Subscription Box Basics

Chat with Stefan of Subbly

May 22, 2023 Episode 163
Subscription Box Basics
Chat with Stefan of Subbly
Show Notes Transcript

Everyone’s been talking about Subbly’s subscription software lately. Should you try it? Should you switch platforms? Will it work for you? Let’s talk about it!

In today’s episode, Julie has a chat with Stefan Pretty, the Scotsman behind Subbly. He launched the platform in 2014, right at the onset of the online subscription boom. Since then, Subbly has empowered thousands of businesses to successfully launch and grow. 


  • If you are a Subscription Box Bootcamper, use the link in your course to claim your 90 days free. 
  • If you are not a Bootcamper or you are thinking of changing platforms, try Subbly for 30 days for free with this link:
  • See what makes Subbly different with the comparison chart found at
  • The UK’s only subscription box marketplace:
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So you wanna launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball. And I'm Renee Gonzalez, your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs wanting to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun. Hey everybody. Welcome back to subscription box basics. It's Julie here in, in just a minute, you are about to meet Stefan pretty the Scotsman behind Subbly, which is our preferred subscription box software. So he launched the platform in 2014, right at the onset of the online subscription. Boom, since then, Subbly has empowered thousands of businesses to successfully launch and grow. With over 15 years of experience in online marketing and business, Stefan brings a forward-looking trend aware perspective and is eager to share valuable advice and . Insights within the community. Check the show notes for a special 30 day free trial of Subbly software. Side note, if you are a subscription box, bootcamper you get 90 days free that's three months free of Subbly. Don't use the link in the show notes. Use the link in your subscription box bootcamp course. Okay. Got that. If you are brand new or you're thinking about switching to Subbly, then use the link in the show notes. All right guys, sending it on over to the interview now. I am so very excited to have you, Stefan finally on the podcast, we've been trying to figure this out for quite a while, and I want to be the first to welcome you to Subscription Box Basics. Thank you for having me, Julie. And yeah, we have been talking about this for a while and I'm really, thrilled to be able to have this conversation and also to you know, get introduced to your audience as well. Cause you've, what you've achieved is incredible. So I'm really, excited and thank you for, having me upfront. Oh, of course. Well, speaking of introductions, why don't you start with a quick introduction and then we are going to just talk about sub, we're gonna talk about. How it can be the best software for you to choose if you're a new or aspiring subscription box business owner. And we're gonna go through it all. So let's start with an introduction. Cool. Yeah. So I'm Stefan Pretty, the c e o and founder of Subbly. I started Subbly eight years ago with the, vision and the mission was to help basically solve a, problem that I ran into when I was running a digital marketing agency and a client wanted to start a subscription business and there was no out the box solution in the market at the time. So it was a kind of scratch your own itch sort of endeavor. Eight years later still, here, still excited and still passionate about this project. Obviously it's very different now than it was back then, but yeah. We're a subscription first all in one e-commerce platform. So we'll unpack that though, I'm sure in the coming you know, 30 minutes or so. Yeah, absolutely. So many times a lot of my students will come to me and say, just tell me what to do, , what's the best solution? And it's hard to always say , this is gonna be the best thing for you, because there's so many nuances, there's so many variables, but we feel very comfortable when a new boot camper comes to us or anyone, and says, What do you guys think? What software should we use? We are totally team Subbly and so that's why I'm so excited to unpack this, as you said. So let's just start with what makes Subbly different than any of the other solutions that are out there for subscription box businesses? Yeah. Okay. So this is a great question and it's probably the, number one question I think everybody asks. So I figured I, I like leading with this because I think it also will help us to kind of talk about the more nuanced aspects of it as well. So I'm glad you asked that first. The, best way of describing it is in terms of its differences, is the focus of each platform or solution. So oftentimes people are like, well, what's the difference between Sub and what's the difference between Shopify or Cratejoy, et cetera, et cetera. And this is my like, go-to answer. It's like, well, we're so focused. Our only focus in fact, our mission statement is to create a home for subscription businesses, more specifically subscription first businesses. So we're like, Blind determined to build the, perfect solution for subscription first businesses. And then if you think about like, create joy for example they're, focused on their marketplace. If you think about Shopify, they're focused on transactional commerce first and their plugin ecosystem, which they're leaning into obviously. And