How to Increase Conversion Rates for Your Subscription Box Business

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Welcome to Cratejoy’s Conversion Optimization Guide. In this guide we’ll be covering how to increase subscription box sales by improving conversion rates.

Watch the Cratejoy Seller Success Team walk through how to optimize your conversion rate and answer frequently asked seller questions:



Table of Contents:


How to Calculate Conversion Rates

Partial view of the Analytics Tab on the Cratejoy Seller Portal

Conversion rate is a percentage found by dividing number of sales by number of visitors to your store.

To find your conversion rate: divide subscriptions purchased by the number of visitors to your store. (Example: if, over the course of 30 days, you have 100 visitors to your store and 2 purchases, your conversion rate – for that 30 day period – is 2%.)

Calculate your Cratejoy Marketplace conversion rates by using the Traffic Sources Report (found on the Analytics tab on the Seller Portal).

Conversion rate varies due to many factors such as:

  • Time of year
  • Price of subscription
  • Acquisition channels (how a potential buyer finds your store)
  • Retail trends

Ensure you are not losing potential sales: stay aware of – and improve – your conversion rates by using our tools and following Cratejoy’s quality guidelines.

(Read more about how to increase your Cratejoy Marketplace conversion rate here.)


Use Cratejoy’s Listing Scoring System to Get Featured

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Cratejoy is always looking to provide more clarity, surrounding how we examine each feature of your listing(s), in order for you to properly improve for higher visibility and conversion.

In keeping with this commitment to clarity, we’re excited to share our listing scoring process. The goal of this system is to better serve the sellers and customers who make up the Cratejoy Community by setting clear expectations on what constitutes a high-quality listing. 

Instead of providing only one score for your listing, we will score each feature on a scale. This detailed scoring helps us provide better feedback which your business can then use to optimize listings (this will increase merchandising opportunities and conversions). From there a total score is given and determined if it meets: 

  • The minimum for Marketplace standards (to be live on the Marketplace) 
  • The minimum for Merchandising standards (to be included in upcoming promotions and affiliate programs)

If a listing score falls beneath the minimum for Cratejoy Marketplace standards, it will be rejected and you will be notified with specific guidance on how to improve your listing before submitting again for approval. 


New Listing Quality Score System Breakdown

The minimum score for Marketplace is 9
The minimum score for Merchandising is 19

(Read more in depth about Listing Quality Scoring & the minimum required score for each section here.) 


Listing Content That Cratejoy Evaluates When Assigning Scores

Photo Content:

  • Experience (Do the images provide the buyer with a realistic insight of the experience the box will provide?)
  • Product (Do the images provide clarity as to what the products of the box are?)

Photo Quality:

  • Resolution (Is the image pixel perfect and crisp?)
  • Lighting (Levels of light, shadows, and exposure)
  • Crop/Size (Product placement in image shots)

The next 3 sections (Brief Description, Detailed Description, & List of Features) will require excellent copywriting skills. When developing the copy for your listing(s) it is important to center your customer.

Focus on developing copy that

  • Emphasizes the desired experience
  • Explores fun curation details 
  • Defines the value of your product 
  • Details your unique offerings

Brief Description:

  • Accurate, well-written, and clear portrayal of box experience that entices buyers with catchy, concise copy

Detailed Description: 

  • Well-written, proper punctuation, correct grammar; no typos
  • Sentence structure makes sense 
  • It should answer these four questions:
    – What type of box is this?
    – How can the box contents be used?
    – Who is your customer?
    – What are the expected benefits of this box? 

List of Features:

  • Lists compelling features showcasing value of products
  • Any disclaimers or shipping cost details
  • Avoid repetitiveness of content in bullet points
  • Elaborates on detailed description
  • Detailed yet high-level view of what box entails
  • Size specifics, value of products, quantity of items in each box

Shipping Details:

  • Detailed and clear about timeline for new and existing subscribers
  • Clear about where the box is being shipped from
  • Avoids too many dates and different stipulations that confuse the buyer

(Read more in depth about Listing Quality Scoring & the minimum required score for each section here.)



Use this guide to evaluate and improve your listings. Evaluating your listings often will increase your sales and help your business grow!


How to use Copywriting to Increase Conversions

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Subscription boxes are a unique offering in the e-commerce world and online retail space. Shopping online is second nature to a majority of consumers. The subscription box experience differs in some ways from a traditional “click, buy, and forget it” online purchase.

