4 Tech Solutions You Need To Start A Subscription Box Business

blog getting started tech tools Jun 24, 2023
4 Tech Solutions You Need To Start A Subscription Box Business

Discover the four tech solutions you’ll need to have in place in order to start your subscription box business.

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Starting a subscription box business is fun and exciting. You daydream about all the products you can include and spend hours designing a custom box and researching what your audience wants. 

The part that can paralyze non-tech entrepreneurs is figuring out how to make it all work on the back end.

Did you know I sat on my subscription box idea for over a year because I let the tech pieces stop me? 

I don't want the same thing to happen to you. 

 

 

You've probably done countless searches on what you need to start your subscription box business. And you’ve probably gotten a lot of different answers. It can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Today I’m walking you through the four tech solutions you need to start your subscription box business.

 

1. Website

Yes, you need a website. Sure, you can add a Paypal button to a Facebook post and start collecting payments, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you set up your subscription box this way.

You are building a sustainable business. That means making decisions that allow you to be in it for the long game. 

It's important to set it up right from the beginning because you are not able to transfer subscribers from one platform to the other without asking them to re-subscribe. You’ll risk losing subscribers when you do.

 

 

Inside Launch Your Box, we talk about three major website players in the subscription box industry: WordPress/Woocommerce, Shopify, and Subbly. All are great platforms and all handle subscriptions well. Take time to learn about the benefits and challenges of each before deciding which will work best for you and your subscription box business.

 

WooCommerce on WordPress

I use WordPress/WooCommerce for my subscription box because I love its ability to be customized. This is important to me because my Monogram Box™ has a LOT of variations - WooCommerce can handle them all. I can create lots of custom features for my boxes and set them up the way I want.

Read more about handling subscription box variations in this blog post.

The downside to Woocommerce is that it's harder to set up than a Shopify site. So you either need to be tech-savvy and watch a lot of YouTube videos or hire someone to set it up for you.

 

Shopify

What I love about Shopify is how easy it is to create a website. You can purchase a theme and then add apps to do almost anything you want. It is important to understand that every app comes with a monthly cost. The more apps you add, the more your website will cost each month.

 

Subbly

Subbly is a stand-alone platform specifically designed for subscription box businesses. It allows you to build your shop right on the Subbly platform. Subbly also allows you to set up your website and sell other products. Check out this blog post where I talk about my team’s experience setting up a Subbly website for our Framed! T-Shirt Club

Subbly is known in the industry for providing outstanding customer service. 

Read this blog post for more on choosing the website platform that is right for you and your business.

 

2. Payment Processing

If your subscription is on Woocommerce or Shopify, you need a way to create recurring payments. This way, your customer is automatically charged each month, and you don't have to ask for the sale every month.

 

 

Woocommerce Subscriptions Plugin

On Woocommerce, I use a plugin called Woocommerce Subscriptions. It connects with Stripe to process all my payments. In this instance, you will need to set up a Stripe account.

 

Bold, Recharge, or Paywhirl App

On Shopify, you currently need an app to run recurring payments. Shopify is working on a native solution. Until that happens, you’ll need one of these apps to connect to your Shopify store to make sure those payments run automatically.

Shopify’s payment processing apps include Bold, Recharge, and Paywhirl. Do your research and choose the one that best suits your needs.

If you choose Subbly, you will not need to add a separate payment processor. Subbly doesn’t require additional plug-ins or apps to perform all the functions needed to get your site up and running.

 

3. Shipping Software

Gone are the days of printing one label at a time. Yes, I used to do this. And yes, it was awful. Shipping was a nightmare for me for so long. And then I found ShipStation.

ShipStation is a program that will integrate with your website. You can connect almost any selling platform you have to it and house all your orders in one place. That includes Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Shopify, Subbly, and WooCommerce.

 

 

ShipStation allows you to create a "batch," select all your subscription box orders and print hundreds of labels in minutes. I have a Rollo printer that just spits them out and never needs ink!

4. Email CRM

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. An Email CRM is an email marketing system that allows you to build relationships and understand your customers better. Done right, it will also be an incredible source of sales for your business. 

An email CRM is a powerful tool for any e-commerce business and it’s one that you need right away...almost before you have your website finished. Building your email list needs to be a big part of your overall marketing strategy.

 

 

 

Choose an email CRM that will grow with your business. My favorite email marketing platform is Klaviyo. It's designed specifically for product sellers with automations, flows, and even has templates to make sending emails easy. Plus, data and analytics help you understand your customers' behavior better.

  

Know when to hire it out.

If you feel like setting up these four tech solutions in your business is going to stop you from making progress, don't let it. Tech doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It also doesn’t have to be something you do yourself. I didn’t. 

I'm a firm believer in staying in your lane and doing what you do best. I've hired every one of these things out with the exception of setting up ShipStation.

The amount of time you will spend on any of these tasks when you are not tech-savvy could shut you down and delay your launch. What might take you three hours or three days to do would take a tech person 30 minutes.

It's not worth your sanity or the stress it might cause you. Build tech support into your budget. Hire someone that will not only set these things up but will be able to provide ongoing tech support when you need them... Because you will ALWAYS need them.

 

 

Tech is not a one-and-done.

We are playing the long game with our Subscription Box Business. Part of building a sustainable business is investing in a long-term tech solution and getting help when you need it. This will prevent a lot of headaches later.

We talked about this Live on my Facebook page. There were a lot of good questions from viewers. Questions you probably have, too. Watch my 4 Tech Solutions Live HERE. While you are there, follow my page so you can join in next time!

 

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
  • One Box at a Time: Inside my book One Box at a Time, I show you the steps you need to follow to start and launch your subscription box. To turn your dream into reality. This book is filled with proven teachings, valuable resources, best practices, and action steps for you to take.

 

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Are you ready for Launch Your Box? Our complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. Join today!

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