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How Does Subscription Box Fulfillment Work?

Getting a package in the mail is a thrill for many people, and with the explosion of online shopping, it’s not uncommon for them to receive multiple deliveries per week. A quarter of Americans currently shop online at least once per month, and that number is expected to reach 91% of the population by 2023.

The only thing more exciting than a package arriving at your doorstep might be receiving and unboxing a surprise package. Sure, gifts are fun, but unless it’s your birthday, a holiday, or a special occasion, chances are that not too many people are randomly sending you gifts. However, people have the opportunity to regularly send themselves a gift with subscription boxes.

How exactly does subscription box fulfillment work?

Subscription box fulfillment, also known as continuity orders, refer to the shipping of products from an ecommerce retailer to a customer on a regular, prearranged basis. When signing up for a subscription order, consumers can opt to have just about anything- from cosmetic products, to pet supplies, to ready-to-cook meals- delivered to their doorstep on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. These orders can include the same products each time (typically disposable products such as paper towels, shaving cream, or cat litter), or a selection of different products to sample.

Why is there a need for subscription box fulfillment?

From 2014 to 2018, the subscription box industry grew by 890%, and it isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon. Here are three main reasons why consumers have fallen in love with subscription box orders: 

  • Subscription orders are convenient. Consumers shop online to acquire what they need or want in an easy, timely manner. Instead of having to go to the store every time they run out of something, they can place an order in seconds without ever having to get off their couch. For products that they will need regularly, they can set it up so that they receive them automatically on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.
  • Subscription box fulfillment ensures that your customers won’t run out of disposable products. Never again will your customers have to worry about making late night trips to the store because they ran out of dog food, toilet paper, or diapers.
  • Online shoppers love the thrill. While the thrill of finding a bargain inside a store remains, others prefer the exciting feeling of when a package arrives at their doorstep. As a result, thousands of different subscription box services exist today.

Offering a subscription option is an excellent way for ecommerce retailers to generate recurring revenue; however, it’s important for them to understand the ins and outs of subscription box fulfillment in order to be successful. If your in-house fulfillment operation is not equipped to handle the unique needs of continuity orders, it’s time to consider outsourcing subscription fulfillment to a 3PL. Partnering with an experience, reputable product fulfillment and continuity order team will ensure that your subscription box orders reach their destinations on time, and that your customers are happy and satisfied.

January 29, 2020
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