Did you know that UK residents spend more than £2 billion on subscription services every year and the subscription box market is estimated to grow by 77% to be worth over £1 billion by 2022? 1
Subscriptions are an increasingly fast-growing way to buy products and it’s vital that businesses acquire and convert customers from their first order to avoid high churn rates and to accelerate growth and profit.
How do business’s convert customers to subscribe to their product?
The obvious answer is the quality of the product. However, in this guide we’re focusing on the packaging…. the look and feel of a subscription box matters almost as much as what’s inside. The packaging your product arrives in is your brands first impression with new subscribers and is one of the main ways to retain existing subscribers.
In a world where 72% of consumers consider packaging a vital part of their buying decision, you can no longer afford to ignore it. On top of that, 49% of shoppers are willing to spend more if the packaging is well done. 2
So, it’s important to get it right. Which is where this guide can help you deliver the ultimate unboxing experience…
Why do customers subscribe?
Firstly, its important a business understands why customers want to subscribe to their product. It could be down to one or both of the following reasons.
- Replenishment: the automation of commodity items.
- Curation: the surprise and delight of receiving ‘presents’ on a regular basis, such as beauty items and food.
In addition to the above reasons, customers subscribe as they want to feel special, feel part of something and have a great end-to-end personalised experience.
Choosing the right packaging
Choosing the right packaging can retain subscribers and take your products to the next level. It should fit your products comfortably, not too big, and not too small. You need to take in to account the type of product going in to your box, the weight and the size.
Corrugate is the most suited material to use for subscription items. A transit box is the most popular choice for the majority of products being shipped out as they are strong and versatile enough to contain varying volumes of products, as well as being easy to print inside and outside the box, so the box can be fully branded.
There are two main types of transit boxes to choose from; a slotted-type box or a folder-type box.
Slotted-type boxes (FEFCO 0201), which consist of basically one piece with a glued, stitched, or taped manufacturers joint and top and bottom flaps. They are shipped flat, ready to use and require closing using the flaps provided.
We worked with ASDA to create this fully branded flexographic 0201 slot-type Box.
Folder-type boxes (FECO 0426 and FEFCO 0427) and trays usually consist of only one piece of board. The bottom of the box is hinged to form two or all side walls and the cover. Locking tabs, handles, display panels etc. can be incorporated in some designs.
Printed mailing bag – plastic or paper
These are more suited to items such as clothing and small beauty products. It doesn’t offer the unboxing experience that a transit box would offer, however it is a more cost-effective option if you are shipping non-fragile items. They are lighter than traditional corrugated boxes and void fill, they also take up less space and reduce waste, saving you shipping costs in the process.
All three packaging options are completely customisable!
What the box looks like is almost as important as what’s inside. Focusing on an eye-catching, original design will grow more interest in your product and keep your subscribers coming back for more.
Use colours that represent your branding – this will bring instant recognition (and excitement) to your product(s) and in turn build trust and loyalty.
Here’s an example of a folder-type box we designed for Untamed to transport their subscription cat food. We love the colours on the box (inside and outside) – they really stand-out and compliment the Untamed branding and ethos.
There are a variety of different print methods that you can utilise to make your packaging stand out. Flexographic printing is the most popular method for printing onto corrugate transit boxes, accounting for almost 40% of packaging printing across the globe. More information on flexographic printing can be found here.
Another option is litho printing. This type of print tends to be compared to photographic print quality and is widely regarded as the highest quality print type on the market. Where digital and flexographic print is best suited to smaller quantities, the price of lithographic printing decreases significantly as quantities increase. Find out more about litho printing here.
Sarcina can help you decide on the best size box for your subscription products. We would take in to consideration; the size of the items being put in to the box, if they are fragile or not, the weight of the items and where they are being shipped. The box needs to look visually appealing but ultimately, if you’re ordering your packaging in volume (which you would be as a subscription based business) then the packaging needs to be efficient for shipping costs.
We provided this transit box for X2X Media for their Compact Drive Dock. The box required several inserts for each component to ensure the product arrived in perfect condition.
Transit Box Inserts
Protecting your product during transit using box inserts and dividers will not only improve the protective performance saving your business money by reducing breakages / returns, it will also improve the presentation of your product thus impressing your subscribers as they open their order, fostering a sense of brand loyalty.
Sarcina Packaging offers a range of different products including foam inserts, box inserts and dividers to help ensure that your products arrive to their destination without issue.
You can find out more about Foam and Dunnage here.
Think about a packaging design to suit your audience. For example, more and more people are becoming conscious about the impact packaging has on the environment. Corrugate is recyclable and causes minimal damage to the environment so why not use the appropriate symbols on your packaging? Corrugate boxes are also reusable so you could educate your customers on ways they could continue to use your packaging…
Tip: Unboxing YouTube videos are also in trend now so perhaps consider using influencers?
In a nutshell
- Chose the right type of packaging for your subscription products.
- Decide on the right box or bag size your products.
- Design your packaging; 3.1 Ensure your brand is represented efficiently, 3.2 Chose the right print method to compliment your design, 3.3 Decide if any protection or inserts / dividers are required.
- Show off your new packaging online and build the recognition of your brand.
Sarcina are here to help you with the journey to sourcing the right packaging for you, we’re available to help you with all your specific requirements. Please contact us for free advice – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01243 573 982.