subscription box woman

Turning your Passion into Profits: 4 reasons you need to start a Subscription Box in 2018

February 8, 2018


This blog was contributed by Chrystie Vachon from our partner Cratejoy. Chrystie is the Community Manager at Cratejoy, an all-in-one SAAS platform for subscription boxes. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build successful and scalable businesses.

Imagine being able to make a living doing something you love? Imagine waking up each day and finding new and interesting ways to delight the people who are into the same things as you are. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, that’s just a day in the life of a subscription box entrepreneur. If you are looking for a new way to earn some money while doing what you love in 2018, read on.

While subscription box commerce is not a new concept, the subscription box economy is still in its infancy. Introduced in 2010, by the likes of Birchbox, subscription boxes websites have reached 21.1 million website visitors a month in 2017.

Typically, subscription boxes are catered to certain niches. There are boxes for baking, knitting, crafting, beauty, pets, and many more. The list goes on and on, but the point is that each of these boxes can co-exist without being in competition with each other because they are all serving a unique niche. Which means, there is room for you, to create a box and be successful in 2018.

Below, we’ll take a look at 4 compelling reasons you should start your own subscription box this year.

1. The subscription box business is booming

According to experts, the subscription box industry was a 5 billion dollar industry in 2014. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion of new subscription services. More than 2,000 subscription box services exist in the U.S., as of March of this year. In fact, visits to subscription box websites have grown by over 3,000% in the last three years. 3 years! This is largely due to the fact that consumers have fallen in love with the personalized experience and convenience that subscription boxes offer.

Wall Street is also taking subscription box businesses seriously as BarkBox, a monthly subscription box for dog owners, is rumored to be on the verge of an IPO or buyout. It’s also expected to generate over $250 million dollars in revenue in 2018. These numbers are proof that the subscription model is lucrative and here to stay.

2. Turn your passion into profits

Starting a subscription box is a great way to monetize the things that you are passionate about. We’ve seen people like Ella Ozery from Barbella take her love of CrossFit and turn it into a successful subscription box. We’ve also seen Maureen Vazquez from Pipsticks who took her love of quirky stickers and turned it into a subscription box empire.

Both of these women have been able to turn their hobby and turn it into a full-time lucrative career. Now I don’t know about you, but being able to leave a boring 9-5 to run a subscription box business in a niche that I love is pretty compelling.

3. You don’t need a bunch of cash

What if I told you, you could start a subscription box for under $500? Unlike most businesses, subscription boxes do not require a large amount of capital to start. Yes, some people use Kickstarter or raise venture capital money to get started, but the majority of subscription box entrepreneurs bootstrap their businesses. In fact, many subscription box merchants have been able to launch with just a few hundred dollars. At the very least, you’ll need a website, design collateral and money to run a few ads, but other than that, you can use a pre-sale campaign to fund your first box.

Many box merchants get the funds for their first box, by running a pre-sale campaign. A pre-sale campaign consists of creating a website and taking orders before you have the product. Then, using the money from the pre-sale orders to go out and buy the products to put in the box. Doing a pre-sale campaign allows you to control the number of subscribers you have and keep your costs down as you begin your business.

4. It’s easy to start a subscription box

Believe it or not, starting a subscription box of your own is not nearly as hard as you may think. A great idea, niche products, and a little marketing knowledge can go a long way when launching a subscription business.

You can use an all-in-one subscription box software platform like Cratejoy to set up a website for your box. Cratejoy handles all of the design of your site (you don’t even need to know how to code!), as well as the orders, billing, and shipping. All you have to do is curate the products for your box and you are well on your way.

Now that we’ve convinced you to start your own subscription box this year, leave a comment below and let us know what ideas what kind of box that you’d like to start.

Still interested in learning more? Join ShipStation & Cratejoy on February 21st in Austin for an evening of conversation with a panel of subscription box merchants and industry professionals on getting started and building your subscription business for 2018 and beyond. Click below to reserve your spot!

shipstation cratejoy meetup