Imagine getting a box of goodies in your mailbox every month. The items are from a business that has products you love. Every time you open the box, it feels like Christmas morning, with one or more surprise goodies you can show off to your friends.
Thanks to monthly subscription boxes, consumers across the world now receive boxes just like this in their mailboxes every month. From cosmetics and accessories to snacks and dog toys, subscription boxes continue to grow in popularity.
Can your business benefit from a subscription option? Jewelry designer Mei Pak thinks so. Mei own the wildly successful, Tiny Hands Food Jewelry and taught a 21-lesson course on incorporating subscription model into your creative business. Here are her top 4 subscription business ideas.
Mystery boxes are the most popular subscription model type, with customers signing up to receive a surprise each month in the mail. Mei lists Birchbox, Fair Ivy, and Stitch Fix as examples of mystery box clubs.
“You don’t know what to expect,” Mei says. “It’s kind of a surprise, and people like that.”
Mei uses the [X]-of-the-Month club, offering subscribers a new necklace every month from her collection. To increase the value of your subscription model, Mei recommends creating a product that has a collector’s value. With a collectible, subscribers will look forward to next month’s shipment, knowing they’ll be able to add the item to an existing collection.
“In a later section of this workshop, we’re going to talk about how to lower your unsubscribe rates,” Mei says. “But if you design it carefully from the get-go, and you design the subscription so that it’s something that people continuously want to keep receiving in the mail, that ensures that your lifetime value of any one customer is as long as you can potentially make it be.”
For businesses that sell items that have to be replenished often, Mei sees a built-in subscription base. Skincare products, edibles, and other items that customers use within a brief period of time are ideal for this business model, since consumers will need to replenish them quickly.
“Once you’re done using the lotion, once you’re done with the lip balm, or once you’re done with this cupcake in a jar, you’re going to want the next one,” Mei says. “It’s a very natural progression when you have something that’s a consumable.”
Established businesses should look at their product lines and determine which items sell best. Those items usually make the best subscriptions. For Mei, necklaces are by far her bestselling product, so when she decided to offer a monthly subscription, she knew a necklace-of-the-month club was her best option.
“What if I could start a charm bracelet and then for every month I send them a new charm that they can then attach to their own charm bracelet?” Mei asked her audience. “They don’t want to just stop at one charm, they’re not going to stop at two charms. They’re going to stop with at least three to five or six charms. That ensures that my subscriber will stay on as a subscriber for as long as possible.”
To learn more, check out this clip from A Crafter’s Guide to Starting a Subscription Business: