Cratejoy is the world’s premier subscription box marketplace. With over 4 million monthly visitors, it’s important that subscription box owners optimize their Cratejoy Marketplace listing with conversion rate in mind! That means tight copy, stellar photos, and clear expectations for subscribers.
To get started on your listing, check out our brief walkthrough video and blog post on creating (or updating) your Cratejoy marketplace listing.
In this article, we’ll discuss…
- Technical details to set up to join the Marketplace
- Writing copy for your listing (0:21 – 1:20)
- Choosing your marketplace categories (1:21 – 1:51)
- Creating a list of features (1:52 – 2:26)
- Setting your target ship date (2:27 – 3:05)
- Creating a Marketplace coupon (3:06 – 3:12)
- Uploading product photos (3:13 – 4:43)
- Optimizing your listing for search (4:44 – 5:19)
- Adding a YouTube video to your listing
- Showing off past boxes on your listing
- Linking to your social media (5:20 – 5:34)
- Previewing & submitting your listing for approval (5:35 – 6:21)
See how some of these note times in parentheses? That’s the approximate runtime to find each of these topics covered in the above video.
To list a store on the Cratejoy Marketplace, you’ll need to sign up for Cratejoy and give your store a name.
Before your listing can go live, it’s also imperative that you set up a payment processor for your store. Cratejoy recommends Stripe, but we also support Braintree, Authorize.net, and (in conjunction with one of those three) PayPal Checkout.
If you can, it’s smart to set up your payment processor right away, so it’s not lost in the shuffle once you start on developing strong copy, getting eye-catching product photos, and working out the other odds and ends to build a great listing.
There are four main listing page sections you’ll need to fill out before submitting your listing for approval: the brief description, main headline, detailed description, and list of features.
See our tips on each section below…
Think of the brief description as your elevator pitch: If you only had five seconds to describe your box to a potential subscriber, this is what you would say. You’ve got 99 characters (including spaces) to appeal to your target audience and get across your value proposition and box contents.
Consider the user experience of your potential subscriber as you draft this super short pitch. Because the brief description appears on your listing page and any relevant search results on the Marketplace, it’s the first thing visitors will learn about your box. Aim for clarity over cleverness, if you have to choose.
Here are some catchy examples from current Cratejoy merchants!
- Coffee Crate: Monthly delivery of small-batch, expertly curated coffee beans.
- Snail Mail for Kids: Receive a weekly letter from Sunny. Kids learn about the world and the animals in it, every week!
- Call Number: A library-inspired book subscription box celebrating contemporary Black literature and authors.
- Zine-o-Matic: Carefully curated zines and underground art from up and coming artists all around the world.
As you can see, these examples range from explicit summaries of box contents (“coffee beans”) to evocative value propositions (discovering “up and coming artists”). One of them includes a CTA (“Receive a weekly letter”) in addition to value proposition (“Kids learn…”). And the third, Call Number, is able to evoke its origin (“library-inspired”), niche (book boxes), and value proposition (discovering modern Black literature) in one concise swoop.
This is the headline for your detailed description and should entice people to keep reading. Think of it as a tagline for your brand – a catchy header for the informative, detailed copy to follow.
Some current examples:
- Nomadik: Adventurer Tested. Expedition Approved.
- Tinkering Toddler Crates: Play. Learn. Get Messy!
- Brothers Coffee: We believe a cup of coffee can change the world.
- The Inky Box: Obsessed with lettering?
See how each of these headlines establishes the brand’s voice right away? They all take different tacks to summarize their niche and value proposition – whether that be developing a hobby, making a difference in the world, or discovering/exploring new things.
This section is a short paragraph that allows sellers to expand on their box offerings and detail what subscribers can expect to receive each month. This is your chance to give potential subscribers the big picture of your box: your core mission and value proposition, the benefits of your subscription box, and who would be your target customer. If your box donates to charity or supports any causes, this is a good place to include that information as well.
Here are four more examples from Cratejoy merchants:
Pip & Lola’s specializes in handmade bath products that will make you look and feel good! We guarantee that our soaps are all-natural (excluding our Soap Goddess line, which includes fragrance oils and colorants) and barely-scented. Every box is filled with vegetarian soaps. We make soaps that everyone will love!
WEvolve is a subscription box that delivers divinely curated metaphysical and sacred objects from mystical traditions worldwide. Each item is designed to inspire a deepening of your spiritual practice. We offer 2 subscriptions with 2 types of shipping options, and one single box option! Subscribe today and begin to create your sacred space.
Now you can bring all of the fun of an escape room into your own home… with a different adventure delivered every other month. Work with your friends to crack codes, solve riddles, and conquer puzzles as you solve historical mysteries through time.
