Subscription-based eCommerce is all about the convenience provided by the brand to its end customers. In the subscription business, the customers expect to receive their subscription boxes at a regular and predetermined interval. The success of subscription-based fulfillment depends on timely and reliable shipping to consistently meet customer expectations.
While the subscription-based eCommerce model is a lucrative business with some level of certainty in future cash flows, it also comes with a set of challenges. To keep your customers interested and engaged with the subscription, you must wow them each delivery with exceptional product, timely delivery, and an amazing unboxing experience.
Types of Subscription Models
In this type of subscription model, the product remains the same for every delivery. An example of this could be the razor cartridge refills, in which the customer pays for and expects the same product at every interval.
Customized & Curated Subscription
In this model, the product or services are customized to the customers’ preferences or brand recommendations for each delivery. These curated experiences are expected to be different at different intervals of the delivery. An example of this could be pre-cooked meals, which the customers expect to be different every time they receive a delivery.
Features and Challenges of the Subscription Model
Keeping your customers engaged and subscribed by meeting their expectations at every single delivery is a challenge that every subscription-based eCommerce business faces.
Delivering the subscription box on time is crucial for the brand as the customers are dependent on the expected delivery at a certain point in time. They are expecting the refill to fulfill their routine needs, therefore timely delivery is the most important feature of the subscription box business model.
Curated Subscription Boxes
If you are providing the customers with different products each time, you must be prepared to go the extra mile for each delivery. This type of subscription comes with a lot of challenges including kitting, bundling, and inventory management. Make sure to streamline your operations with the manufacturers as well as your 3PL fulfillment partner to provide them with extra lead time to handle this type of subscription.
Kitting is the process when you compile different sets of products in a single box and deliver them as one package. Your 3PL partner must ensure that they are assembling the subscription box according to the plan provided by you in advance.
You also need to closely watch your inventory, because a shortage of a single item in a curated box can cause bottlenecks and delay your entire order.
Providing a consistent experience is equally important in the subscription box business. The quality of the packaging also affects the quality of the whole experience for the end customers. Some products may require special packaging like air cushioning, thermal insulation, and foam fabrication.
You may even opt for eco-friendly packaging options, especially if being environmentally conscious is one of your eCommerce business’s core principles.
You must check the packaging options made available by your 3PL fulfillment partner and determine whether they fit according to the packaging needs of your product. If they do not, double check whether they can accommodate your custom packaging needs.
A memorable unboxing experience can put a smile on your customer’s faces when they receive their subscription box. Most 3PLs provide different layers of custom packaging options for the delivery boxes. Presentation and personalization are the cores of the subscription box business. At ShipBots, we provide multiple customization options for packaging and subscription boxes to create a delightful experience for your customers.
Brand Identity & Customer Loyalty
Consistent brand identity and quality experience can get you the loyalty of your customers for your subscription business. Customer satisfaction can provide you the opportunity to upsell and generate a more secure revenue.
Using a 3PL for Subscription Box Fulfillment
As your company scales and your number of subscribers grows, you must choose a fulfillment method that is both cost-effective and efficient. With growth, it becomes a necessity to partner with a company that specializes in subscription fulfillment.
Before choosing a fulfillment services center, you must consider the cost, warehouse locations, inventory management, custom packaging, eCommerce integration, and the logistics technology of your 3PL fulfillment partner.
How ShipBots Simplifies Subscription Box Fulfillment
ShipBot’s pick, pack, and ship services provide an excellent solution to all your subscription business needs. We already help hundreds of brands launch, manage, and successfully run their subscription box business. Our customers run a variety of subscription businesses, including:
- Meal kits and food boxes
- Beauty products
- Hygiene and maintenance
- Fashion products
- Sporting goods & more
We can handle custom and delicate packaging at our temperature-controlled warehouses across the country. With our state-of-the-art software technology, we empower you with insightful reports to take your business in the right direction. Your dashboard provides you with inventory management software so you can avoid the situations like stockouts in your subscriptions business. It also integrates with the major eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopify, eBay, WooCommerce, etc.
Get custom pricing today and learn how ShipBots can help you with your subscription box fulfillment.