4 Tech Solutions You Need To Start A Subscription Box BusinessJan 31, 2021
Starting a subscription box business can be fun and exciting. You daydream about all the products you can include, spend hours designing the custom box, and spend time researching what your audience wants. The part that paralyzes most non-tech entrepreneurs is figuring 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. There are so many suggestions it will make your head spin. I've put together the 4 tech solutions you need to start your subscription box business.
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.
We are 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 them re-subscribing.
The 2 major website players in the subscription box industry are WordPress/Woocommerce and Shopify. I love both of these platforms for different reasons.
WooCommerce on WordPress
I use WordPress/Woocommerce for my subscription box because I love its ability to be customized. I can create lots of custom features for my boxes and set them up the way I want.
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 set up a Shopify site.
What I love about Shopify is how easy it is to create a website. You can purchase a theme and then add apps in to do almost anything you want. Just note, every app has a monthly cost. The more apps, the more your website will cost each month.
2. Payment Processing
Whether you are on Woo 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. They are working on a solution native to Shopify checkout, but at the moment, you need one of these apps to connect to your Shopify store to make sure those payments run automatically.
These apps are Bold, Recharge, or Paywhirl. Many of my Launch Your Box members are using these. Just do your research and find the one that best suits your needs.
3. Shipping Software
Gone are the days of printing one label at a time. I'm not even joking when I tell you I used to do this. It was awful. Shipping was a nightmare for me for so long until I had 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. I'm talking Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Shopify, and Woocommerce.
The best part is you can 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!
What does that even mean? Customer Relationship Management. Ok, but still, what does that mean??
It's an email marketing system that allows you to build relationships and understand your customers better.
It's a powerful tool in the e-commerce space and one that you need right away...almost before you even have your website finished.
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.
"Don't Let Tech Be A 4 Letter Word"
If you've just read these 4 things and think there is no way you can do this on your own, don'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 will shut you down and delay your launch. What you can do in 3 hours would take a tech person 30 minutes.
It's not worth your sanity or the stress it might cause you. Build it 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.
Remember, we are playing the long game with our Subscription Box Business. Investing in a long-term tech solution will prevent a lot of headache later.
Can you even imagine trying to move my 2700 subscribers to a new platform and asking them to all sign up again. It ain't happening!
I also wouldn't have told you that I would ever have that many subscribers anyway. I started with 44.
Dream big, don't limit yourself. Stay in your lane and let the professionals handle this for you if it's not your thing.
We talked about this Live on my Facebook page. There were a lot of good questions you might want to hear the answers to! Watch my 4 Tech Solutions Live HERE. While you are there, follow my page so you can join in next time!
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