There are numerous benefits to being a company that bases their revenue model off a monthly subscription. The biggest benefit for the company is the fact that you have a recurring revenue model.
As long as you have happy customers who enjoy receiving your product every month, you will skyrocket your company’s value because you can claim a certain degree of guaranteed revenue that usually can’t be obtained through other business models.
From the perspective of the subscribers, they are able to streamline their interactions with the company. Their credit card is automatically charged, and they know that they can expect their delivery at their doorstep at a fixed date of every month.
As long as a company can keep its subscriber base while adding on new subscribers, or have a net gain of subscribers per month, they can flourish.
When it comes to ecommerce, one of the most important variable that boosts monthly subscription is packaging and shipping of the product.
The packaging is the ultimate representation of the company and the brand. If you are able to nail the packaging, you can improve your outreach to new customers while strengthening the emotional connection you have with current customers. If you fail, however, you will find your subscribers becoming bored with your delivery and seeking out something new.
If you take a look at some of the most successful subscription box companies that have innovated their packaging design, you will notice that there are stark differences in the type of packaging used, the designs involved, and the products that come as part of the box. At the same time, a closer look will reveal that there are some universal principles being put into practice. Here are the most important ones to keep in mind.
Choice of Packaging Material
Subscription box companies, before worrying about how pretty the packaging looks, are going to first concern themselves with the functionality of the packaging material. First and foremost, the packaging needs to be able to protect the material from excessive movement and temperature extremes if the product is highly sensitive to those kinds of external factors. It would be a wise idea to test the packaging, alone, without any extra features, to ensure that it can survive the full length of a fulfillment cycle.
Once you have that figured out, you will have to tweak the size of the packaging. There should be some breathable room for the product, and, at the same time, the packaging should not be too large. Customers will be disappointed if they have a big box in the front of their home that contains a tiny little trinket.
In addition, using more space than necessary will cost you more per unit in terms of shipping fees. It might not seem like a big deal when you are starting off, but, once your subscriber count hits the four-figure mark, your calculations will show that a few inches can make a big difference in your profit margins.
An Unforgettable Design
With the correct material and design specifications of your packaging figured out, you can now proceed to the design phase. Whether or not you already have a company logo ready to go, your box design needs to be memorable. It should be something that is bright and vivid in color while being simple in design.
Try this mental exercise: Think of all of the logos and symbols that are associated with some of the most famous companies in the world. After you have done so, try to recall their appearance and count how many of them had a complex, messy appearance. The answer will likely be none. Simple is always best!
With your rough designs ready, it is time to take them to a digital illustrator. You should have a full schematic of your packaging laid out as if it were completely unfolded. This will ensure that, when you sketch out your designs, the final appearance of the packaging upon folding will appear exactly as you intend it to. If you have any signature phrases or calls to action that have been successful for you, you should try to include them on there.
A Working Relationship with a Good Manufacturer
Now that you have put some considerable time into the packaging, you need to find a manufacturer who will be able to perform the packing for you while imprinting the designs that you previously made. Factors such as price per unit, turnaround time, and their limitations with printing should be on the top of your mind.
Depending on your demands for the design and the type of ink finish you want upon printing, it may be the case that you have to make some slight compromises. Make sure that you receive a few sample units and inspect them thoroughly before you sign a contract with the manufacturer.
There are many more intricate details that are involved in the packaging process, but they generally fall under the 3 steps outlined in this article. Consistent execution of these principles will be the key to success as a monthly subscription company. This article will conclude with an interesting case study from somebody who claims to have started their own subscription box startup from scratch in 60 days and, it leaves no stone unturned. While it will not be reflective of your personal experiences, it paints a decent picture of what you can expect.
Cory Levins serves as the Director of Business Development for Air Sea Containers. Cory oversees the development and implementation of ASC’s internal and external marketing program, driving revenue and profits from the Miami FL headquarters.
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