Monthly subscription boxes have become a popular ecommerce category of their own. Whatever your business’ niche, subscription boxes are a great way to delight your customers with something new and unexpected each month, and even acquire new customers for replenishment subscriptions.
Follow these steps to ensure a successful launch of your new subscription box.
Step 1 - Create your product
First, create your product in your store (on Shopify, BigCommerce for example). Be sure to write a compelling product description, giving customers a hint of what they will receive when they order your subscription product.
Next, go to the Products section in the merchant portal. From here select your active product in Shopify from the list. Click Create plans followed by Add another plan. Start with the following Product Subscription Plan:
Plan type: Subscription
Set Plan details: Ship product and charge customers every 1 months.
In Advanced settings, set Charge on this day of the month: 1
Set a cutoff date: Toggle on.
Cut off day of month before and after: 3
The exact days you should choose for your charge day and cut off day may vary depending on your business strategy. Pick these dates based on your shipping timeline to set up clear guidelines on which new customers will receive which boxes. To give your store an accurate order count and ample time to pack orders, choose dates that take place before the date you plan to start packing. In the example above, for instance, you might plan to start packing orders on the 4th of every month, and ship by the 7th.
Any new customer who starts a subscription after the cutoff date won’t receive that month’s box and their charge is sent to the next month’s box instead, even if the current month’s box has not shipped yet. Any existing customer who does not cancel before the charge date still receives that month’s box, even if the box has not shipped yet. Learn more about cut-off windows.
Step 2 - Update notifications
Your next step is to ensure the copy of your email notifications reflects your new subscription box product. For example, if you have previously changed the copy of your emails to reflect a replenishment style product, such as by telling customers how to change their delivery date, you may need to adjust your email copy since a subscription box typically has a locked-in delivery schedule.
If your store uses Klaviyo for your general email campaign management, you can also integrate Klaviyo with Recharge to replace some of Recharge’s email notifications with Klaviyo ones, which can then be segmented by the products the recipient is subscribed to, allowing you to provide different instructions to customers subscribed to your subscription box than customers subscribed to a traditional replenishment-style product.
Step 3 - Plan an incentive strategy
If you don’t plan to offer a one-time purchase version of your subscription box, the built-in subscribe & save discount may not be a good fit for you. Consider other discounting methods as part of your incentive structure instead, such as:
- Offer free shipping on your subscription box. Because you are likely targeting a specific weight limit per month, you can set a static price for the box that takes your shipping costs into consideration, giving potential subscribers the perk of no unforeseen shipping fees.
- Offer seasonal discount codes for first-time subscribers, or give first-time subscribers a mini-box at a reduced price that upgrades to full size after the first charge.
- Incentivize long-term subscriptions by offering discounts that activate after a certain number of charges or progressively increase over time.
- Give your subscribers a discount code applicable to the gift version of your subscription. In addition to thanking your subscribers, you will benefit from inexpensive customer acquisition supported by your best customer advocates!
Step 4 - Offer a gift version
Subscription boxes make popular gifts year-round, especially when your brand is considered a trusted expert in your niche. Once you establish your standard subscription box, consider offering a prepaid version to market as a gift. You are then able to market your standard subscription box to giftees once their prepaid experience ends.
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