Nov 20, 2023

How to Start an eCommerce Subscription Business.

Starting an eCommerce subscription business can be an exciting and profitable venture. With the right strategy and implementation, you can attract loyal customers who are willing to pay a recurring fee for your products or services.

In this article, we walk you through the key steps to launch your own eCommerce subscription business and make it a success.

Understanding eCommerce Subscription Business

Before diving into the details, it’s important to understand the basics of an eCommerce subscription business. At its core, this type of business model involves offering products or services on a recurring basis rather than as one-time purchases. Customers sign up for a subscription and receive regular deliveries or access to your offerings.

When it comes to eCommerce subscription businesses, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to define what you will offer and how frequently customers will receive it. This could be anything from a monthly beauty box filled with curated skincare and makeup products, to a weekly meal kit that provides fresh ingredients and recipes for easy home cooking. Perhaps you’re thinking of starting a quarterly book club where subscribers receive a carefully selected book along with discussion materials and exclusive author interviews. Whatever it may be, having a clear understanding of your offering will help you attract the right audience.

Why build an eCommerce subscription business? 

One of the main reasons why many entrepreneurs choose the subscription business model is because of its ability to generate predictable and recurring revenue. Unlike traditional retail, where sales can fluctuate greatly from month to month, subscription-based businesses provide a steady stream of income. This financial stability allows business owners to plan and allocate resources more effectively, leading to better overall business management.

Another advantage of the subscription model is the opportunity to build strong and lasting customer relationships. By offering a valuable and convenient service on a regular basis, you can create a loyal customer base. When customers receive consistent and high-quality products or services, they are more likely to trust your brand and continue their subscription. This not only increases customer retention but also boosts customer lifetime value, as subscribers tend to spend more over time.

Furthermore, the subscription model allows for a deeper understanding of your customers’ preferences and behaviors. With each delivery or access to your offerings, you have the opportunity to gather valuable data on customer preferences, feedback, and usage patterns. This data can then be used to personalize future offerings, improve customer experience, and drive customer satisfaction.

It’s worth noting that while the subscription business model has its advantages, it also comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, attracting and acquiring new subscribers can be a constant effort, as you need to continuously market and promote your offerings to reach a wider audience. Additionally, managing inventory and logistics to ensure timely and accurate deliveries can be complex, especially as your subscriber base grows.

ECommerce subscription businesses offer a unique and innovative way to provide products or services to customers on a recurring basis. By understanding the basics of this business model and its benefits, you can make informed decisions and set yourself up for success in the competitive world of eCommerce.

Planning Your eCommerce Subscription Business

Planning is a crucial step in starting any business, and an eCommerce subscription business is no exception. Taking the time to carefully plan and strategize can greatly increase your chances of success. Here are two key aspects to consider:

Identifying Your Niche

Identifying a specific niche is essential for standing out in a crowded market. With the rise of eCommerce, competition is fierce, and finding a unique angle can make all the difference. Research your target audience and understand their pain points. What are the challenges they face? What are their needs and desires?

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can create a unique value proposition that addresses those needs. By targeting a specific niche, you can tailor your offerings to meet their specific requirements and differentiate yourself from competitors. For example, if you’re targeting fitness enthusiasts, you might offer a subscription box that includes premium workout gear, personalized training plans, and exclusive access to fitness events.

Additionally, consider the size and profitability of your chosen niche. Is it large enough to sustain a subscription-based business? Are there enough potential customers to support your growth? Conduct market research and analyze the competition to ensure there is a viable market for your eCommerce subscription business.

Setting Your Business Goals

Setting clear and measurable goals is essential to track your progress and ensure you stay on track. Your goals should align with your overall business strategy and reflect your desired outcomes. When setting goals, consider the following:

Customer Acquisition:

 How many subscribers do you aim to acquire within a specific timeframe? Set a realistic target that takes into account your marketing budget and resources. For example, you might aim to acquire 1,000 subscribers within the first six months.


 What is your revenue target? Determine how much money you aim to generate through your subscription business. This can be a monthly, quarterly, or yearly target. For instance, you might set a monthly revenue target of $10,000.


