The Best Subscription Box Ideas for now and the future

Literature

Food

Clothing

Personal
Grooming

Health & Fitness

Healthy Snacks

Pets

Kids

Razors & Shaving

Women’s
Hygiene

Adult Products & Sex Toys

Thousands of Subbly customers use our platform each day to power their subscription boxes. They are all different. They all have their own quirks and requirements. No two are the same.

But we can categorize them into a few distinct areas. We’ve written a comprehensive guide to starting your own subscription box which covers this area already, but here’s the TL;DR version for you.

Before looking at the list below, know this...

Passion makes it easier

We’ve noticed that if you’re passionate about something, you’ll actually want to do it, and you’ll tend to do a much better job of it in the long term. Think about some of your passions. What would you personally want to receive in the mail each month or quarter that would support that passion?

Niches are defensible at the start

There will often be more competitors in your niche than you'd think, so it’s important to either find something unsaturated or you’ll need to be really clear about how you are different or distinctive.

Successful subscription boxes usually have these things in common

An existing audience

An existing audience or community of enthusiasts (an available market)

Long-term relevance

A product category that isn’t a short-term fad so the business model is “evergreen”

Continuous discovery

Fans that are receptive to continuous discovery, i.e., always looking for something different, or something new

Recurring needs

A constant appetite to fulfil their needs in different ways -- their needs are recurring and you can satisfy them with a recurring box

Emotional need

An emotional need for it, especially if it fits into their way of life (tribes/affiliations), if they want to give it as a gift to someone else to give them joy, or something similar

A few subscription box ideas to get your creative juices flowing

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1. Literature

One of the original subscription concepts was a book club. Made famous by Oprah (although it existed before her), a reading club is one of the easiest ways to start. But it doesn't always have to be a physical book.

BooBox

BooBox has perfected an e-book subscription which sends subscribers a digital novel by surprise throughout the month.

Read more about BooBox’s story here

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2. Food

When starting a  food subscription box business you really need to know that your customers are going to receive their food fresh and on time. This means you need to make sure your supporting tech is reliable and fits your business model.

From the moment you cook the food or prepare it to the moment it lands on their table, you need to be confident that this process is both straightforward and flexible enough to achieve a smooth experience.

Our skip feature works really well with food subscription box businesses. We have lots of food based subscription businesses running on Subbly (Freshly and Mantry are two of our favorites) so you know we have the experience and that it's tried and tested.

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3. Clothing

Clothing subscription boxes are growing in popularity. Surprising customers with new clothes, lingerie, socks, underwear and even ties makes sure they're always looking sharp and feeling great. Starting these types of subscription box business is easy with Subbly.

It's essential to know the customers' sizes, preferences and personal details. Our product survey questions make it easy to collect and view this information so you can personalize their box and ensure they always receive exactly what they like.

Your customers can change their preferences and choices any time by simply logging into their account. We handle the rest: billing, order generation and site hosting.

Get started and dress the world with their favorite clothes including lingerie, socks, underwear and clothes in general!

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4. Personal Grooming

People want to feel clean and fresh from head to toe. Whether it's natural toothbrushes and toothpaste, travel sized products, or even your own small-batch cologne, we make it easy for you to break into the market with just 10 minutes of setup!

Tailor your boxes to your customers' preferences each month with our handy product survey feature, or further integrate your offering into your customers' life as your expand your range with our pre- and post-checkout offer functionality.

They say cleanliness is next to godliness - and we can tell you from experience, our personal grooming box customers know their customers feel divine!

Bamboo Club

Bamboo Club have been using a sustainable angle to promote their toothbrushes. See how they have gone from success from success.

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5. Health and Fitness

Health and fitness is a growing industry and the consumable side of it is not only popular but essential. Protein powders, nutrition, creatine, BCAAs and other supplements inevitably run out and therefore need to be bought again and again, creating an amazing opportunity for a subscription based health & fitness box.

Allow your customers to receive their powders and supplements weekly or monthly so they never run out or miss out on their goals, and are able to spend more time in the gym than shopping!

