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3 Steps to Perfect Packaging for Subscription Business

No Comments    |    , , ,     |    June 1, 2022    |    Reading time 6 minutes
Subscription packaging box

Your guide to choosing the right packaging for your subscription box business.

A quirky, rapidly growing trend a few years back, subscription boxes today are a well established, tried and tested means of getting products successfully and regularly into the hands of online consumers.

In our modern world, choice is everywhere and consumers have demonstrated that too much puts them off, because, being overwhelmed by choice often means not being able to make a choice at all. On the other hand, receiving a subscription box means somebody else has already done the hard work for you and in doing so, demonstrated (hopefully) that they understand the unique you and all your individual whims. Subscription boxes that habitually give customers exactly what they never knew they always wanted have many thousands of loyal followers and, deservedly so. But not only must these boxes be carefully curated, they also need to deliver the perfect products directly to a customer’s door speedily, securely and for a reasonable cost with anticipation and surprise thrown in for free.

Table of Contents

Subscription boxes fall into three categories.

The most popular are those that are personalised and tap into niche markets. Businesses offering these pride themselves on delighting their consumer bases with highly tailored, specific items or experiences. Pickle tasting, for example, or vintage pencil collecting or a month’s supply of artisan coffee beans or even – we kid you not – items for surviving a zombie apocalypse. And just in case that zombie invasion is still some way off, the second type of subscription box is the kind that offers mundane convenience, delivering items that regularly need to be replenished like deodorant or toilet paper. Thirdly, there’s the subscription box offering access to items that might not yet be on the ‘open’ market. This type of box trades on exclusivity as much as it does its products, promising subscribers sneak previews, lower prices and members-only perks.

Coffee Subscription box design with bespoke printed tape
Coffee Subscription Box, using branded reinforced gummed packing tape and standard 0201 cardboard box

But it’s not just about what your subscription boxes can offer your customers, it’s also about what they can do for you. Successfully providing reliable customers with highly personalised products after first surveying or quizzing them means that your business has a guaranteed way of learning about consumer preferences and requirements. This information becomes even more meaningful through subsequent feedback and repeat custom. It’s a two way street: thanks to subscription boxes, savvy businesses attain a sure-fire way of being able to improve their marketing strategies for all potential customers by being able to pinpoint exactly what’s important to the loyal ones they already have.

Whatever the type of subscription box and corresponding marketing strategy, a multitude of companies these days use them successfully as a means of providing an alternative way of selling existing products to an ever-expanding number of customers. And with the domination of the Internet and on-going advances in technology, the direct-to-consumer model continues to be one of the principal ways forward. However, retailers know they can’t rest on their laurels; they must continue to strive to anticipate the needs of their customers.

As a recent study in the US has shown, consumers are fickle; they’re swift to click on the unsubscribe option if they don’t witness obvious and tangible benefits, including cost savings, a personalised element and of course, that hard-to-beat convenience. Businesses looking to survive and thrive in the subscription box market must continue to meet – and exceed – expectations. Products and packaging have to be high-end and delivery must also be seamless.

Fashion subscription box
Fashion subscription box, in a standard minimalist white postal box with typographic logo print to outer lid.

And that’s where The Packaging Club comes in. Whether a customer is receiving a subscription box for inspiration or simply to restock, the important word for us in all this is ‘box’. There are four fundamentals to consider when choosing packaging for your subscription box business: customisation (including the unboxing experience), ease of packaging, security and delivery.

One of the products that meets these requirements – and then some – is FlyPak, a truly unique sustainable ecommerce box which has been specifically developed to address large internet retailers’ most common packaging pain points, eliminating these niggling headaches once and for all. It must be stressed, that it’s not the only option on the market, but to understand how FlyPak can work for your business, or why another option might be a better fit, let’s take a look at our four fundamentals in closer detail.

1- Bespoke Postal Packaging & The Unboxing Experience

FlyPak can be fully customised both externally and internally and The Packaging Club does this with environmentally friendly water and plant-based inks, chosen to complement the sustainability of the box itself. And if that sounds like an expensive option, think again.

Customisation can be achieved on a budget; FlyPak has been specifically designed to enable printing on one side only so artwork can be displayed under the lid as the box is opened meaning it’s still the perfect option for that all important memorable brand-reveal and dynamic unboxing experience.

FlyPak e-commerce packaging unique beautiful unboxing experience

One way a business demonstrates to its customers belief in their services is through bespoke packaging and its customisation. Thoughtful personalisation of the products inside a subscription box will earn a business loyalty; great packaging will earn admiration and increased respect, as well as social engagement. It’s one important way of demonstrating to your client base just how much you believe in the value of your product and how you’re prepared to go that extra mile when it comes to fulfilling their expectations.

Which would you rather receive? A present beautifully wrapped with paper and a ribbon or one that has just been left in a plastic bag.

2 - You need fast packaging that's secure

FlyPak ecommerce postal packaging with built in retention system.
FlyPak printed in single colour.

Once customised, FlyPak needs to be assembled. Far less labour intensive to put together than a traditional cardboard boxes, as a result of its rapid pop-up construction and its fast-peel integrated tape. FlyPak’s retention wings also eradicate the need for void-fill having been custom designed to fold over in order to securely hold any product - whatever its size or shape - securely in place.

Even better, these retention wings, combined with the tamper-evident tabs and solid base, signify a far safer and more secure method of shipment and delivery. This in turn translates to a reduction in returns arising from damage or theft.

That's peace of mind achieved in one swift fold of cardboard for businesses and customers alike.

3 - You need Packaging Designed to Improve the Delivery Experience

Products that require a FlyPak box aren’t the type that can or should be pushed through a letterbox; far better that these items are safe and secure in transit and delivered into your hands undamaged and exactly as they were when they left the warehouse.

However, if you’re running a business providing letterbox sized subscriptions (magazines, coffee, books etc.) then instead of the FlyPak, you’ll want to consider the trusty postal wrap (AKA book wrap mailer) or even an amazon style cardboard envelope, which fits through a standard UK letterbox without needing to be squashed, folded or forced.

As amazing as the FlyPak is – don’t let the new kid on the block deter you from making the right packaging choice for your products. Your customers and your business will thank you for your forethought.

When it comes to subscription boxes, it always pays to weigh up the pros and cons of packaging in the short term to decide which is best suited for your business and your customers in the long run.

Traditionally, ecommerce packaging has always been more expensive, but FlyPak proves that this is no longer always the case; simple to produce and able to be supplied consistently, it actually costs far less to purchase than you might think with zero compromise on sustainability, function or aesthetics.

If you want to talk about FlyPak, an option manufactured right here in the UK, then contact The Packaging Club. Likewise, if you want to talk about any of our other sustainable packaging options, then just give us a call.

If you want to discuss which type of coffee might suit your particular taste buds or how to go about surviving a zombie apocalypse with nothing but a monthly pickle subscription, we’re here for you as well!

This article was written by...

Jo Hilton

I studied at the University of St. Andrews and have an MA in French and German. For a number of years, I worked for a Swiss financial institution and lived in Hamburg, London, Zürich and NYC before retraining as a primary school teacher and settling with my family in Cambridgeshire. When I'm not at school, I write content for various blogs and edit academic research articles for clients at ETH Zürich and the University of Munich. I'm also in the process of completing a Masters in Crime and Thriller writing at the University of Cambridge, so behind me you'll find a trail of fictional dead bodies and actual biscuit wrappers.

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