Because of this, customers looking at subscription boxes need to see clear, detailed copy that tells them about the box experience and what they are going to receive. A poorly written description of a great box will turn customers away.

Consider these basic questions when copywriting: 

  • Is everything spelled correctly? 
  • Is there proper punctuation throughout? 
  • Does the listing look clear & concise or is it just a wall of text? 
  • Is the use of capitalization needlessly distracting or off-putting? 

You might have an amazing product, but if your listing doesn’t convey the product or product experience correctly, you may miss out on sales and you won’t get the reviews and subscriptions that you need to keep your business growing.

(Use this blog post as a guide when evaluating all of your listing sections for improvements.)


Copywriting for Your Customer & Audience

When developing the copy for your listing(s) it is important to consider your customer. Defining your target customer and audience is the first step to being able to write appealing copy for your listing.

(Read more here about developing a target customer (or persona) and audience for your business.)

After you have a target audience, you can focus on developing copy that:

  • Emphasizes the desired experience
  • Explores fun curation details 
  • Defines the value of your product 
  • Details your unique offerings

Potential customers are looking at your listing for a reason. Good copywriting can convert those listing visitors to loyal customers!


Copywriting for Email & Social Media

Good copywriting isn’t just for your listing(s)! Maintaining impeccable copywriting in all aspects of your business is key.

Consider these additional areas when improving copy for your business:

  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Responses to customer questions & reviews 

Taking time to focus on well written copy will yield more satisfied customers and more sales.

Copywriting is just as important as your images when it comes to converting page views to sales. Thoughtful copywriting will increase your sales and help you grow your business.


How to Position Your Box for Value

Value perception is not just about the monetary value of your products (although this is important!). Consider how to position your box to communicate value to your potential customers. 

Here are some examples of what a potential subscriber may perceive as valuable:

  • Ability to source unique or hard-to-find products
  • Relationships with local makers, vendors, or artisans as suppliers
  • Environmentally-friendly product sourcing, packaging, and shipping 
  • Access to subscriber-only perks and community groups

Once you have identified the value perception of your offerings, you can work to maintain or improve your curation process and customer experience. Meeting or exceeding your customers’ expectations will reduce churn and generate more sales.


Experience as Value

Subscription box subscribers are in some ways different from a typical online shopper. They are searching for a product, but they are also searching for, and find value in, an experience.

The motivation to buy a subscription (or gift one!) can vary widely. A subscriber may be motivated by the convenience of not having to search for items or the adventure of not knowing what they get each month.

That experience includes (but is not limited to!):

  • A well-written listing that clearly details contents and shipping information
  • Customer service and prompt responses to messages, questions, and reviews 
  • Thoughtful and well-designed packaging 
  • Quality products that live up to the description and deliver the intended experience
  • Engaging follow up (such as a renewal coupon code in their last shipment) 

Lots of work goes into starting and maintaining a subscription box business, so set yourself up for success by regularly evaluating the experience that you are offering and making sure your listing is highlighting the unique experiences your customer will receive. 


Offering Variants, Multiple Terms, or Multiple Products

Offering choice to your subscribers can increase the desirability of your box and increase your sales. Three of the main ways to offer choice through Cratejoy are: Variants, Subscription Terms and Per-Product Listings.

Variant Pricing

Variant Pricing allows sellers to set their prices, SKUs, and inventory for subscription products on a variant combination level. Variants let you offer more choice to your customers!

Examples of variants: 

  • A coffee subscription box that offers 1, 5, or 10 lb bags of coffee at different price points
  • A spa subscription box that offers different choices of bath bomb scents 
  • A comic book subscription box that offers different t-shirt sizes 
  • A craft subscription box that offers enough materials for 2 crafts or 4 crafts at different price points

(Read more about Variant Pricing and how to use this feature in this blog post.)

Subscription Terms

Offering different subscription terms for your products ensures that you are casting a wide net for customers looking at your listing. Some customers will want the flexibility of a month-to-month option and other customers will want the discount associated with a longer prepay term.

The Cratejoy Marketplace allows sellers to offer multiple subscription terms. Our most popular options are:

  • Month-to-month (no prepayment)
  • 3 month prepay
  • 6 month prepay
  • 12 month prepay

(Read more about the value of offering prepaid subscription terms here.)

Per-Product Listings

Cratejoy’s Per-Product Listing feature allows you to sell multiple products from one seller account.

