The subscription box industry is booming these days, and many people think that it is a fun way to shop from home. People love their pets and love getting new and fun things for them, so a pet subscription box is a great idea! Whether you already own a pet eCommerce company and are thinking about adding a subscription box to your offerings or you are planning on starting a new company, here is your complete guide to getting it started.
Why start a pet subscription box company?
The subscription box industry is currently worth over $20 billion, and it keeps growing. There are subscription boxes in pretty much every niche at this point, from makeup to clothes to fresh fruit and vegetables to pet toys and supplies. Customers can completely customize everything, and they love receiving personalized boxes in a niche they love every month. They do not get to select exactly what products they get, but the mystery is part of the appeal; it is like getting a little mystery gift from yourself every month.
How to Start a Pet Subscription Box Company
Whether you are starting a new subscription box company or you have an established company, it is relatively easy to start a subscription box.
You will need to spend time planning and thinking about logistics, but once you are able to get everything going, it is easy for you to maintain. One of the best things about subscription boxes is that it is done virtually, so you just need a warehouse to gather products, assemble the boxes, and get them distributed. Let's take a look at the steps needed to start your pet subscription box company.
Step 1: Determine Your Niche
You know you are starting a subscription box for pets, but there are still quite a few niches for you to choose from. What area are you the most passionate about? If you already have a pet supplies business and are planning on expanding that with the subscription box, think about what makes your business unique and how that can help you determine some of the ideas for your subscription box.
If you are having a hard time, you can spend some time looking into the competition to see what they are doing. You can also use this research to look for gaps in what your competition is missing. This can help you find ways to set yourself apart from the competition.
Some of the niches for pet supply boxes include:
- By the size of dog
- By the age of dog
- Tough chewers
- Treat types
- Specialty food
- Leashes and collars
- Specialty food
- Scratching posts
- Litter box scoops
Small Animals: toys or treats for small animals like hamsters and lizards
Pet parent boxes
- Include some fun things for pet parents, like tumblers, t-shirts, keychains, magnets, and more in your box. Including goodies for the humans, in addition to the pets, may help you stand out.
Step 2: Conduct Competitor Research
Pet subscription boxes are popular these days, so there is a lot of competition out there, so you need to spend some time researching your prospective competitors. A great way to conduct your competitor research is by checking out Cratejoy; it serves as a marketplace for subscription boxes, so you can find a lot of them there.
While looking at what your competitors offer, answer each of these questions:
- What are the pricing tiers of each box?
- How many boxes will be your direct competition?
- What does each box come with?
- How can you make your box stand out against your competitors?
Step 3: Select Partners for Your Pet Subscription Box Products
If you have an existing business that you are expanding with your subscription box, you can reach out to your existing suppliers to see if they would be interested in working with you for your subscription box.
If you are starting your subscription box from scratch, you need to begin looking into suppliers to partner with. This will help you when it comes to assembling your boxes.
Step 4: Assemble a Prototype Box
Once you find companies to partner with, you can begin assembling your prototype box. The prototype will give you images you can use to promote your box online. Pick out the products you want to have in your first box or something similar to what you will be using.
Step 4.5: The Box
Part of the reason you need your prototype is so that you know what size of boxes you will need. You need one that is the perfect size to hold everything and prevent items from getting rattled around. The cardboard also needs to be high quality. You will need to have your branding on the boxes so they stand out to your customers. The box itself can be free advertising for you, so you want it to look good.
Step 5: Find a Warehouse to Assemble and Distribute the Box
You need somewhere to store all of the products you need for your subscription box and distribute everything. While you can buy or rent an existing warehouse for this, it is much more beneficial for you to build a custom steel warehouse for your company. By getting a warehouse custom built, you can make sure it will be designed so that it will meet your needs.
Step 6: Price Your Box
You want to make sure that your pet subscription boxes are affordable for your target market but that you will still make money off of them. You want to aim for a 40 percent profit margin on your boxes so that you can keep your company going. Some things to consider when determining your prices are:
- Cost of products
- Cost of the box and packaging material
- Costs of shipping
- Transaction fees
- Marketing costs
Once you finish determining your costs, try to make your box pricing on par with your competitors. If you have an idea that might make your box a little more expensive, you can always save it until your box has gained traction and you have more customers.
Step 7: Get Your Online Presence Set Up
Since the subscription box is done online, your advertising is going to be mostly online. You will need to set up your pet subscription box company on social media and make a stellar website. You will need to get your engagement going and market yourself to the target audience. It might be a good idea to consider working with a digital marketing agency for this since they have the right expertise to help you get your products in front of your customers.
You can also consider working with influencers who will review your boxes and possibly give you unboxing videos.
Step 8: Start Selling
You can now start selling your pet subscription boxes. Enjoy getting everything started and launching your new company.
About the Author
Auz Burger is a freelance writer and an expert in steel buildings. She has a BA from Washington
State University and has been writing and editing professionally for over a