There is a lot to do when it comes to operating a subscription box business. Designing product packaging, finding products, choosing the right shipping solution, etc. are all important aspects and can all lead to some easy mistakes. Many subscription box businesses do not even make it through the first year. Here are five common fulfillment mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Uninteresting Packaging
Subscription box packaging is an extremely important aspect of the business. If your packaging is uninteresting or dull, your product is automatically less interesting and dull. This could lead to customers losing interest and switching to a different, more aesthetically pleasing, brand.
Don’t lose customers this way.
To keep your customers excited about the boxes they receive each month, it is important to focus on visual design. Not only that, but bad product packaging can cheapen the appearance of your product and thus devalue the image of your brand. In order to impress customers, keep them subscribed, and even spread your brand by word of mouth, it is important to focus on quality product design.
This can be done by customizing your boxes and packaging, and even writing a thank you note to your customers. Companies like U-Printing let you custom print your logo and more onto your boxes.
2. Failing to Hire a Kitting Service
The kitting process is one of the key aspects to get right when it comes to subscription boxes.
Kitting is the process of gathering products and packaging material needed for a box and assembling them. If products are not properly tracked during this process, you may have trouble with inventory and end up losing products. Without a third-party logistics company to help with your fulfillment needs, the extra manual labor needed can add an extra strain on your business. A lack of properly trained staff will lead to errors such as missing or make broken products.
Avoid all of this by looking to companies that can do the kitting for you. Know exactly what products are going into each box, how much you have in stock, and when you need to order more. If each of your boxes is specific to each customer, stop worrying about potential mispacking. Kitting services have trained professionals who take the utmost care to make sure each box is perfect for every customer.
3. Failure to Scale
It is always important to scale your subscription box business to account for future growth. You may be able to handle your fulfillment in-house when your business is new, but this is not a sustainable practice for a successful, growing business.
Ending up with too much or too little inventory may become a problem without a proper warehouse to store and track your products. This can lead to missing or broken products which may delay order fulfillment. Late shipments will become frustrating for your customers and become harmful to your company’s image.
Consider hiring a third-party logistics company such as Smart Parcel 24/7 to help with your fulfillment needs and allow you to properly scale your business. They will be able to time each delivery perfectly so that your subscription boxes will never arrive too early or too late.
4. Inventory Management Inefficiency
Inventory forecasting is extremely important when it comes to running a subscription box business. If you do not know what you have in stock, you cannot accurately predict what you will need.
Over and under-ordering of products may lead to a higher cost for storage. Empty shelves result in you paying for unneeded space. Overstocking will lead to you being charged more for the extra space you are using.
If items seem to be always out of stock, your customers will turn elsewhere for similar products, and you will lose valuable sales. It is important to establish a specific inventory management system to ensure every item is tracked and accounted for.
5. Poor Communication
As a subscription box business, it is vital that you are in communication with your subscribers.
If it is hard to reach you, or your website is unclear, your customers may find your services lacking and therefore drop your subscription or never even sign up in the first place. Failure to communicate can also lead to fulfillment issues such as cancelations or missing packages. Be sure to be clear and specific about what your customers can expect, and allow various channels for your customers to easily reach you.
Smart Parcel 24/7 has warehouses across the United States, ensuring no matter where your customers are, we can fulfill their orders in a warehouse near them. This also allows us to offer faster shipping speeds at a lower rate. Our highly-trained staff and state-of-the-art technology will fulfill your orders to your exact specifications, all the while keeping your inventory safe and securely monitored.
We are not simply a mail carrier. We have access to a vast worldwide network of carriers that allows us to choose exactly which one ships each of your products. This ensures the fastest delivery times and the best shipping rates. Whether it’s safe and efficient product warehousing or the most reliable shipping solutions, Smart Parcel 24/7 has it covered.