then other solutions like. You know, Wix WordPress. WordPress is actually technically a blogging platform. is a website builder. Squarespace is a website builder, and you know, and it just goes on and on. And then if you think about like, You know, the next question might be like, well, what about recharge? What about bold? Those are predominantly plugin or eCommerce first solutions, and they require another platform. So we see ourselves as this kind of full solution everything you need all, in one. With a pure focus on subscription first e-commerce. So putting it at the front of the train instead of at the back. Got it. Okay. So our listeners are usually pretty new in business. So when you say plugin, let's define what that means. So in my experience, I've worked on a lot of different website platforms. I don't know if you knew this about me, but before I did subscription boxes, I ran an all female web agency, and so I got very familiar Yeah. With WordPress specifically. And WordPress is one of those platforms that you need plug-ins for. So how would you define plug-ins for newbies? Yeah. Okay. So I think let's conflate all the different terms. You've heard apps, plugins you know, I'm sure there's other variants as well, but basically any piece of additional functionality that is built by a third party. So, for example, in, you know, using this, the obvious example in, on Shopify to get subscription billing, you need a subscription plugin, right? And it's a third party company that is. Designed and built that piece of software that plugs in to the, primary platform of, Shopify to give it additional capabilities. So, you know, obviously in the, WordPress example, it would be WooCommerce for e-commerce. So yeah. Yeah, I think that's important to, bring up because a lot of people think, oh, I can just build a website and if it has a cart, great, but that's not really true. It has to have the capability of running recurring transactions. So that's kind of a good segue into what does subscription first mean, because obviously they have to be able to do recurring transactions If you're subscription first. Yeah. So yeah, I've mentioned this kind of term a couple of times now, subscription first. So basically the definition that we have for that is any business that has a primary sales intent. Of selling subscriptions. So , this modern age of e-commerce, especially post covid the, landscape's way more dynamic. You know, if you flashback to 10 years, 15 years ago when Shopify just started out, they were doing transactional commerce. That was the, pretty much the only way of buying online. And then all of a sudden there was like subscriptions, I think there was memberships, around about the earlier days as well, but they never really com combined with retail. And over time the subscription box movement really accelerated this. And then there were, subscribing, save, and there's just all these different types of hybrid models were starting to emerge where it wasn't necessarily subscription or. Transactional, but both. And so we basically came up with this terminology that categorizes all these different types of stub models, subtypes of businesses that have the primary goal in sales intent of selling subscriptions, which means they also often oftentimes sell or rely on selling one-time transactional products as well to support and be part of their, business model. So that's, Basically what we've defined subscription first, as that makes sense. And, I think of it as if I were to go to a website of a brand, what's the first thing they want me to do? Is it subscribe? Like, what's that main call to action? Is it subscribe? Is it shop? Is it. Join our email list, things like that. So clearly someone who is subscription first, as soon as you get to that website, you're like, oh, they want me to subscribe to their product. Yeah. In most cases, and actually there's a couple of caveats to that because if you could think of another Type of system. We, have different terminology for this. There's like system's probably a good one for it, whereby let's use an espresso for example. Now an espresso haven't done the best implementation of this in my opinion, and I'm not here to do a tear down. But Espresso. You buy your espresso machine, right? And you need the pods and the capsules that are compatible with that. Absolutely. That is technically a subscription, right? So you actually buy a one-time product upfront, but their intention is to get you buying their capsules forever, right? So that's a subscription, but that's technically subscription first, but it's in reverse. So there are these exceptions and really clever models that you, you'll see more and more now that are pointed out as well. So, okay, that's great example. There's probably some others. I, just can't think of them right now. But yeah, those are kind of like another form of it. Yeah. Okay. So let's switch gears. Now we know what sub is, we know what subscription first means. Let's switch gears to some of the other softwares. When someone is thinking about, should I pick Subbly should I pick Shopify? Should I pick Crate Joy? There's so many things that can go through their minds. And I think you guys have. A link that you were gonna share too, that has a comparison chart. So we'll put that in the show notes. But let's just kind of walk through real quick. Maybe start with Shopify, like what's the main difference between Suby and Shopify when you're running a