How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (2023)

Build a Website to Sell Subscription Boxes Online

3dcart has all the eCommerce tools you need to sell subscription boxes from your online store

How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (1)

Subscription boxes have surged in popularity with no sign of slowing down. Millions of customers with all kinds of interests have signed up to receive subscription boxes from a huge variety of retailers, and often look forward to their next box with great anticipation.

Online merchants are discovering new opportunities thanks to this innovative business model, and 3dcart has everything you need to start selling subscription boxes on your own online store.

What are subscription boxes?

Subscription boxes are recurring packages delivered to customers on a regular basis, often weekly, monthly, or quarterly, although other subscription intervals also work for different types of items. Subscription boxes can contain a variety of products, which fit into two general categories: consumables and collectibles. Consumables cover food, cosmetics, and other supplies, while collectibles cover toys and other novelties.

Some subscription boxes are filled with surprise collectibles, product samples, or other randomized contents, while others contain a specific set of items determined by either the merchant or the customer. Subscription boxes offer customers a great way to try new products, keep favorite products in stock around their home, build up a collection relating to one of their interests, and more.

(Video) How To Build Recurring Revenue: How To Start A Subscription Box Business

How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (2)

Subscription boxes work well for several product types, including (but not limited to):

  • Food and ingredients:

    spices, sauces, complete meal kits, snacks

  • Home and kitchen supplies:

    dish sponges, towels, cleaning products

  • Nutrition and supplements:

    vitamins, workout supplements, energy bars

  • Pet supplies:

    dog or cat food, baggies or litter, treats, toys

  • Coffee or tea:

    samples of different kinds, or to replenish supply of a favorite brand

  • Video games and accessories:

    new releases, Game of the Year collection, licensed apparel

  • Wine or craft beer:

    Wine of the Month clubs, brewery spotlights

  • Books or movies:

    classics, genre collections, special editions, boxed sets

  • Health and beauty:

    cosmetics, skincare, grooming, bath products

  • Toys and collectibles:

    action figures, model kits, statuettes, keychains

  • Adult products:

    novelties, adult toys, risqué games

  • Other niche markets:

    vaping supplies, seasonal fashion, jewelry, and more

  • Art and crafting supplies:

    cross-stich patterns, paints, yarn or thread, brushes

If you have a great idea for a subscription box, whether you decide to sell collectibles, consumables, or any type of lifestyle products, 3dcart has all the eCommerce features you need to make your business idea a reality. Whether your subscription boxes will contain specific products chosen by the customer, or a surprise selection that they can't wait to discover, you can build the perfect subscription box service with 3dcart.

Full recurring order system

3dcart makes it simple to set up and configure subscription services through our Autoship™ Recurring Orders app, available for free on select 3dcart plans. With Autoship™, you can offer a range of subscription intervals based on number of days (like 30, 60, or 180) or by commonly-understood terms like Monthly, Quarterly, or Yearly.

(Video) How To Start and Launch a Subscription Box Business in 15 Steps | Launch Your Box in 3 Months

Autoship™ can be applied to as many products as you desire, with different settings for each. You have control over which subscription frequencies are available on each product, so you can offer multiple subscription boxes without any confusion. When the time comes for the customer's next box, they'll be billed automatically and their subscription order will be generated in your order management dashboard for processing and fulfillment. Autoship™ also includes a robust reporting dashboard to keep you informed on subscriber numbers, view projected revenue, and more.

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Flexible and accurate shipping

3dcart provides business owners with multiple options for shipping, including flat rate, free shipping with or without an order threshold, and real-time shipping rates from all major carriers. Shipping charges are always visible to the customer to prevent surprise costs that could lead them to cancel their order.

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Save payment information with tokenized payment gateways

To sell subscriptions, you'll need a tokenized payment gateway that allows your store to save customers' payment information in a secure manner. This is achieved through tokenization, a feature offered by several eCommerce payment gateways like Authorize.Net, PayJunction, PayPal, Square, Stripe, and more. 3dcart is integrated with a large variety of payment processors that utilize tokenization, so you have plenty of choice for accepting payments for your subscription boxes.

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Customer account and subscription management

Customers can create an account on your eCommerce website to view a full list of their previous orders, including all subscriptions. With only a few clicks, customers can manage subscriptions, reorder previously-purchased items, and more. They'll also find it simple to update their payment data and shipping information.

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Reward your subscribers with flexible bonuses

3dcart's built-in features offer several ways to reward your subscribers and encourage them to purchase additional items, increasing customer loyalty and raising Average Order Value (AOV). Earn more profits for your business while making the shopping experience even more fun!

How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (7)

(Video) How to Pre launch your Subscription Box Business

How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (8)

Raise order value with subscriber-only addon products

Offer your subscribers a selection of addon items to be shipped free inside their next box. With 3dcart's versatile Customer Groups feature, you can automatically add subscribers to a special group with privileges like access to exclusive products or pricing. This adds even more value to your subscription service and helps boost your profits. Want to create several exclusive groups, with different bonuses for each? No problem.

How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (9)

Encourage longer subscriptions with membership tiers

3dcart's Customer Groups feature allows you the freedom to create multiple groups, each of which can have access to different pricing levels or even different products. Use this feature to reward long-term subscribers by raising them to a VIP group after they've maintained a subscription for a set period of time. Offer your VIPs lower prices, special promotions, or any other bonuses you see fit. You can even create multiple levels of VIP Customer Groups — and if you want to offer VIP membership to customers based on other criteria, like amount spent in your store, you can do so as well.

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Create more incentive with a loyalty program

3dcart includes a built-in Reward Points module that allows you to quickly set up a fully customizable loyalty program, which further encourages customers to buy from your store. Determine how many reward points are awarded per product, which products award them, how much each reward point is worth, and which products can be purchased with reward points. Using this system, you can easily set up a variety of special rewards for your customers — for example, you can set it so only your subscription boxes earn points, which can only be applied to a different selection of products.

Showcase your subscription boxes on social media

Subscription boxes are big on social media, with customers and influencers regularly creating "unboxing" videos in which they demonstrate the entire process of opening a new subscription box and discovering what it contains. Use 3dcart's social media integrations to go where your customers are and promote your subscription boxes on Facebook, Instagram, and more, whether you opt for paid advertising or organic marketing. Sell right from your Instagram account by creating Instagram Shoppable Posts that link directly back to your online store when customers tap to see more about your products. This makes it simpler than ever to partner with influencers and attract more customers.

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Everything you need to build the best online store

How to Sell Subscription Boxes Online (12)

Since subscription boxes are so popular today, there are plenty of options for setting up a website for your own subscription box business, whether through a specialized service or via an app that connects to a popular eCommerce platform. But unlike other eCommerce services with tools for the subscription business model, 3dcart is built on a solid foundation of over 20 years' experience in all aspects of selling online. Your business will have immediate access to powerful SEO and marketing features, robust order management and reporting, mobile-friendly responsive web design, and much more.

(Video) Selling Subscription Boxes: Cratejoy vs. Subbly - A Side-by-Side Comparison

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Frequently asked questions

How can I start a subscription box business?

Create a website using a website builder like 3dcart, setting up your subscription box product with a recurring monthly fee, apply shipping & tax, and use a credit card processor to collect payments.

How can I put together a subscription box?

Once you indentify a niche market, select a variety of products that will meet these consumer's needs, pack the selection with an unique presentation and keep it fresh every month.

(Video) What Platform Should I Use to Sell My Subscription Box?


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