make sure this shines through on each page. Then, include calls to action (CTAs) on each page that let customers add your boxes to their cart. You'll also want to make sure you include on page SEO for eCommerce in your templates so you can drive traffic from day one.
- Launch and market. Once your site is built, you can go to market with it. Do thorough quality checks and make sure everything is functioning correctly. Then get to making sales. This will let you focus on other important aspects of the business like finding the right subscription box suppliers and investing in eCommerce fulfillment.
It’s important to remember that launching your new subscription box website is only phase one of the subscription box business. You’ll need to invest in the right tools and software to help grow the business. This also relies on you continuing to monitor eCommerce KPIs performance and tweaking plans until you’re hitting your eCommerce KPIs.
Subscription Box Marketing Plan
A subscription box and accompanying website are only as good as the marketing efforts that drive customers to them. You need to come up with a multi-faceted marketing plan that can achieve two things: attract prospective customers and convince them of the savings involved with purchasing your subscription box.
Here are the best ways to market your subscription box website:
Subscription Box Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to be one of the biggest drivers of internet traffic and is highly effective at conveying brand messaging. You can explain your box's value proposition in greater detail and convert customers that were on the fence.
Pair this with a focus on SEO content for eCommerce and you can see a lot of organic traffic. This gives you even more prospects to share your content with. 43% of all eCommerce traffic comes from organic search results and up to 40% of sales can come from these customers.
Subscription Box Social Media Marketing
Social media is a major tool in the subscription box marketing toolbox. According to SproutSocial, more than 70% of social media users discover new brands organically through their social network or through word-of-mouth. This means that you can greatly expand your reach by getting your brand on social media.
You can also look into using influencers and user-generated content (UGC). This will give you access to their subscriber-base and further spread word of your products. Even better, 61% of U.S. eCommerce customers have made a purchase based on recommendations from an influencer or blog. This type of off page SEO for eCommerce can greatly increase your conversion rate. Keep in mind other SEO terms and strategies.
Subscription Box Email Marketing
Email marketing has the highest conversion rates of all B2B marketing and DTC marketing tools, so it’s invaluable in increasing revenue. Try to personalize your email campaigns a bit or use some eye-catching imagery, you want people to be drawn in by them. Even better, you can create separate campaigns for a few different purposes.
First, you can use email marketing campaigns to target prospective customers who have yet to engage with your brand. Second, you can use the emails for cross selling subscription boxes or other products to existing customers. Finally, you can use it to re-engage customers who’ve let their subscription lapse. It’s truly a multi-functional marketing tool.
Best Subscription Box Websites
The best subscription box website depends on what type of content you're looking for. You may want subscription box reviews, platforms, or information on creating boxes.
These are the sites we think will give you the most help:
Best Subscription Box Platform
If you're a food supplier, BlueCart Subscriptions is the best way to adapt the subscription box model. Whether you sell groceries, pantry items, non-perishables, or pre-cooked meals, we can help you grow your business. It's a great way for B2B food wholesalers to get into the DTC food market.
Best Subscription Box Review Site
Since there are so many subscription boxes on the market, more consumers are seeking out reviews before making purchases. The largest and most successful review site is My Subscription Addiction. Getting your burgeoning subscription box featured and reviewed on this site can go a long way to increasing your subscriber base. It can also give you great insight into your competitors's boxes and areas where they are lacking.
Best Subscription Box Guide Website
Surprise, you've already found the best place for subscription box guides. We've tackled topics like subscription box ideas, subscription box payment options, custom subscription boxes, and more. Our team has a serious passion and comprehensive understanding of the challenges you face as you work to grow your subscription business.
If You Build it, They Will Shop
The best subscription boxes are all accompanied by useful, streamlined websites that are built to convert customers. Invest in a good platform, provide a good user experience, and offer a valuable product and you can become one of the best. It's even a good choice for dropshipping businesses.
Once your site is live, make sure to include a robust shipping policy template so users know what to expect and be more likely to convert.