 How will you ensure customer loyalty and minimize churn? Customer retention is crucial for the long-term success of your eCommerce subscription business. Set goals related to reducing churn rate and increasing customer satisfaction. For example, you might aim to maintain a churn rate below 5% and implement strategies to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

By setting goals, you’ll have a roadmap to follow and stay motivated. Regularly track your progress and make adjustments as needed to keep your business on the path to success.

Building Your eCommerce Subscription Website

Your website is the virtual storefront for your eCommerce subscription business. It is the first point of contact for potential customers and plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining them. In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when building your eCommerce subscription website.

Choosing the Right Platform

Selecting the right eCommerce platform is crucial for the success of your subscription business. With numerous options available in the market, it is essential to choose a platform that aligns with your business goals and requirements. Look for platforms that offer subscription management features, such as the ability to set up recurring billing, manage inventory, and handle customer subscriptions seamlessly.

Consider the scalability and flexibility of the platform. As your subscription business grows, you may need to accommodate more products, handle increased traffic, and introduce new features. Therefore, it is important to choose a platform that can scale with your business and adapt to future needs.

Additionally, evaluate the platform’s security measures to ensure the safety of your customers’ sensitive information. Look for features like SSL certificates, secure payment gateways, and data encryption to protect your customers’ data and build trust.

Designing Your Website for User Experience

Creating a user-friendly and visually appealing website is essential to attract and retain customers. A well-designed website not only enhances the user experience but also reflects the professionalism and credibility of your subscription business.

Start by understanding your target audience and their preferences. This will help you tailor the design elements, color schemes, and overall aesthetics of your website to appeal to your potential customers. Consider conducting user research or surveys to gather insights into their preferences and expectations.

Ensure your website is easy to navigate. Implement clear and intuitive navigation menus, allowing visitors to find the information they need effortlessly. Organize your products or services into logical categories and provide search functionality to enhance the browsing experience.

Showcase your products or services effectively. Use high-quality images, videos, and detailed descriptions to highlight the unique selling points of your offerings. Consider incorporating customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility.

Clear calls-to-action are crucial for encouraging visitors to sign up for a subscription. Place prominent and visually appealing buttons or links throughout your website, guiding users to the subscription sign-up process. Consider offering incentives, such as discounts or free trials, to entice potential customers to take action.

If design isn’t your forte, consider hiring a professional web designer. They can help you create a visually stunning and user-friendly website that aligns with your brand image and effectively communicates your subscription offerings.

Building an eCommerce subscription website requires careful consideration of various factors, from choosing the right platform to designing an appealing user experience. By investing time and effort into these aspects, you can create a website that not only attracts customers but also drives conversions and fosters long-term customer loyalty.

Creating Your Subscription Products or Services

Now that you have a solid foundation, it’s time to create your subscription offerings. Here’s what you should consider:

Determining Your Offerings

Decide on the specific products or services you will offer as part of your subscription. Ensure they align with your target audience’s preferences and needs. Experiment with different offerings to see what resonates best with your customers.

Pricing Your Subscription

Price your subscription carefully, considering factors such as the cost of goods, shipping, and operational expenses. Conduct market research and analyze competitors’ pricing to ensure you’re offering competitive pricing while maintaining profitability.

Marketing Your eCommerce Subscription Business

Once your eCommerce subscription business is up and running, it’s crucial to market it effectively to attract customers. Here’s what you need to do:

Developing a Marketing Strategy

Create a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes both online and offline channels. Consider using social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, influencer partnerships, and paid advertising to reach your target audience effectively.

Utilizing Social Media and SEO

Social media platforms can be powerful tools for promoting your subscription business. Engage with your audience, share compelling content, and encourage user-generated content to build brand awareness and attract new subscribers. Additionally, optimize your website for search engines using SEO techniques to improve visibility and organic traffic.

By following these steps and continuously adapting your strategy based on customer feedback, market trends, and business performance, you can build a successful eCommerce subscription business. Get started today and embark on an exciting entrepreneurial journey!

AMP up your eCommerce business.

Neeta is the Content & Community lead at AMP. She has over 8 years experience in eCommerce marketing having previously worked for TradeGecko.

Start today,
for free

Start a free trial of any of AMP’s tools today.