Subbly makes it super easy to launch your health and fitness-related subscription box business -- we believe health and fitness is the perfect industry for this business model.

Mully Box

Mully Box focused on catering to the needs of their core audience: avid golfers.

If you are into golf too, this is how they did it.

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6. Health Snacks

When starting a healthy snack subscription box you need to know what kind of snacks your customers like, or they won't keep coming back for more!

Our product survey feature allows you to collect this information from your customers so you can send them the healthy snacks that will keep them subscribed, delighted, and of course healthy!

Our skip feature works really well with healthy snack subscription box businesses. We already power a wide variety of healthy snack subscription businesses, so you know we have the experience and features to make your health box a success.

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7. Pets

Starting a pet subscription box business is easy. Follow in the footsteps of Barkbox and deliver happiness (treats) to dogs and cats all over the world. Can you hear them barking and meowing from here? Hell, why not even a horse subscription box!? Neigh?

Collect information from pet owners about their dogs and cats so you can customize the box delivered to their door each month -- think things like size, weight, colour and the pet's name.

We have tons of (dog and cat) subscription boxes that have been running on Subbly for ages, and we know our platform works well for this type of subscription box.

Buster Box

Buster Box have been going strong in their market, focusing on sending healthy organic treats and toys to dogs all across the UK.

Their story is fascinating -- read it here!

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8. Kids

Running a subscription toy box for kids requires a platform that makes it easy to fulfil orders while you source the best toys and games to keep your customers' kids entertained and educated each month.

Subbly makes it easy to start and run your kids products membership box. It takes 10 minutes to setup.

You can even collect information from the parents about what kinds of products their kids like using our product survey questions feature, and tailor your offer as the months go by!

The Gentle & Classical Press

The Gentle & Classical Press has been using the subscription concept to send homeschool curriculum materials to kids.

Read their story here

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9. Razors & Shaving

Helping men keep their beards groomed is an important task. Hipsters need their beard oil and wax. You're here to help... and we're here to help you.

Ladies & gentlemen, introducing Subbly: The easiest way to start a beard (oil, wax or anything) membership club.

Subbly makes it super simple to start your subscription box and super easy for your beard wearers to signup and receive their grooming gear.

No time to waste, so many beards to keep in shape!

Charge your customers monthly or weekly, and have different plans for different quality blades. Subbly makes this super easy and you can be up and running within 10 minutes.

Start your shaving membership club today for free.

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10. Women’s Hygiene

Making her time of the month as comfortable as possible requires collecting information about her period. That's why our product survey questions are great for collecting the necessary information to deliver the right tampons, comforts and more... at the right time!

We have existing period and tampon related boxes on our platform, so we have the experience to help you start and launch your own women's hygiene box to help customers all over the world with their time of the month needs.

Having your period once a month shouldn't be unpleasant every time, and neither should running a subscription box. With Subbly it's easy. Try us for 14 days for free.

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11. Adult Products & Sex Toys

Running an adult & sex toy-related subscription box requires a platform that can handle all that kinkiness! It also requires a platform that can let  customers gift the subscription box and customize it as well.

Subbly's gifting feature allows partners to gift adult product or sex toy subscription boxes to one another to spice things up.

You can even collect information when they subscribe about the types of sex toys, lingerie or anything else they do or don't like and keep their relationship (both with each other and your box) evolving over time... this will keep them coming back for more!

Join the Facebook Group for Idea Feedback

Join a Facebook group called Subscription Box Entrepreneurs where fellow business owners discuss the ins and outs of running a subscription business.

  • If you’re serious about starting your first subscription business, why not run your idea by people who have been there, done that?
  • If you don’t get the response you are looking for, remember our support team talk with hundreds of our customers every single day.
  • Maybe they can help with some basic advice and guidance?

Subscription Box Ideas That We Wouldn’t Recommend.

You could find out what not to do by asking the opposite question like this guy did. Sometimes by coming up with a list of things that wouldn’t work, you’ll thinking of something that does.

A list of the worst ideas for a subscription box are:

  • Mobile phones
  • Computers
  • Coffins
  • Fly swatters
  • HVACs
  • Couches/sofas
  • And many more...
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