Magnolia Record Club is a monthly vinyl subscription service, curated by artists, not robots. We deliver unique records straight to your door every month. Each box provides an opportunity to listen to the music through an artist’s perspective with Listening Notes from our curator and grow a stellar record collection without the hassle.
In the first sentence of each of these descriptions, the store gets across not only its niche but its specific community. Not “soap,” but “handmade bath products”; nor “spiritual objects,” but “sacred objects from mystical traditions worldwide”; not “game” or “mystery,” but an in-house escape room; nor simply “records,” but records curated by musicians. It’s clear right away who the target customer is for each box – and why the customer should go for it.
Marketplace categories determine where your box shows up on the Marketplace. In this step, you can select up to 3 main categories – or 3 pairs of parent/child categories – best suited to your box.
Before taking this step, take a look on the Marketplace at the categories that seem to fit your niche. Do the boxes in that category feel similar to yours? If you specialize in kooky DIY and the page for that category is full of luxury candle subscriptions, that may not be the right category for you.
We can’t stress enough that you select categories that represent your box and the products inside. Accurate categorization makes it easier for interested subscribers to find your box on the marketplace, while choosing a category that doesn’t fit your niche – like, say, because it’s popular – will detract from your conversion rate.
This bulleted list of features is an eye-catching way to make sure subscribers know exactly what they’re getting with your box. Because they are short and sweet, bullet points are easier for many people to read – so you should strive to convey only the most essential info about your box in the list of features.
That might include your total retail value, number of products, another one-sentence summary of your value proposition, or other informative details. Goddess Provisions, above, does all that and includes their free shipping policy to boot!
You can have up to 5 bullet points in your list of features, and we strongly recommend using at least 4.
Here are a few examples:
- Cook world cuisine at home in 25-60 minutes
- Makes a great gift for the foodie in your life
- We feature a different country each month but you can choose any kit you like!
- Prep work is virtually non-existent; ingredients come pre-portioned and ready to go
- Our meal kits can sit patiently on your shelf for up to 2 months. No food waste = no cash wasted.
- Items include: unicorn makeup, stationery, decor, and accessories
- Unicorn Dream Mail: 3 to 4 items, up to $40 value
- Unicorn Dream Box: 6 to 9 items, up to $80 value
- A yummy surprise every month
- Vegan | Cruelty-free | Non-toxic
- Our box includes green beauty+skincare items, healthy vegan snacks, superfoods and wellness elixirs, vegan lifestyle items.
- We ship free in the United States. Worldwide and Canada with a flat fee.
- Each box contains 6-8 full sized items.
- The best gifts in life are vegan 🙂
- 5 to 6 premium-grade items per box
- Curated around dog size (from tiny to large)
- Receive a hand-decorated box and a special surprise on your dog’s barkday month!
- Received an item your pup doesn’t love? Contact us to send it back and we will send you a replacement free of charge
- $1 per pawty box purchased will be donated to nonprofit organizations that help dogs in need
Even without seeing the rest of their listings, it’s fairly straightforward to understand the value of each of these boxes and what niche audiences they serve. These examples offer a clear account of the box contents (in quantity and attributes) as well as value proposition (like keeping a cruelty-free diet; helping dogs in need; saving time and discovering new cuisines; or collecting unicorn memorabilia).
Did you know that subscribers are 40% less likely to cancel if they know when their box will ship? In an effort to reduce churn and eliminate customer uncertainty, Cratejoy created the Target Ship Date field to answer the question, Where is my box?
Just Starting Out?
If you recall from the “How to Set Up a Subscription Product” post, we recommend closing orders on the last day of the month, shipping by the 4th of each month, and renewing on the 11th of each month. This is what we call bulk fulfillment.
Relaying that information to your subscribers might look something like this: “We ship between the 2nd and 4th of each month. Your subscription will renew on the 11th of the month. Order by the last day of the month to get next month’s box!”
Savvy businesses can make subscribers happy by adopting what we call “ongoing & bulk fulfillment,” where you ship a new customer’s first box right away and everyone else is filed into another shipment that goes out at the same time each month. In other words, you have rolling shipping for brand-new subscribers and once-a-month shipping for existing subscribers.
This shipping model works especially well if you set up a “welcome” box for new subscribers with an introductory mix of products. After sending out your first box, you can incorporate those subscribers into your usual cycle after that.
Whether you’re participating in a marketplace flash sale or would like to give an additional incentive to purchase, creating a marketplace coupon is the easiest way to offer discounts on your product.