If you have more than one idea for a great subscription box, use this feature to separate out your offerings to increase your sales.

Each listing should feature a unique product and target a specific buyer. Per-product listings should not be used to sell different versions of the same product (we recommend using Variant Pricing, in that case).

Example of a store using Per-Product listings correctly:

A store that sells a fishing gear subscription box and a coffee subscription box. Both of these boxes should be sold on their own separate listing.

Example of a store using Per-Product Listings incorrectly:

A store that sells a 10lb coffee subscription box and a 5lb coffee subscription box on separate listings. This store should use Variant Pricing and have both options on the same listing.

(Read more about Per-Product Listings and how to set them up
here.)


How to Price a Subscription Box

Last, but not least, let’s talk about money.

The price for your box should be high enough to make sense for your business margins and low enough that your customers understand the value associated with the cost.

Remember that you can update the price, update the shipping price, expand your offerings, and create new products at a higher price point for incoming customers (while keeping current subscribers at their current price). 

Build your box in a way that differentiates your product and service from your competitors. Remember though, this is not a race to the bottom in terms of how to price your box. Customers are often willing to pay more for better quality, service, or value.

(Read more about how to price your subscription box here.) 

Value is a multi-faceted word on the Cratejoy Marketplace. Achieve the best balance for your business by understanding your financial position + what your target customer expects from their experience. 


Important Tips to Increase Sales

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Categorization

Each listing on your Cratejoy Marketplace stores can be featured in up to 3 categories (you can also choose subcategories for each category).

Making sure your box is listed in the correct categories will increase your sales and your chances of being featured by Cratejoy! It can be tempting to choose a category that you feel may reach more people. However, this can hurt your sales if your box is not a match to that category.

The Cratejoy Merchandising Team is always on the lookout for new boxes to feature. Increase your chances of being featured by selecting the proper categories.

(Read more about setting up categories + subcategories here.)


Coupons

Everyone wants a deal! Shoppers can be more easily swayed into choosing your products if you offer a coupon. 

So you should offer a big discount, right? Not necessarily. 

You’re trying to appeal to an audience already interested in your products. Offering a small discount is often just the nudge they need to make the purchase. 

We’ve also found that offering a larger discount will get you buyers who are more interested in the discount and not in the product. That means more cancellations (or churn) when it comes time to renew. 

Top tips for offering coupons: 

  • Make sure the discount makes sense within your margins
  • Use a simple coupon code like CRATEJOY or SAVE10
  • Make sure the coupon code is set to ACTIVE so shoppers can use it
  • After creating the coupon > be sure to ADD the coupon to your listing
  • Test different types of coupons (Percent off total, Percent off first shipment, Flat amount off total, etc.) to know which your audience loves the most!

(Read more about how to set up coupons here.)


Feedback & Reviews

Engagement with customers is key to a successful business. Asking customers for feedback allows you to gain valuable insight into the perceived value of your products. 

Public feedback or reviews (whether negative or positive) provides opportunities for you to demonstrate excellent customer service. Potential customers are more likely to subscribe when they see proactive customer support and service from your business.

Some tips for how to ask for/engage with feedback: 

  • Answer all customer questions in the Q&A sections of your listings
    • Demonstrates seller engagement
    • Provides information for prospective customers viewing your listings
  • Respond to public reviews & private feedback
  • Create an insert asking for reviews/feedback in the last shipment
    • Offer a coupon to anyone who provides feedback

(Learn more about responding to reviews and questions.)


Inserts & Unique Experiences

We’ve discussed using inserts as a way to ask for feedback and offer discounts, but you can also use inserts to: 

  • Provide more detailed information about the items in the box
  • Feature information about unique vendors that supply the items
  • Invites to subscriber-only communities or experiences

Subscriber-only communities or benefits can be unique experiences that can be offered to subscription box customers. Some examples:  

  1. A baking subscription box that provides recorded demonstrations or baking lessons as part of the box experience
  2. An empowerment subscription box that offers a private social media group for community-building

There are many ways to demonstrate value and increase sales through the tools available on the Cratejoy Marketplace. Take your business to the next level by utilizing those tools and Cratejoy’s guides to increase conversions!

Also, consider registering for one of Cratejoy’s seller webinars or watching recordings of past webinars here.


Want to keep reading? We think you’ll benefit from this blog post about how to evaluate and improve your listings.

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