subscription box business? Yeah. Okay. So obviously we've, I've explained like the, overall positioning, the differences in terms of the focus and the intention of the platforms for, Shopify versus. The difference is that you're, going to need plugins to run a subscription business successfully on Shopify. Now, what does that mean? Because obviously there, there's something really appealing and attractive about having this big plugin ecosystem. It feels like you've got unlimited possibilities, and to some extent that is true until you. Like if you were wanting to take a shotgun approach and you're going, okay, like I want to try these different models and then see which one works, and then stick with it. That's quite an interesting environment to be operating from, like this kind of ecosystem. But if you're like, we're definitely subscription, then you're gonna need a subscription plugin. You're going to need like funnels, you're gonna need automations, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, and it just goes on and on. So you're. When, we did our research, we basically found that for a, you know, an established or even just early stage, but like more mature than starting out stage subscription business running on Shopify, they're gonna need like five to 10 plug-ins basically. And I've been in conversations personally where people are saying, I need a plugin for like a button. Oh gosh. Or their jacket and, we're just like, this is crazy. So anyway. And that could get expensive. Exactly. But that's the thing. So the, drawbacks to this is there, there's a few things. One is it gets really expensive really quickly, and you don't realize that you started with $29 a month or whatever it is, and then suddenly you're actually on hundreds a month. And actually we've found on average that people save later or down the line, like four, I think it's $480 per month. Wow. Yeah. By, eliminating all these plugins. Definitely. And then the other thing is the dependency aspect. So if you think about. Operationally. You're, there's gonna be more places that you're gonna be in to, to make your business work. Have you changed one thing or you're gonna have to make sure that it, it, changes and is compatible. That change is compatible with the other plugins that you're using. If you're even further down the line, like if you're more mature business and you're like, okay, we've gotta customize this and make our own now, then you're gonna need access to the APIs for that. If you're gonna need to also have access to the APIs for those plug-ins, the costs start growing up even more at that stage. Yeah. And then there's also the reliability aspect. So if one of the plug-ins breaks, what happens? You know, these are lots of different third parties as I mentioned earlier with the, plug-in definition. What if one of these third parties fails? What if there's customer support's not good enough? You know, there's all these different questions and. Failure points I, I like to call it. Whereas with sub, you just have the platform and obviously we have integrations with platforms that you're using for your marketing, , and that you're used to using, , like Klaviyo et cetera. So you know we're not a silver bullet, but we certainly have eliminated like, A massive chunk of all these failure points and the costs as well. Yeah, I think about WordPress. Whenever I was working on WordPress a lot, I would always be so afraid to do the plug-in updates because yeah, I was like, if I update this, is it going to be compatible with my current WordPress version? And if it's not, my site's gonna break, and then who am I gonna call?, if you are not. Fluent in, web development or even just familiar under the hood of a website, it can be really intimidating. So while I do love Shopify as a platform, I think it has its place. I love what you're saying in that sub leave versus Shopify, it's just, it's more streamlined, more simple, more. Ready to use outta the box. So, yeah. What about Cratejoy? Because I don't know if you know this either about me. When I ran Sparkle Hustle Grove for six years we, were on Cratejoy the whole time. It was what made sense for me in 2016 when I launched my box and it was simple. Like I really loved the simplicity of it. Now a lot has changed. In Crate Joy from 2016 to now, you know, 2023. And it's still a viable option, but what are, what would be the differences between Crate Joy and, Subbly yeah this, is a, another great question. I think mainly because it, that we have this kind of, this Crate Joy story that is very Close to home for, me, cuz I don't know if you know this, but we actually launched almost at the exact same time as Great joy. So yeah when, I first came up with the idea for Suli, we me and my, friend who was involved for a brief, period of time we, were doing our research and found nobody in the market. And then one day, Ironically, and I was in Austin, Texas. We found a great joy and what actually happened, my understanding is, and I don't, I just in case I'm not right, I, I don't know for sure, but my understanding is that they were in Y Combinator and they pivoted into this opportunity cuz they saw the same opportunity that I saw with the, lack of a solution in the marketplace. So they started as a platform. Predominantly exactly the same as what, sub was. And then, they launched the marketplace and then they focus more and more on the marketplace over time. And so bring coming all the way to today. Great