Welcome back to another installment of our Prelaunch diary (psst – missed week 1? Check out our overview post here.)
This week we covered all things billing and shipping. Getting these two things right can singlehandedly decide the fate of your subscription box. After all, if subscribers don’t receive your product, you don’t really have a business, do you?
Big Takeaway: Subscribers who get their boxes faster are happier
As reported in a Cratejoy white paper, shortening your shipping window can make you an additional $74 per subscriber.
By simply truncating the window in which you ship, you can change a new subscriber’s enitre experience with your product, thereby increasing their likelihood to renew and your overall month 1 retention.
To put this into perspective, imagine the subscriber happiness of a person who receives their box after 15 days vs 60 days (and yes, it’s possible to receive a box after 60 days and it still be “on time”; no, we don’t recommend it).
Our Recommended Shipping Methods
Ship boxes to first-time subscribers immediately and send to recurring subscribers in bulk once a month
With new subscribers, you have a great opportunity to nail your first impression. One of the best ways to do so is getting your box to subscribers’ doors as fast as possible.
After the first shipment, these subscribers will fall into your bulk shipping date with the rest of your recurring customers. At this point you’ve given them world-class service and a reason to trust and promote your brand.
Ship to all subscribers in bulk once a month
So you can’t ship to every new subscriber immediately… and that’s ok. For many sub box entrepreneurs, this business is a side hustle and shipping once a month is what they’re most reasonably able to manage. In this case, we recommend the following schedule:
a. Cutoff date – the last day subscribers can order that month’s box; the day before your shipping window begins. This is often the last day of the month.
b. Shipping window (displayed in yellow bar) – this time period should be between 6-10 days. You should aim to physically ship your box in the first or second day so boxes arrive before the window ends.
c. Renewal date (displayed in dark green bar) – the day after your shipping window ends and the day your subscribers will be billed for the next month’s shipment.
The final component of nailing your shipping schedule is communicating it with your subscribers and future subscribers.
In a Cratejoy study on shipping communication, we found that sellers who communicate shipping details make, on average, $70 more per subscriber.
To help get the message out there, Cratejoy offers an expected ship date tool to tell your audience when they can expect their box.
Still not convinced setting shipping expectations are important? “Where is my box?” is the number one most asked question for Cratejoy sellers, so from a strictly customer service perspective, save yourself some time and let people know when they should order and when to expect their box. You’ll thanks us, we promise.
As always, we’ve got several fantastic resources from SubscriptionSchool.com and the Cratejoy Sell blog. Check out a few of the pieces below and soak in as much as you can about setting up a stellar shipping timeline!