The launch of BirchBox in 2010 inspired a wave of Internet entrepreneurs to focus entirely on the subscription model. Initially it inspired other beauty box startups like Boxy Charm and Ipsy, then the fashion world quickly followed suit with Le Tote, Stitch Fix, Trunk Club and more.
But you don’t have to work in beauty or style to launch a subscription service. It’s an opportunity worth exploring: subscription startups tend to be more stable, thanks to recurring revenue and a more loyal customer base. With a top-level-domain like .Club, it’s easier than ever to launch your own online subscription startup. Check out some of the examples below to draw inspiration. Go through the quick checklist to learn whether you should consider starting a subscription club today:
- Can you create a rich customer experience? Running a subscription isn’t about throwing a bunch of cool items in a box. Instead, it’s about creating a unique experience that you could deliver right to your customer’s doorstep, and something they can enjoy unboxing in the comfort of their homes. Wine subscriptions are a popular category, and Exotic Wine Club exoticwine.club differentiates itself by delivering wines from all around the world. It aims to introduce the club member to new wine-making countries along with enlightening descriptions about each region and its vineyards.
- Do you operate in a niche market? It’s safe to say the subscription startup concept has gone mainstream. These days you can sign up for anything, from butcher boxes to self-care items. Because the market is becoming increasingly saturated, untapped categories might be positioned for future success as specialized markets tend to have the most loyal followings. Speaking of niche, Postix postix.club, for example, provides a sticker subscription for those seeking a monthly dose of stickers for organization and decoration (or to simply brighten one’s day). Loyal customers enjoy perks, such as exclusive stickers and points toward free stickers each month.
- Can you build a community around your brand? bookcase.club is a monthly subscription for avid readers and those who want to delve deeper in the joy of literature. Members pick a genre and the company picks two books per month. The company proactively encourages community: “Make sure you share the experience by using #BCCUnBoxing on social media! By sharing the fun of unboxing your BookCases, as well as reading each month’s chosen novels with your fellow Club members, you will be part of our happy community full of readers just like you.”
- Do you have a mission-driven business? Consumers are aiming to assign philanthropic meaning to their purchases more than ever. So if you run a brand that gives back, explore ways to incorporate or pivot a subscription model. The Better Cup bettercup.club delivers reusable event cups designed for reuse. With both rental and custom options available, they provide solutions for event and catering companies as well as office kitchens and more. While the company boasts convenience and wallet-friendly options, its members are, most importantly, subscribing to the idea of sustainability.
- Can you leverage digital assets? You needn’t ship and store physical inventory to run a subscription startup. Subscription services that deliver purely digital assets have the potential to be the most lucrative. Look to Netflix and Spotify for inspiration. For more creativity, browse the Dynamic Runner website dynamicrunner.club, which sells an ongoing series of stretch and cool-down video routines for runners, laid out in a monthly format. The company goes the extra mile by offering one-on-one coaching and a customized training program to help customers achieve their goals.