joy is marketplace first as we would describe it. And They're primary focus is on the marketplace now. Our focus is subscription and providing you with the tools, providing you with the technology, whereas Cratejoy, trying to provide you with a, basically a sales channel. And I'm not gonna dive into the, pros and cons of a marketplace. There's material out there that can be read about that topic. I think that they're have a fantastic marketplace, by the way, and I think it's great for getting off the ground. And just to really kickstart your, business. And in fact, what we actually recommend before I even go into more details here, is that we actually recommend if you wanna use great joy, then you should have a great joy. Marketplace listing, plus sub together, so you get the best of both worlds. I would say that the, primary differences though are , obviously, I'm biased, but I would say our software is, more sophisticated because we are more focused on the techno, on the platform side of things., we're constantly making updates. We're constantly improving. We're constantly listening to the feedback, and we're constantly pushing forward with that. And our, customer support are extremely responsive. We're always, trying to respond as quickly as possible. I'm sure you've heard our about our reputation there. Oh yeah. And have for sure experienced it yourself as well. And then the other thing is cuz we're not a marketplace. We don't hold your, data. Like if you decide something's not for me and you decide to go somewhere else later we're not gonna hold your data back. We're just gonna let you have it. And another thing is that our, it's very rare for us to put our costs up, but when we do it at, sub, it's usually tied to added value. So like if we've, done a load of changes over like a year or two then we might evaluate the pricing then knowing that you're getting more value. And that, that's the, way that we would approach that. So those are like the primary differences. I hope that answers the question in full. Yeah, I think that's good. And if you're listening and you're not sure what the Cratejoy marketplace is, it's simply what it sounds like. It's a marketplace for a subscription box. Business owners think of like Etsy, like it's a third party marketplace where you can list things on. And so Cratejoy has a marketplace, but then they also offer software website builder out of the box. So that's kind of what we're breaking down is. That you can have this marketplace listing because it's another channel, another place to get visibility. But it's different in that you're running those sales through a third party. They're gonna own that data. Be on the Crate joint marketplace, that's fine. But also have your own home base, your own website where you are doing transactions. You're gonna keep more of the money and you're gonna have access to all the data and the analytics and all that. So it does make a good pairing per se. Yeah, just one more thing actually, and this is for anybody who's listening, who's in the uk cuz I know that create Joy is only available in the us. There is a, there is actually a solution for UK. Merchants and it's called you Open, like just like the letter you and then open. They're, smaller than great joy, but looks like a pretty good solution for UK merchants specifically. So check it out if you're, you know, feeling like you're left out of, being able to get a great joy listing. Oh, I can't wait to check that out. I hadn't heard of that yet, so thank you for sharing that. Okay, so we've talked a lot about the different softwares available. What's a little bit different with Suby, but. Were are, have we missed any key benefits to Sudley that might not be obvious or something that might surprise us? Yeah. This is actually, I would say a failure of our own marketing and communications. So there's, a couple of things, but one of my favorite things is actually, what we call commitment terms. Now we've, actually had this for a very long time. Like 2017, I'm gonna say. And we built it in collaboration with one of our merchants. And basically what it is, lemme just describe it, it's the ability to set a commitment period where when a customer subscribes to say a monthly subscription, they are, they're committed , like a contract for that the number of months that you specify. Specifically renewals. So say it's 12 renewals, then it's 12 month, 12 month contract, effectively. Now the, this allows you to effectively do a prepaid subscription price. But spread over 12 monthly payments because you know that they're committed. This also really, reduces churn significantly. I was looking at the the, data on this a few weeks back. And I've, forgotten now and I'll need to share it with you later, but I think the delta was about 30 to 40% less churn. Wow. When you implemented commitment terms, which is massive, so you know that incre, that means you you're, increasing your lifetime value of a customer and you're able to spend more to acquire a customer as well. And not only that, because the price is cheaper, you're, it's easier to acquire a customer as well. So the upfront friction is lowered. So the commitment terms is a huge deal. My understanding is that there aren't any other platforms that offer this without. Again, plugins or series custom configuration, but with something that comes out of the box, we don't really talk about it. As I said, it's not on our homepage. It's not like something that we