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9 Subscription Business Ideas That Will Inspire You


By March of 2019, Amazon Prime membership reached 103 million, indicating that people worldwide are drawn to the convenience of quick and easy online shopping. It was into this world of online shopping carts and single-click purchasing that subscription box businesses were born.

Subscription businesses take decision making out of the equation. Customers simply pick a subscription service based on general interests and allow businesses to curate a selection of related items for them. Between 2014 to 2017, subscription businesses grew their online traffic by 800%.

If you’re looking for a way to profit off of this booming market, you’ll need to start with the “general” before you start curating the perfect products.

Read on for our top nine subscription business ideas that customers will love!

1. Snack Boxes.

If there’s one thing that we all enjoy, it’s snacking. Pick a certain segment of the snack food world and offer customers three to five new snacks per box!

Maybe you want to start a junk food subscription for vegans or an international snack subscription for worldly spirits. Get creative and think of markets that have been overlooked by your competitors.

2. Meal Planning Boxes.

Meal planning boxes are great solutions for people who have a hard time motivating themselves to cook at home. Who might those people be? Perhaps young adults who are new to cooking or people who live alone and can never find recipes designed for a single person.

The ticket here is to design recipes that are quick, easy, and healthy.

3. Health and Beauty Boxes.

There are dozens of different health and beauty boxes on the market already but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a fresh take on an old concept. Think about the specific needs of different demographics.

For example, a health and beauty box for pre-teens might focus on breakout-prone skin while a box for older men and women would focus more on wrinkles and other signs of aging.

4. Book Boxes.

Book boxes make perfect gifts for avid readers who are always seeking something new. Start with a genre or theme and start researching great titles that fit the bill.

You have thousands of options. There’s always a market for customers who are looking for the newest best sellers but, then again, you can also draw from the market who seeks out the rare or obscure!

5. Accessory Boxes.

Socks! Hair accessories! Jewelry! Bow ties!

Accessory boxes are limitless and you can purchase the products to stock them in bulk at a low price. Statement pieces and funky fashion are very “in” right now and receiving surprise accessories with whimsical patterns and bold colors will surely delight your customers.

6. Fairtrade Boxes.

Ethical shopping is growing increasingly important to consumers worldwide. Fairtrade subscription boxes give customers the opportunity to receive unique items like clothing, accessories, and home decor that are sourced ethically. Donating part of your profit to an international charity is a great way to give your customers an avenue to do some good!

7. Pet Boxes.

There are hundreds of thousands of pet owners in America that love to spoil their furry (or feathery or even scaly) friends. Plenty of subscription boxes catered specifically to dog owners exist, but what about families who own other pets?

One way to create a unique pet box that would satisfy a wide market is to offer boxes that are customizable to different animals. Dogs aren’t the only ones who like a new toy and a tasty treat! Cats, birds, rodents, and lizards are all up for grabs in the pet subscription box market. You could even offer a service that allows pet owners to select products for more than one species and pull in customers who have a whole zoo at home!

8. Baby Care Boxes.

It can be difficult for parents to stay on top of their baby’s changing needs. What they can eat will change rapidly in the first year or two, plus they’re constantly outgrowing their clothes. Create a subscription business that allows parents to sign up when their baby is still an infant that will grow with them as their baby grows!

9. Niche Hobby Boxes.

Niche hobbies may involve smaller markets but chances are, your customers will be die-hard fans of your products. Think of knitters, gamers, model-builders, and other fun hobbies that have a devoted community of makers or players.

There are a few ways to approach a niche hobby subscription box. You can send your customers actual products that contribute to their hobby (i.e. yarn and knitting patterns) or swag that lets them show off their love of their niche hobby (i.e. pins and t-shirts). Alternatively, you can do a combination of both!

How to Profit Off of Your Subscription Business Ideas.

Once you have your subscription business idea, the question is, how do you get it up and running? Of course, you need to find a way to build your stock of products and set a price that will turn a profit but still attract customers. Next, you’ll need to build a website and establish your brand across social media platforms.

Product exposure is equally important so you need to think about how you will market your product effectively. One popular way is to use affiliate marketing. This is a business model where you connect with partners that promote your products in exchange for a commission. The partners only receive a commission if your product sells, so it’s a win-win. Commission Junction is one example of an affiliate network that connects you with high-quality publishers.

If you’re not sure how to brand your subscription box, look to the pros who have already gotten thousands of subscribers. Take note of the hashtags they use, the way they photograph their products, and the way they cater to different styles of content to different social media platforms. This can give you a good indication of where to find your market and how to capture their attention.

Finally, select a subscription billing service. You need to use a platform that is quick and simple and that makes recurring payments easy! Online shoppers love convenience and requiring customers to re-enter payment information each month is a surefire way to lose customers.

Follow Your Entrepreneurial Spirit.

The best subscription business ideas are the ones you actually execute. Find a market that needs filling, preferably one that you already understand, and get cracking!

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