ArticlesBlog Posts Personalizing the Subscription Box Experience


The subscription market has grown by more than 100 percent a year over the past five years, according to Forbes magazine. To remain competitive, subscription companies must find new ways to stand out.

One way companies have found to differentiate themselves is by customizing subscriptions. In a new article for MultiChannel Merchant, Saddle Creek’s Director of Fulfillment, Nicole Lee, looks at a variety of ways that subscriptions can be personalized and the impact they have on fulfillment operations.

Following is an excerpt from the article…

The Operational Impacts of Personalizing Subscription Commerce

What do subscription box customers really want? An excellent personalized experience is paramount for 28 percent of subscribers of curated boxes, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.

There’s no doubt that subscribers want to feel special. Subscription companies can satisfy their desire by personalizing their offerings in a few different ways.

  • With the most common, curated model, companies identify subscribers’ personal tastes through a quiz or survey and then use an algorithm to select items based on their preferences. More sophisticated companies also incorporate subscriber feedback such as rating for items from previous orders.
  • Some companies allow subscribers to pick certain items for their shipment. For example, they may have a certain number of standard items, but let subscribers select one additional item from a list of choices.
  • Another option is to allow subscribers to add items to their existing subscription order (i.e., full-size versions of samples they’ve tried previously) for an additional cost. Savvy companies are getting more sophisticated and may time promotions to coincide with regularly scheduled shipments to save on shipping costs.
  • Marketing material also helps to customize orders. In this scenario, some companies prepare a group of orders to include a custom insert, so they appear to the subscriber to be personalized. Truly personalized inserts such as handwritten gift messages, while relatively common for smaller companies, quickly become cost prohibitive for companies sending out millions of orders every month.

Wondering how customization options like these impact fulfillment operations? Read the full article.