5 Design Considerations That Make Subscription Boxes Successful

Subscription boxes make people feel special. Even before the recipient opens their new package, they begin anticipating what’s inside. If you’ve ever watched someone open a subscription box, or opened one yourself, you know the process is savored from start to finish.

Every time your customer gets a subscription box delivered to their door, they should feel like they are getting a beautiful gift. Whether they ordered it themselves or it’s from someone else, it needs to be new and exciting.

That excitement should extend beyond the contents of the box to the unboxing experiencing, the packaging components themselves, and the exterior packaging. These 5 considerations will set make your subscription box packaging stand out from competitors and entice buyers.

Make the Box Design Creative

Because subscription box packaging isn’t on a retail shelf, you don’t have to integrate a description or image of what’s inside into the design. This offers a great deal of flexibility and an opportunity for branding and creativity. The outside of the box offers the company a chance to invite anticipation as soon as the customer sees the package on their doorstep or in their mailbox.

Of course, there are some subscription boxes with more sensitive content that customers may not want to broadcast to their mail carriers and neighbors. In that case, choosing a high-quality outer shipping box in one or two colors reflect the company’s branding can signal to the customer that their subscription has arrived while maintaining privacy.

Use the Same Sized Box Each Month

Keeping the box size consistent from month to month is one-way subscription companies can control costs. It helps to have a plan for the size and shape of products you may offer in future boxes, of course. While it may not be possible for a subscription box company just starting out to predict the size of their ideal box for the next 12 months, if the products are consistent, it can help cut the cost of the boxes.

Consider the Unboxing Experience

The contents of the subscription box differ with each monthly shipment, so the outside branding should be consistent. The inside of the box should be part of the experience and not an afterthought.

For young people, the packaging is integral to the experience, as opposed to simply serving as protection for the items. For millennials especially, the unboxing process is valuable, and that includes the box’s interior and exterior. The box can serve a dual purpose and double as promotional material if your younger subscribers broadcast their unboxing experience on their social media feeds. Including your branded hashtags in or on your packaging can encourage this and connect followers directly to your campaign.

A company called Soapy Soap serves as a great example. Their box design is used to delight their customers. They include secret messages in the packaging that can only be revealed when their customers open and flatten the shipping box. Part of the fun of each month’s shipment is the unboxing.

Choose a Box That Can Withstand Shipping

Choosing an outer box that’s rigid enough to withstand the stress of the shipping process is crucial. Unlike boxes headed for a retail environment that is packaged on a pallet, delivered as one large unit to a store, and unloaded by hand onto shelves, subscription boxes are handled individually by multiple entities.

Whether you use USPS, FedEx, UPS, or another shipper, you need to choose your box materials, size and shape carefully so that it protects the items inside. It’s also important to think about whether the box you use accommodates the items comfortably. They should fit inside with enough room around them to add packing material for extra protection, but not so much room that they’ll get jostled around too much during the shipping process.

Think About Security

Keeping the outer box plain can increase security. For high-value items like jewelry or subscriptions that customers may want to keep private, a plain, high-quality outer shipping box is ideal. Theft is a real concern that consumers face when they ship things to their home.

When it’s not appropriate to use branding on the outside of the box, the inside becomes even more important. Use graphics that invoke a sense of fun, to make the subscriber feel like they are opening a present. It’s important to create a sense of anticipation that starts when the package lands at the subscriber’s door.

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