6 build-a-box subscription examples and how to set one up

Getting personal is more important than ever in commerce today. Consumers expect to have complete control and a great experience. This is just as true for subscriptions as it is for one-time orders.

When subscribers have the power to easily adjust their next order — and even skip one all together — they might be less likely to unsubscribe. That's where build-a-box style order building comes in.

Get our free ebook: 7 Subscription Models to Master Subscriptions can frustrate consumers if they feel like their "control of purchase decisions has been lost"— and this can lead to higher unsubscribe rates. But if you up customer retention by just 5%, profits can increase by 25% to 95%! That’s a whole lot more money in your pocket.

Build-a-box is widely used by food delivery and meal plan subscriptions, but really every subscription service offering multiple items should provide as much flexibility as possible. It just provides a better experience that can reduce churn.

After all, customers should be able to choose exactly what they want in their subscription box.

Here are some merchants that provide an excellent build-a-box subscription service, plus a couple more examples.

Build-a-box subscription examples

1. Kathy's Table - meal subscription


If you suffer from Celiac or Crohn's, it can be hard to find food that keeps you feeling good and healthy.

Luckily for people in the Jacksonville area, they can get gluten-free and dairy-free meals delivered to their door from Kathy's Table.

The fun branding of each meal plan, along with some key nutrition facts, gives customers the information they need to build a meal plan that's right for them.

With over 20 meals to choose from — plus drinks, deserts, and snack packs — subscribers have a lot of tasty options. 

A simple layout and intuitive flow makes it easy for people to pick exactly what meals they want.

Subscribers also have the option to log into their account and edit their next order. Plus, every two weeks when they release change up their menu, subscribers can pick from new delicious options.

2. Prairie Box - meal subscription

This company gives busy people who want healthy meals that are "simple, satisfying and delicious" a way eat at home when they're too busy to do meal prep.


Their Everyday Meal subscription provides a simple flow for people to pick what meals they want delivered on a weekly basis.

They also give people the option to pause and edit their subscription from their online accounts.

On-demand webinar: Uncover winning techniques behind top subscriptions

3. The Foreign Affair Winery - wine subscription

The Canadians behind this brand use Italian techniques to produce renowned wines. They also offer a monthly delivery of bottles through their Wine Club.

Subscribers can get a curated selection of three wines, or choose their own with a build-a-box style subscription. 


With their Wine Club, Foreign Affair has a better chance of converting customers who might be afraid they won’t like the wines from a pre-selected box. This gives those shoppers the option to select their own.

4. Click & Grow - indoor gardening subscription


Giving a little bit of nature to city dwellers — and the joy that comes along with it — is the mission behind Click & Grow. They sell indoor smart gardens, plants, and accessories so customers can grow happy plants anywhere. 


Part of their offering is a build-a-box style subscription for plant pods people can easily cultivate in their smart gardens.

The simple subscription flow and flexible options make it easy for people to get exactly what they want.



5. Lashify - fashion subscription

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Lashify sell salon-quality DIY lash extensions in a customizable subscription box. They are easy to use, damage free, and offer the flexibility to create the look you want — from natural to springingly dramatic. 

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Like many fashion and beauty companies, Lashify has embraced the subscriptions revolution. Instead of making a one-time purchase of  eye lash products, simply subscribe to a plan of your choice that meets your needs. 

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.06.47 AMAfter selecting the delivery frequency, scroll through the many eyelash options and accessories and customize your order. This is what we mean by build a box — you decide exactly what comes in your subscription order! 

Once you have customized your perfect eyelash kit, hit checkout and never go shopping at the mall for eyelash products again. Get beauty delivered right to your doorstep!

Get our free ebook: 7 Subscription Models to Master

6. Tree to Tub - bath subscription

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.19.39 AMWhen founder Michael Koh was growing up in Taiwan, he would do anything to avoid a bath. Soaps burned his skin and spread itchy red bumps all over his body. Then his grandmother introduced him to the soapberry, a natural cleanser that lathered up like soap but without the pain.

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Tree to Tub's bath and shower products are made from the soapberry, "natures healing soap." And if you really love them and know you are going to keep buying them, you can save 50% by subscribing to their build-a-box. 

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You simply pick 6 products you want to receive and set the delivery frequency. They could arrive once a week, or every two months, it's up to you. 

Keep your subscriptions fresh

Depending on the market you're in, you might want to update your subscription product selection regularly.

That way, every so often your subscribers can choose from new and exciting options, swapping out and trying other products. This can be great for increasing customer retention. 

How do you set up a build-a-box subscription on your store?

If you have a store on platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, there are some third party apps that can provide you with this build-a-box subscription functionality.

Of course, we're partial to our Bold Subscriptions app. But don't take our word for it! It has over 1,200 five-star reviews and great brands around the world use it. Take a look at our test store to see it live in action, or install it today.

On-demand webinar: Uncover winning techniques behind top subscriptions

Why do so many stores use Bold? Because giving customers more control makes them more satisfied. Why lose a subscriber because they can't edit their subscription? Give them the ability to change up their next delivery, or even skip an order all together.

First, you need Bold Subscriptions to start your recurring order business on Shopify or BigCommerce.

Try Bold Subscriptions
Once you’ve set up the app, or if you already have it installed,
learn how to set up Build-a-Box on your store.

Set up build-a-box

If you have any questions at all, send us an email or check out our release page for all the details.

Our industry-leading customer service specialists will help you get your subscription working exactly the way you want it to.

Automatic substitutions

A cool feature that our Subscriptions app has is automatic product substitutions. So if you change up your subscription box and customers forget to log in and make a new selections, they’ll still get products that match their preferences.

Let’s stick with meal boxes as an example. The first month, a customer selects grilled eggplant parmesan as an entree and vegan brownies as a desert.

If you change your menu for their second month, but the subscriber forgets to make a new selection, the app will use the labels to automatically substitute your new menu item in the next order.

So in this case, their first selections could have the labels ‘vegan entree’ and ‘vegan desert.' So in their delivery for the next month, they’ll automatically receive your new desert, like vegan oatmeal cookies.

Get our free ebook: 7 Subscription Models to Master

Bottom line: Build-a-box functionality will make you more money

We hope this gave you inspiration on how to set up a fully-customizable, build-a-box style subscription.

When you're ready to execute it, we'd love to help. Use Bold Subscriptions to unlock this functionality for you subscribers, providing them with a manageable subscription they'll hold onto.

Try Bold Subscriptions

Let us know in the comments below how you’re using this new feature! 

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John Bruce

Written by John Bruce

John is a full-time copywriter, part-time boxing coach, and former cable-access host.

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