Box Appetit: The perfect recipe to creating a successful subscription box business

Box Appetit: The perfect recipe to creating a successful subscription box business

For subscription box owners and subscription dreamers, recurring revenue on a monthly basis is the ticket to success; your gateway to the hills of Hollywood. No e-commerce entrepreneur has been able to reach stability with a one time sale- it’s all about repeat business!

Here’s a recipe to make sure you don’t skip a step as you grow your box empire.


- Niche focus
- Vision
- Audience research
- Graphic design help
- Packaging supplier
- Social media advertising


Step 1: Pick a niche

Nothing great has ever been accomplished without passion. Therefore, do it with love or not at all- ask yourself what you would want monthly. Be as particular as you can, when picking what goes inside your box. The more niche-specific (see below graphic for what we mean by niche) you are, the easier it will be for you to pick and choose your monthly goodies. From there, get to know your audience, it will allow you to create easy breezy packaging.

Example: a beauty subscription box

Let’s pretend  you want your subscription box to feature beauty products. Digging deeper into a niche will allow you to figure out  exactly what kind of products your audience will yearn for. Below is an example of how the idea of a beauty subscription box is tied down.

Step 2: Mix in some vision  

“Be stubborn about your goals, and flexible about your methods.”

Now that you have an idea for your subscription box, it’s time to think outside the box. Start thinking about how you want to be seen.  Best way to do this is by creating a list of 4-5 brand attributes – characteristics that describe your voice as a brand. This will play a crucial role in making your brand stand out.

Whip up ideas on developing a prototype of your subscription box. The outside counts as much as the inside. In addition to the contents, consider the following when designing your box prototype:

  • size of the box

  • number of items

  • written content

  • safety of the package

  • design

  • unboxing experience

  • cost

Step 3: Research and know your audience

Get to know your audience-  the way you know your Starbucks order! Stay connected with them throughout the process. Become active on 3-5 social media platforms, do your market research and grow your number of followers. Interact with them and refine your strategy by learning from what they want and don’t want.

Why not work with an influencer? Dissect your audience, and learn what makes them squeal.

Step 4: Graphic design help

Keep in mind that designing your box is a process. Get advice from designers, experts, and experienced professionals if required. Throughout the Treemarc process, our in-house designers can help you come up with a design. We honestly get it, not everyone is as creative as Picasso. 

Step 5: Packaging supplier

Believe it or not, but we’re solely in business because dealing with suppliers was such a headache (we used to have our own e-commerce business at one point, so we get your pain). That’s why it’s so important to work with a supplier who can simplify the ordering process, is responsive, and can turn around your packaging on time. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you look for and work with a supplier:

  1. Pick a type of packaging, quantity and size.

  2. Make sure you have your packaging dieline (in the packaging world, it’s the design blueprint you bring to the manufacturer)

  3. Make sure to get a digital proof (a 3D visual of the box before ordering is a plus!)

  4. Figure out delivery - is it dock to dock (that’s if your boxes are arriving at a commercial space) or something else? Either way,  let your manufacturer know.

Step 6: Social media

Look into Instagram and Facebook advertising. When done right, the opportunities are endless. However, what people need to know is the fact that it requires you to know your target audience and how to reach them. It’s so important that you create images/visuals/animations your target audience is going to enjoy, and engage with. The only way to do this is research, along with trial and error. Here are some social media stats to get you thinking:

  • 300 million active users to target.

  • 2.5 billion ‘likes’ issued daily.

  • 70 million images are updated every day.

Running Instagram/Facebook ads are pretty easy and affordable.  If you’re struggling check this out. The cool thing is, you can target people based on their :

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Location

  • and more!

I hope our 6-step recipe was helpful in getting you started on your subscription box business! If you’ve been in business for some time, let us know what you’ve learned, what you agree or disagree with. We’d love to know!

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