push, but it is a really powerful feature that I think deserves more airtime. Okay. I have a question on that one. So I know my, listeners are probably wondering the same thing. So say someone commits to six months and they are halfway through their commitment and they want to cancel, like how can they cancel or they committed? How does that work? Or is it different by country? Well, it actually is d it would be different based on the business. So there's a couple of different ways you could handle this. One is you could just take a hard line and say, no, sorry, you signed a contract. Obviously that's gonna cause a bit of upset. Now by, the way, lemme just preface this, all of this, with the fact that I was worried about this when we first introduced this, feature, I was like, there's gonna be, there's gonna be backlash, but there wasn't. And I, think that oftentimes, there's always gonna be a fear of something that is gonna be greater than the reality of it. But I do think it's really important to have like the operations side of things, the processes nailed before you even get into something like this. Yeah. So one of the, one of the best approaches to dealing with that is if somebody's like, listen, I want our, I don't like your product, first of all. Take the feedback. That's number one. Number two is to actually say, okay, look, that's fine, but there's an there's a cancellation fee. So, okay, you've had a, you've had a discounted rate for, three months that you wouldn't have had if you were just month to month. And therefore the cancellation amount is the, discount amount for the previous three months charged today. Brilliant to, Basically canceled the contract terminated. So that is the, best approach and seems to be the most successful approach. And people seem to be happy with that. So that's the, way I would approach it personally. Great advice. I love that. All right. Were there any other benefits you wanted to share before we move on? I mean, look I, would say, Give it a shot if you're gonna, if you're thinking about it, there's a free trial and I think our customer support team are super helpful. If you have any questions they, respond super quickly and they're happy to help and there's just, there's a ton of features. Another great one that I love personally is the funnels. So you can configure it. So you can do pre-purchase upsells, you can do mid purchase and post-purchase now. Oh, nice. There's a lot, there's a lot to unpack there. But basically you can offer add-ons and upsells essentially before the, customer gets to the checkout during the checkout process and after the customer has actually finished, purchasing, you can then prompt them with an upsell. Now they've already put their card details in, they've already put their address in, and you, can then give them like a one click purchase. And now the, uptake, depending on the offer is usually very high because people want more value. They've given you their trust and yeah. It's very easy for them to just to click the button and., add the add-on or the upsells. So that's a great feature and you can do like chained logic. So you can do, if they accept this, then show them another offer. If they don't accept this, then show them another offer. So yeah, it could be as simple or as complex as you want based off of what your goals are. Well, I have a good story to share too about Suli, like this is true story. Okay. One of my boot campers was setting up on another platform and she was just in tears. She was messaging me and I was like, you know what? Take a break, breathe. Here's my link to Suby. Try that instead. And within a day she's like, I cannot believe I just built a website that I feel, so proud of. And I did it all by myself. So that just, that's awesome to show you. Like, and she used your customer service along the way. You guys have the chat support and which is so helpful if you are not. Again, fluent in like building. If this is your first website build or your first business having someone there I'm there of course for my boot campers. And, but having someone there alongside you while you're building the website is just unbelievable. That's awesome I'm, you've saved that till now and I appreciate that you've, saved that till now, so yeah that's, really great to hear. I'll be passing that one on to the team. I'm sure they'll love to hear that. Oh good, All right, so Subbly is kind of your baby, right? So what are you most proud of? With Su well, we've kind of just spoke about it actually, and I would say that the customer support and the, level of care, I mean, I think that the, culture that we have is we I, can't curse, but like we really give, we care. We care a lot. Yes. And. I think that it's, it, I'm really proud when I see like the feedback that we get inside of like the communities and stuff like that, where people are like, wow, the customer support are just absolutely insanely good. And yeah that makes me feel the warmest apart from obviously when people are singing the praises of the product itself. But yeah, it's great to see when people are being taken care of and I Oh, I love that. That's something I'm most proud of. That is definitely important to me as I run my business as well. It's like the golden rule. Treat people like you wanna be treated and what goes around comes around. It's gonna help. It's such a win-win. Yeah. A hundred percent. And do you know what actually is a really difficult place for me to be when