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How to Start a Subscription Box Business

The cost of starting a subscription box business would vary depending on several factors. The amount it will cost to start a subscription box business depends on the type of subscription business you want to go into.

How much does it cost to start a subscription box business

First, what is a subscription box business? This is a type of e-commerce business where people subscribe for specific products to be delivered to their homes. Businesses package and deliver these specific products to customers on a recurring basis. 

These days, subscription box services are very common as people like it for the convenience since these products are delivered to their homes and mostly, they get these products at a cheaper rate compared to when they are buying directly from stores, malls, or even the company producing or manufacturing them.

What a subscription business does is to source for products both from popular and unknown brands, agree with the brands to sell the products to them at a cheaper rate, then they ship to their subscribers and by so doing make a profit.

In this article, we will look at the different types of subscription boxes, what the business entails, the cost of starting the business, profit potentials and how to start a subscription box business.

Different Types of Subscription Box Business You Can Start Today

There are different types of subscription box businesses; If you are going to start a subscription box business, you need to know what some of the best subscription box business ideas are to go into.

Beauty Product Box

The beauty product box business is one of the most successful box business types in the industry. Women and even men are always in need of cosmetic and makeup products month to month. 

There are numerous brands out there in this industry. Your job is to do your research, and source for products not just for well-known or popular brands but also for new and unknown brands. 

Note, that you need to make sure these products are good, have good product reviews, etc. before you buy and deliver to your customers. The ability of your business to thrive and even for you to retain customers would be largely based on this.

Beverage Subscription Box Business

Most people love the convenience of having items delivered to their homes without having to run to the grocery store every now and then. There are so many items that can be in a beverage box: milk, sugar, biscuits, chocolates, soft drinks, sweets, etc. These items are easy to source and are not too expensive either. If you can get a good customer base, you will make money from this business.

Food Subscription Boxes

You can also run a food subscription box business. This is where you source quality food items, package them in a box, and deliver them to customers. Food items could range from meat (raw or processed), to vegetables, etc. People eat every day and would, of course, always need these items, day in and day out.

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Coffee Subscription Boxes

Coffee lovers drink coffee a lot. Interestingly, they are also very particular about the type of coffee or the taste of it. If you are a coffee lover and can easily detect good coffee with good taste and a unique scent you can consider going into this business. 

What you can guarantee is that you will always have subscribers and make good money.

Clothing Subscription Boxes

The clothing subscription box business is a fast-growing business line in this industry. You can choose to niche down to curating clothing for your subscribers or going with different themes month to month. 

You will have different clothes in your box. The customer gets to pay for the clothes in the box that they would like to keep.

Vitamins/Supplement Subscription Boxes

People always take one vitamin/supplement or the other.  You can do your research to know the most common supplements people take. In addition to that, knowing the health issues people take supplements for will surely help. Find suppliers or brands to work with and start your business.

Wine Subscription Boxes

Another big player in this industry is the wine subscription box. People always love to have a wine collection in their homes that they can entertain themselves or their guests with. 

Wine subscription boxes also go with recommendations on what food can go with what wine. It’s also a good way to introduce a new wine or brand to the market. 

Having different wine collections delivered to their doorstep monthly is a luxury people readily pay for.

Pet Subscription Boxes

This industry gets to experience recurrent purchases repeatedly. Dog and cat lovers would always require food, medicine, and even toys for their pets. These days a lot of pet food brands use subscription box business to promote their products to the end consumer.

3 Types of Subscription Packages

Currently, we have 3 types of subscription boxes. The one you go into depends on the business type you are in. We have,

  1. The replenishing subscription: This model deals with supplying everyday products like food, beverages, pet food, etc. So, the business delivers the products on a month-to-month basis.
  2. Curating subscription: Here, the products that are delivered are based on customer preferences. The customers also get their products delivered recurringly. Companies use this subscription box business model to understand what the customer wants and target a specific customer base.
  3. Access subscription: This model mostly works for intangible products or service-based products. This is where customers subscribe to online video streaming, music sites, member sites, etc. Customers can pay weekly, monthly, or yearly subscriptions to gain and access and enjoy the services rendered by the business.

How to Start a Subscription Box Business

Let’s look at how you can get started on any of these e-commerce business ideas:.

1. Choose a Subscription Box Niche 

When choosing a niche, some things you want to consider include the cost of starting the business, the ease of sourcing the products, the profitability levels of the products, the cost of shipping, and your target audience.

2. Select the Right Platform to Host Your Business 

You can choose to go with established platforms like Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, etc. Alternatively, you can create your own website or online store. Bear in mind that you will be dealing with strong competition here. You can also pick a social media platform where your audience is most likely to be and start from there.

3. Design Your Online Store

You don’t want to leave your page boring. You want to make it look attractive in order to attract and keep customers. The user interface and user experience need to be top-notch.

4. List Your Products

List your products with descriptions, uses of the products, benefits of using the product and the appropriate price tags. Knowing how to optimize your product listing is a huge advantage.

5. Content Creation

You want to do your listing with pictures of the products. Pictures of happy customers with the products, videos of unboxing, unboxing experiences, etc. You can also tell stories about your products and even customer experiences when unboxing.

6. Launch and Start Marketing

Once your online store or website is launched and ready to serve the public, you will need to do aggressive marketing. Remember you are coming into a competitive market. So, think of what marketing strategies to deploy in your business and push aggressively. You need suppliers/manufacturers, but more importantly, you need retainer customers.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Subscription Box Business?

The cost of starting a subscription box business would vary depending on several factors. The amount it will cost to start a subscription box business depends on the type of subscription business you want to go into.

Generally, anything from $50 – $30,000 can successfully start you off in the business.

There are several things you must spend for; website building and hosting, marketing, and advertising costs, cost of acquiring inventory, software, and tools to promote your business, shipping costs, etc. Take a quick look at this article to learn how to reduce your shipping costs.

Of course, you can start from where you are with what you have. There is always room for growth.

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Are Subscription Box Businesses Profitable?

In 2021 only, the subscription box industry had a market value of about $26 Billion and is expected to have a CAGR of over 17% between 2021 and 2026. A report shows that an estimated 27% of online shoppers are subscribed to a box service.

As of the time of this write-up in 2023, the subscription box business is currently valued at about $31 Billion.

This is to tell you the industry is growing and by getting in now, you can maximize the growth potential of the industry.


This subscription box business is one of the fastest-growing industries to go into in 2023. If you are considering a new e-commerce business, think subscription box business. Follow the steps outlined in this article to get started.

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Okezi Eni is a highly sought-after community manager, SEO content writer and a contributor at EntrepreneurBusinessBlog.com. She covers the sales and business categories of our blog. You can connect with Eni via email, [email protected].


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