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Explore profitable subscription box niches such as clothing and food. Learn how Smart Warehousing can help your subscription business succeed.
Smart WarehousingAug 21, 2023 4:43:00 PM4 min read

Seven Types of Subscription Boxes

Are you familiar with companies like Stitchfix, Blue Apron, Birchbox, Loot Crate, Hello Fresh, or Crate Joy? Perhaps you’ve even received a box from one of them as a gift from a friend or through your very own subscription. If so, you’ve likely experienced the benefits of receiving one of the many types of subscription boxes firsthand.

But if you’re unfamiliar with subscription boxes, you’re missing out on a lucrative and popular business model for ecommerce companies. A subscription box is a product kitting service that regularly sends curated items together, typically in branded packaging, for a recurring subscription fee. Often, these boxes are centered on a certain theme or industry (more on that later)

Different types of subscription boxes will give unique advantages to the company that offers them, yet there are general benefits ecommerce companies can experience regardless of type. Companies can creatively repackage dead stock items into subscription boxes, earning income on inventory they may not have sold otherwise. In addition, subscription boxes also provide predictable, recurring revenue for ecommerce businesses, and these same businesses can more accurately forecast demand due to the repetitive nature of the subscription box model. 


Seven Types of Subscription Boxes to Consider

As you consider starting a subscription box at your company, it’s important to choose a profitable niche or industry that resonates with your customer base. But which is best? Let’s take a look at some common types of subscription boxes so you can determine what types work well for your business needs and goals. 


Coffee Subscription Boxes

If you’re in the food and beverage industry, one type of subscription box you may want to explore is the coffee subscription box. As coffee is consumed daily (and several times a day for avid coffee drinkers), it’s a predictable, recurring need, which is ideal for a subscription box concept. Plus, coffee aficionados are willing to pay more for specialty coffee, making this box type potentially lucrative. And you can add coffee-related elements too, like fancy mugs, for a box upgrade.


Pet Subscription Boxes

As pets typically have regular needs, savvy ecommerce companies can appeal to pet owners with the types of subscription boxes that provide quality products conveniently shipped to their homes. In fact, one of the more popular subscription boxes today is BarkBox, which focuses on supplying dog products with chews, toys, and treats. The “pet parent” market can be a lucrative one too. In 2022, Americans spent $136.8 billion on their pets! That’s up 10.68% from 2021 ($123.6 billion).


Beauty Subscription Boxes

Beauty subscription boxes provide a wide variety of beauty and skincare products to consumers, from makeup and creams to masks, fragrances, hair products, and more. Depending on the company, some boxes will include products from a single brand, while others will be a curated assortment of items from various suppliers in full-size or sample-size offerings.


Clothing Subscription Boxes

In a world of endless fashions and trends, clothing is becoming an increasingly popular type of subscription box. Clothing boxes can provide a variety of clothing items and accessories, or specific items generated for the customer by a professional stylist. In this subscription box model, customers often pay for the clothes they want and return the rest, in addition to their monthly subscription fee. 


Food Subscription Boxes

Snacks, meats, frozen foods, you name it. All kinds of foods are offered in subscription boxes today. Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have made a name for themselves thanks to their meal kits delivered directly to their customers. For this type of subscription box, it’s key to partner with a logistics provider that excels at perishable goods fulfillment.


Books & Media Subscription Boxes

Books and other media are also a popular type of subscription box. From curated “book club” selections by new authors to literature-themed gifts, collectibles, and exclusive items, these boxes can have devoted fan bases. 


Wine Subscription Boxes

Monthly wine clubs have become a common type of subscription box that provides a selection of specific wines based on the customer’s tastes. These subscription boxes also allow ecommerce companies to upsell additional products, from food pairings to wine accessories and storage options. 


Starting a Subscription Box? Get Your Logistics Right

Considering the numerous types of subscription boxes today, it’s fair to say that the subscription box business model could be an excellent option for most product-based companies looking to grow. But in order to build a thriving subscription box business, you need to partner with a third-party logistics provider that can keep up with your increasing demand.

At Smart Warehousing, we provide the trusted, comprehensive supply chain and logistics solutions you need to scale your business. From warehousing and fulfillment to custom packaging and transportation, we make your subscription box goals possible. Contact us today to learn more.