eCommerce Cultivated | Episode 010

Growing Your Retail Brand With Subscription Boxes

Have you thought about adding subscription boxes to your eCommerce brand? We’re diving into some of the benefits of why subscription boxes are a great option to add to your online store.

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Resources & links mentioned


Hi everyone! Welcome back to Brand Cultivated! I’m excited to share with you some information about subscription boxes for your online shop.

If you aren’t subscribed to our VIP Insider’s newsletter, then you missed last week’s news about subscription boxes. I highly recommend you go and subscribe using the link in the show notes so that you don’t miss out on exclusive strategies and news.

In today’s episode I want to go into a bit more detail about the massive benefits of having a subscription box program.

As you know I am here to help you make more money and I think a subscription box program is a great way to add extra revenue to your eCommerce brand.

While you’re selling your products online you can cultivate a community by introducing a subscription box program.

Typically you’d create some sort of curated box of goodies that people who are subscribed to will receive each month. These goodies are pulled together by you and can have some fun elements such as:

  • Seasonal boxes (Fall, Winter, etc.)
  • New products (pick a new item to include so you can get feedback)
  • Etc.

You can really play around with these boxes and even pull in other vendors to support.

Some examples of subscription boxes I’ve been part of in the past are:

  • Beauty boxes (included various makeup and skincare products)
  • Pen box (where I received exclusive pens – great for planner nerds)
  • Nailpolish boxes (I would get 6 colors of polish per month)

Honestly, you could create a subscription box out of almost anything. In fact, I just discovered that The Sill, an online plant company.

Offers a monthly subscription box for plants! I almost dropped the phone when I saw that!

As a self-proclaimed, plant lady my wallet was ready to crack open and sign up!

Which leads me to this point, people are excited to subscribe to a quote on quote gift box or aka subscription box.

Each month or quarter however you choose to do it people receive this gift that feels like its uniquely curated just for them.

So what if you think this is something you’d want to try? Ask your community, get on Instagram stories and/or email your newsletter. Ask them would they be interested in purchasing a curated box of goodies you pull together per month. Give them an idea of what would be included. Turn it into a poll and see what type of feedback you’d received.

Now let’s discuss some important components of creating a subscription box.

Choosing a business model for your subscription boxes

When it comes to subscription models there is flexibility. You can have a monthly subscription, quarterly subscription, etc. It all depends on what you think is best for your audience.

You can even decide to offer tiers where you have an entry-level, mid-range, and premium subscription for subscribers to choose from. That way you are helping everyone at various levels enjoy your products.

Figuring out what to include in your box

You may be wondering what to include in your curated box. There are a lot of ideas but here are some.

A Shop Favorite

If you know your customers tend to love a certain product from your shop. Include it as a way to build their interest in signing up. Plus if a lot of people are enjoying the product you can almost guess new people will love it as well.

A New Item That Your Launching

Have a new collection arriving and you want to gain some excitement? Then take one piece from your collection and include it in the box. Make that one piece be that teaser for your upcoming collection. Plus by including it in your box your subscribers will feel like they are exclusive to new arrivals. Which they are!

Other Vendors

Maybe you have other vendors that you’d like to collaborate with and make a specialty box. Why not curate something special! That way you both can market the box to both of your audiences and cross-promote. Plus it introduces each audience to a new brand and experience!

Marketing your subscription boxes

Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. You have to get the word out about your subscription box. So I don’t want to leave you hanging, here are some ideas to help you promote your box.

Share sneak peeks on Instagram stories

Grab your best lighting some props if needed and your phone. It’s time to get social and tease the heck out of people.

Create polls and ask questions that pertain to the box and why people should be excited. Get creative and share, now you don’t have to share all the goodies.

In fact, I encourage you not to, you want to a leave most of it a surprise. Remember this a special gift for those that sign up. We don’t want to give away all of the surprises.

Feature those receiving their boxes in your stories

Once your boxes have started to arrive to people. Encourage them to get on Instagram with a special hashtag. Then reshare how excited they are to receive their box.

Nothing competes like others shouting your praises. After you’ve shared a few unboxings, drop the link of where people can sign up. At this point people are interested and ready.

You always want to include a call to action after sharing your products. Give people the visual queues to take the next steps.

Tell your newsletter community

Don’t forget the people that signed up to stay in the loop. Your newsletter people want to know as well. So yep, you guessed it, send them some sneak peeks. Maybe pull together a fun little gif with a surprise note!

Then share some great encouraging copy and link them directly to where to sign up.

Subscription Box Model Logistics and Other Insights

Pricing your subscription boxes

Just like other products you are selling you’ll want to know your cost of production and profit margins. So that you can come up with a profitable price that customers will subscribe to and not flinch at when the money is leaving their bank account.

You may be thinking that you’d like to have a subscription box model part of your business but what apps do I need?

Subscription Apps for Shopify

  • ReCharge
  • Bold Subscription

Subscription Apps for WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce Subscriptions

Another alternative is to add Cratejoy to your Shopify store as another option.

Packaging for your subscription boxes

The way you package your subscription box is just as important as what’s inside. You’ll want to pay close attention to how your curated box will be packaged. Remember it should match your brand and be designed to help customers feel special.

You can work with your existing packaging vendor or source a new one that will help you stay on brand.

Whatever you decide make sure you pay attention to the packaging of your subscription boxes. People will have these displayed in their homes and sending them as gifts so don’t skimp on costs here.

Establishing clear terms for your subscription boxes

Make sure the terms and conditions of your subscription box are clear. Be sure that it is clear to customers how they can cancel. If exchanges are allowed and other commonly asked questions. So they can make a purchasing decision while on your website without having to reach out to support.

Alright, so we covered quite a bit be sure to go back and take notes where needed. Overall, adding a subscription box to your business is a great way to established recurring revenue. Which adds to your overall profit.

Hopefully, you found today’s episode helpful. I’m curious to know are you going to be adding a subscription box to your brand this year? If so hit me up on Instagram at The May Creative I’d love to know.

Alright cultivators chat with you next time!

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Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help modern luxury brand owners craft elevated eCommerce experiences on Shopify & Klaviyo. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the episodes below or dive into some insightful eCommerce articles.


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