I see other people are being treated badly or they're frustrated? Because, you know, I see these people who are venting or frustrated and it would be, it's hard for me to balance being like, Helpful versus being coming across as being overly biased and salesy. So it's like, look, I do, I feel I have the solution to help you. Yeah. But I don't wanna be like, Constantly, like hard selling. Yes. Like, that's just not my nature. So when I'm always in this kinda like tough spot where I see people who are like, having a hard time and it annoys me and it upsets me, especially when they're, being treated bad or like you know, business practices or leading to them being in these, situations. And I've, I feel like I've kind of got my hands tied, so, yeah. Yeah. That's frustrating, but. Yeah, it's funny. Well, I always love seeing your posts when you're talking about improvements and new features. So what are you guys working on at Sub Yeah, well actually we have some pretty big news and I, you may have seen that we were doing like a private alpha which basically means we have a it, is a group of people testing the, somewhat, almost basically final version of a product. In private. So we've, basically finished that and that, what I'm talking about is our new checkout. So we've just been, we've been working on that for. Almost a year and a bit maybe. So we have a new checkout and. That comes along with a new api, which means application programming interface which basically allows you to customize Subbly and build on top of it as well as an sdk, which means software development kit. Wow. I need more coffee. And yeah basically, that makes it even easier to like, work with our api. So it, it's for like front end developers and stuff like that. So yeah, like I'm really proud of it. The new checkout has got one click purchase. So like you can literally do Apple Pay, Google Pay express checkout. And then there's also one click authentication as well. So it's. Really high converting checkout and very customizable as well. You, can go in and choose the branding design and, the behaviors. So yeah, really excited about that. That's one thing that's being rolled out right now. Yeah, that, that's the big one. There's, words in the roadmap though, so just I guess stay tuned for, all the other things. Yeah, if anytime you have some major updates, let us know. We'll be happy to share with everyone. And if you're listening and you're like, all those acronyms are stressing me out, a p i t, like for, the record, you don't need any of those to run with Subbly out of the box. Those are just for. If you have a business that's a little bit more complex and you need to customize some things. So, but I'm looking forward to seeing that, that new checkout process. That sounds really awesome.. So 20 22, 20 23. There's been a lot of challenges based off of, you know, getting back into the swing of things after the pandemic, people are traveling again and. I think e-commerce has changed. The way we do advertising has changed. What are you guys seeing from your unique position behind the scenes? Great question. Yeah, look it's a real mixed bag. It's quite confusing right now for everybody. Overall, I would say yeah, the, there were, especially in the end of 2022, a lot of headwinds, you know, there were supply chain issues. There were targeting issues for advertising and the cost of advertising was going through the roof. Yep. Although some of these things have started to kind of work themselves out the cost of advertising I believe has come down a little bit and others. Economic and recession fears in general. So we're seeing that more people are giving up which is really unfortunate to see cuz they all also at the same time, what we're seeing is that the established businesses are actually performing better. So it's not all doming gloom and although it might. Like a lot. I think what we're seeing is that people are basically hesitant and they're like, okay, now is not the right time. But actually that's not true in a recession. That is the right time because that's when the opportunities start to present themselves. And you, know, there's been some big companies that have gone bust more will go bust if we do fall into a full recession. And those are just amazing opportunities to get started and to build something I would say. Get started today if you're if you're thinking about it. But make sure that you're equipped with the right knowledge. Because , in my experience, the ones who give up just haven't had the right information. That have let, them get, like early success is that early success that is gonna keep you pushing for more. Yeah. Yeah. And I would agree with you on timing. I think the summertime, like we're recording this in spring of 2023 and I, feel like that is such a great time to start ramping up your business because you'll be smooth sailing with your operations. Your website will be up and running within two to three months if you're using our subscription box boot camp , framework. But you wanna be ready for the increased demand over the holidays. You don't wanna start your box business in December cuz you're gonna miss. All that increased demand. So I would say that this is a good time to get that ball rolling, to get your box business up and running. And you feel comfortable when that increased demand hits during the holidays. For sure. And also I think that , if you're having a hard time right now and you are facing these