Empowering the Freelance Economy

How to start a subscription box service based on your passions and interests

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The basic concept of launching a subscription box service can evolve from your personal interests – ones that you would love to receive delivered straight to your door every month. Whether that passion revolves around cycling, gardening, cooking, gadgets, T-shirts with funny sayings, pets, books, virtual coaching or apps, the sky’s the limit. There’s a good chance if you love something or want a solution for something, others will too.

The online subscription box industry grew 100% over the course of just five years. That explosive growth has led to the emergence of new direct-to-consumer brands targeting this niche, as well as the adoption by major brands like Sephora and Walmart, according to Shopify.

The great thing is you can start a subscription business from home, by tapping into pre-formatted online tools, such as Shopify’s subscription management tools.

Subscription Box Case Studies

Birchbox, Cloth & Paper and Haverdash

According to Shopify, when there is a gap in the market, successful entrepreneurs will find a way to fill it.

“This is the secret to success for many top subscription box businesses. Birchbox, for example, saw that there was no way for consumers to test multiple beauty products without spending a fortune. So it filled that gap with affordable curated boxes of smaller sample-sized products,” said Shopify.

Ashley Reynolds, for example, bundled surplus products into subscription boxes to sell via her e-commerce site, Cloth & Paper. If you already run an e-commerce business at home, you could do the same to make use of what would otherwise be deadstock, suggests Shopify.

Subscription boxes don’t have to necessarily be about selling. Haverdash, for example, is a subscription box company that rents clothes. When customers are finished using the items, they send them back—and Haverdash rents them out to another customer to generate even more revenue.

Boxing favourite things has been adapted by British brands, such as famous chef and restauranteur Rick Stein who offers Stein’s at Home Food Boxes . The very British institution of High Tea has also been encapsulated in the Wild Women Tea Club’s tea subscription service.

If you launched a subscription box service we’d love to hear about it. For those that would like to learn more about the basics of setting up their own, check out this video below.

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