Coupons require either a dollar or percentage discount off the full price of the box, descriptive text with an applicable coupon code, and specification on the number of times the discount will apply to purchase.
Read more: To see the full walkthrough of how to set up a coupon on the Marketplace, check out our coupon help doc.
Once you’ve made your coupon, you’ll need to head to the Listing page of your seller dashboard and select the coupon you’d like to feature on your Marketplace listing. This is because you can set up as many coupons as you want, but can only display one coupon on your listing at a time.
For example, let’s say you set up a special coupon just for Black Friday sales. In that case, you would need to select the Black Friday coupon from your drop-down menu when you want the sale to start, then update your selection after the Black Friday sale ends.
Setting Up Individual Coupon Codes Underneath Your Display Coupon
Not all coupons need to be public, however. If you’d like to send out unique coupon codes to your email list, for example – or influencers in your niche – check out our help doc on creating unique coupon codes in bulk. This allows each person to receive an individual, randomized code, which can make tracking these orders easier.
To do that, you’ll need to select “Manage Additional Codes” button after you’ve made your display coupon. (In the screenshot example below, the main coupon is for the box’s standard discount for bloggers, and the bulk coupons will be individually assigned to specific bloggers.)
After that, you’ll see a list of randomly generated codes, which you can set up with limitations as usual. Make sure to save these codes when you’re done!
Keep in mind…
You can only add active coupons to your listing. This means that if you set up your coupon’s “Activation Date” to be in the future under the Limitations tab, you’ll need to select that coupon under the drop-down menu after the activation time, so the coupon displays on your listing. (If you try to add the coupon to your listing earlier, it won’t display, per the limitation.)
Photos are the most visual element of your listing page and can make or break your ability to attract a customer.
For Marketplace listings, we recommend 8-10 well-lit, high-quality photos that showcase your box contents and help users visualize their experience. Please upload images formatted to 1200×800 pixels and less than 3MB in size.
Need help? Working with a professional photographer – one who has experience in lifestyle product photography – is the easiest way to nail sharp, eye-catching imagery for your box. Take a look at our Recommended Photographers page for special deals, exclusively for Cratejoy merchants.
To keep your potential subscribers interested, it helps to have a mix of photo layouts: flat lays, unboxings, product highlights, boxes with branding, and lifestyle shots. Natural lighting, too, will go a long way. Here’s more info on taking strong photos.
The SEO tab of your Listing page ensures that the right customers can find you with ease on Cratejoy’s Marketplace. When thinking of tags, imagine phrases someone would search for if they were looking for a subscription box.
Note that most of these tags use the word “gift” – this is because these screenshots were taken during the holiday shipping season, and both subscriptions updated their tags to be more relevant to popular searches. Remember that SEO tags are time-sensitive; you should review their success in your analytics and update them regularly as needed.
Depending on the theme of your box, you may find it more beneficial to go with broad search terms like “new age,” more product-focused terms like “crystals,” or a mix of both.
The Marketplace allows you to display a YouTube video on your listing so you can show off an influencer unboxing your most recent box, a preview of next month’s box, or a short that introduces the story behind your subscription box to potential subscribers.
Learn how: Embed a video on your listing with our help doc.
Whatever video you upload will display underneath your list of features and is responsive to screen size. Check out our example of Standard Dispatch above. They use their introductory video to better highlight what they already discuss in their detailed description and list of features – namely, their value proposition and high-quality products.
Check out more strong examples of product videos on our blog!
Beneath your subscriber reviews, you can post images and blurbs for your three most recent boxes. Take a look at Stickii’s example above: this sticker subscription shows off the aesthetic variety of their products, giving would-be subscribers a clearer vision of your value proposition. Stickii also makes a point in their blurbs of noting whether these boxes are in or out of stock, which helps them sell more boxes – and forecast inventory – in the future.
Cratejoy allows merchants to link to outside marketing channels from their listing page. Consider linking your social media to make sure current and future subscribers can stay in touch with your brand!
However, we strongly recommend that you only link the social media accounts you update often. If your Pinterest has only 3 pins, customers could interpret that as a lack of commitment to your business. Social media is just that: social. So make sure you’re promoting the places where you connect regularly with your brand’s community.
The last step you’ll take before your listing can go live is submitting it for approval. Before doing this, we recommend previewing your listing to make sure it looks up to your standards and then saving it as a draft. Once you’ve filled in all the appropriate fields and are satisfied with your listing draft, feel free to submit your listing page for approval.
Within 1-2 business days, a Cratejoy representative will review your listing. You will receive either an approval confirmation when your listing goes live or an email with tips on how to improve your listing and resubmit.