headwinds, it's a survival game right now for, people who are in a situation where that is the case. It's about persisting and surviving through the next six to 12 months. Because on the other side of that, you're gonna have a stronger business, you're gonna have stronger foundations where you're gonna be able to start to thrive in a more productive environment. So yeah, like I, I know that there's a few people who are selling their subscription boxes as well, which I see as a positive signal to be honest with you. Cause that means that there is a market and I have seen purchases and sales going on and that's great. That's actually really. Encouraging. But at the same time, I think, you know, some people may be thinking, oh, but people are selling. Does that mean they're giving up? No, it doesn't actually means that they're probably feeling exhausted. They've been doing it for five years now is harder than it's ever been and they just think, you know I've not got it in me to just get through the next 12 months. I'm just gonna, sell and, move on to something else, which is fine, but I just think that like, I think a lot more people are feeling it than they're, than are saying it. Yeah. And with that said, it's a matter of persisting and outlasting your problems. I really do believe that. Yeah, and I always encourage people, when you see other people selling their business or closing their business, you don't have the full story. So don't just assume like the subscription box industry is a bust. Not at all. When I sold my box business, it was a family decision that we were ready for our next season of life, and that just didn't include this box business anymore. I moved further into coaching and I wanted some time off. My daughter is in middle school and I wanted to have more flexibility in my schedule. And so when you see someone who's like, I'm gonna sell my box business, I feel like we should cheer them on because hundred percent that's in, most businesses. Like that's a major milestone for that business owner. They might have a a change in their family life, maybe. There's a, they're just ready for the next season like I was, maybe they're ready to cash out. Like that's an awesome achievement. So if you're listening and you're like, oh, all I see are businesses shutting down or selling, that's because you're really tuned into it right now. So you're, of course you're gonna notice it more, but remember that you don't know the full story and when. When I see a fellow box owner or just business owner sell their business, the first thing I do is cheer them on and congratulate them, cuz that's a major milestone. But anyhow, that's just my two sentences on it. No, well, well said. I think you're spot on. It's like I, in fact, I didn't even think about it from that perspective. So, yeah I, do think that was really well said. I think a lot of people who start their business have the goal and intention of selling at some point. And the fact that they're achieving that is remarkable. I mean, that just speaks volumes for the industry. I think it's more of a timing thing that people are just like, That, that maybe coming outta Covid. There's, changes in their lives, as you said, that are taking place. There's so many different things that could be, and it just so happens to be aligning up with the, this kind of economic fear and the kind of recession that hasn't happened yet, but could happen and all that jazz. And people are probably contributing it directly to that when I don't think it necessarily is now that you've said that, but But yeah, even still, like there, there's headwinds for every type of business. Right now I've, been hearing stories. It's not just subscription boxes, it's literally everything. I mean, look how many redundancies have been made in the tech industry, like Facebook and Amazon and every other tech business is ridiculous. So yeah, it's just a matter of persisting through it and, seeing that actually these present opportunities. Yeah, like when, you see these movements take place. Yeah, for sure. So what do you think the future of subscription looks like? Yeah, I think On this note I, do think that it's bright. I think that maybe the term box is not necessarily gonna be the term that, sticks around forever. That's up for debate. But subscription as a directional retail trend is definitely continuing. Now more than ever, like. I bet you know, everybody's listening has, you know, at least a handful of subscriptions for something. Right. You know, and then there's Apple who, , for example, they're looking at introducing hardware subscriptions, so you never have to buy a laptop again, basically. So like, Most industries are pushing in this direction. I don't see that changing. And I think that the, box term basically is, talking about curation as a model. Which are very, like, focused on passions and hobbies, which again, like those aren't gonna go away. Like hobbies and passions are never gonna go away. So yeah, I think the future is very bright. The data suggests that, the research suggests that. And yeah, I'm bullish. I agree. I, think that there's gonna be shifts in the marketplace. I think if you are paying attention then you can take advantage of those. But I think that you're right. There's, everywhere I look, there's subscription, whether it is hobbies and passions or whether it's like daily living things we have subscribing, save to a bunch of stuff and it's just one of those set it and forget it