Resource Guide and FAQ for E-Commerce and Subscription Box Programs
It is a very exciting time when contemplating creating your own internet business but it can also be an extremely stressful time because there is much more involved than it appears. When we launched our first e-commerce web site in 2008, we suddenly realized how much we did not know, and the importance of learning it all quickly to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.
We have enjoyed working with the subscription box market for several years and have assisted over forty different companies from concept to successful launch. They ship everything from healthy snacks to DIY jewelry designs and we are proud to say our customers stand out in an ever increasingly crowded e-commerce field.
Over the years we have noticed that many of our customers had the same questions and concerns as they tried to build their business from scratch. At the same time, we have also made numerous contacts with other companies who like us, work with e-commerce and subscription box clients, so collecting and sharing these marvelous resources with our friends and customers just seems like the right thing to do.
Here are a few of the most common questions we have been asked:
How can I create a subscription box web site that is effective for our customers and for us?
Very few of our customers have the luxury of operating in an exclusive market with no competition so the key becomes getting found within the thousands of results in a typical Google search. Having a web site that is both attractive and intuitive is only the beginning since the typical site also has to be capable of handling initial credit card payments, repeat billing, order processing, inventory control and follow up. Beyond basic analytics, as the business grows, processing and understanding the volumes of information gathered is important to maintain growth and to identify lost and non-repeat customers. For those seeking expert help, we recommend www.CrateJoy.com because they can save you precious time, money and help to accelerate your success.
Many of our largest customers began their businesses in their basement, garage or even kitchen table. What happens when your volume exceeds your ability to satisfy your customers or subscribers orders effectively? Some will seek a facility and employ people, but many will choose to focus their personal efforts on sales and marketing while utilizing a 3rd party logistics, contract packager or fulfillment house to satisfy their customers’ orders. A couple of very good companies to consider are:
www.shipstation.com a terrific company able to handle just about any type of product and requirement. They also recently wrote a blog post and included us for some expert input on custom printed, branded packaging. You can read that post here: http://www.shipstation.com/blog/handling-your-business/consider-branded-shipping-box/#vanilla-comments
www.IDcomlog.com has a brochure dedicated to subscription programs which you can see here: http://idcomlog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014_ID_SubscriptionBox.pdf They provide a variety of packaging services at their centrally located, suburban Chicago facility, saving their coast to coast clients valuable time and shipping costs. We also serve as a reference since they do the fulfillment for our own e-commerce green packaging store www.GlobeGuardProducts.com.
How can I reduce my postage and shipping costs?
When many subscription companies receive the products they are shipping at greatly reduced costs or even for free, most are surprised to find that shipping costs are their single greatest expense.
The guys behind this company helped write the book on subscription programs with two successful programs launched in three years on their resume’. What they discovered and you will too, is that postage can really eat into your profits, so they created www.postagepirate.com Don’t let the humorous, clever web site fool you. Postage cost is a serious problem and the people at Postage Pirate know how to help you minimize it.
Can I afford custom printed or branded packaging?
With increased competition, I usually tell people they cannot afford to use plain, unprinted boxes, especially when the additional cost is so minimal. In most cases, your packaging is the first tangible contact you have with your customer so making that great first impression and creating brand recognition is important.
We are becoming one of the fastest growing companies in the country of plain and custom printed die cut mailer boxes, mailer envelopes and interior packaging. Check out the following link and you may also find the related posts listed below helpful.
This may not be a step by step guide but I can assure you we have covered most of the key issues you will encounter, possibly saving you hours of research time as well as money. Perhaps more importantly, these companies are good people who understand what you need to do to be successful. It may be your first time, but I assure you it is not ours. Please feel free to contact these companies directly and for packaging advice, and guidance contact Salazar Packaging.