things and it makes life easier, you know? It does. So, It does. So as, our listeners are thinking about starting their own subscription box, what would, what's one piece of advice you'd give them? Yeah, I think the, number one piece of advice right now for when you're starting is to make sure the numbers work. Now what I mean by that is do your COGS analysis, cost of goods sold, make sure that you have a profitable model. Yes. And make sure the numbers check out. Because if you don't start from those first principles, you're gonna have a lot more heartache, a lot more stress, trying to reverse back into that later down the line. Whereas if you have it right, At the start, then you're gonna have a much more easier time when you're doing your marketing and figuring out the, right numbers, like your cost of a acquisition versus the lifetime value of a customer, which obviously you'll only know over time, but it will just be a lot easier to figure that out and to not work yourself into a corner, which will be very disheartening. You know, cuz there's enough headwinds starting a business as it is, it takes persistence, it takes a strong mindset. And I think that if you can eliminate the. Putting yourself in a corner financially, cuz your numbers aren't quite right. Then, that's the first thing to, focus on. The other thing, I'm sorry, I know you passed for one thing, but it is, that, is this cheating? Am I allowed to do this? Go ahead, go for it. The other thing I would probably look at is just to make sure that you actually have an attractive offer. And by an offer, I mean product. Plus the price point plus. The messaging, like it has to you, need to be testing that all the time. And that's the, key takeaway always be testing. I think that the, product has to be right. And you wanna make sure that there's there it's gonna resonate with your target audience. So yeah, that's like three things. Sorry. It was great advice though. I think one of the biggest. One of the biggest mistakes new box owners make is underpricing, and I'm guilty When I started my box business, between the time that I launched it and the time that I've sold it, I changed my pricing three times. So it's doable, but it wasn't fun. It definitely was not fun, but it was necessary for me to be profitable and for me to hit the revenue goals that I was reaching for.. It's easier to reduce your price than it is to increase it. True. It's true. And, people are not gonna complain if you reduce your price. Like they, they might complain and it'll be, as you said, it's difficult to go through that process when you increase it. And yeah, I think that pretty much covers it, to be honest with you.. Oh. Yeah, and one more thing. I think another common. Issue for any new entrepreneur or person that's starting a business for the first time and this is probably related and tied to the pricing, is that they tend to have kind of a bit of imposter syndrome. So they are. Feeling like their, business is, maybe not, they're not good enough, basically. They feel like maybe they're not good enough and they're worried that they're gonna fail and that they're gonna be, you know, laughed at or whatever, and they're gonna get no customers and therefore they go in with a lower offer. So they'll reduce the price before even launching, assuming that it, that what they're creating is not good enough. And That you just need to really combat that and, hype yourself up basically. Exactly. And Renee does such a good job. She's our like resident hype gal in subscription box bootcamp. So if you do have imposter syndrome, just know that you're not alone. It's very normal. But we can help you with that. So let's land this plane. This has been such a great conversation. Thank you so much for. Sharing all the information. And I know that you have a special offer for our podcast listeners, right? Correct. Yes, I do. I do. Okay. I'm excited to share it. Lay it on. Normally we do a 14 day free trial, which I think I mentioned earlier on the pod. But for your listeners I wanna offer 30 days for free and there's a special link that we've put together for you and your listeners. It's, so s u b l And that will automatically apply the 30 day free trial. Awesome. So that will be in the show notes. You guys, I really. Encourage you to just go check it out you, we've just given you 30 days free to check it out. Start building something in there. Use the chat functionality because that's the only way you're gonna know if it's a good fit for you. So if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us. You can reach out to Suby via their chat, and we are all very much willing to help. Again, thank you for sharing your information about Subbly and for giving such great advice and for just being such a good partner in the industry that, we really need. I appreciate that. Yeah, no you're, very welcome. And I do hope that the podcast comes as,, useful and refreshing information because I know it could be really like, confusing. There's just so much out there. And , I appreciate you as well for being such a, great partner and letting me on as well. So I think it's really important that we have guiding lights in the industry especially when subscription's so complicated. So thank you for everything that you do for the industry as well. Thank you so much. All right guys. Thanks for listening today. Let us know if you have any questions. Hit up those show notes and we'll see you in the next episode. Bye.