Subscription boxes – big or small – are taking our shopping experience to a whole new level. Anything that can be packed into a box and delivered to someone remotely, can potentially become an online business nowadays. So, if you are a big fan of this trend, or better yet, have some interesting product ideas to offer the consumers, then this Cratejoy marketplace review is for you.
Cratejoy at a Glance
Founded in 2014 by Amir Elaguizy, Cratejoy is primarily a subscription-based marketplace that offers a variety of curated merchandise for specific audiences. Anyone can browse and discover a certain type of collection that they like, subscribe (or cancel) anytime they want.
It also acts as a hosting platform for small business owners to list new products to consumers in a unique and stress-free. Think of it like the Etsy marketplace, except that this one is dedicated entirely to subscription boxes.
At current, the site boasts about 1.4 million visitors per month, in which 65% of the traffic derived from the US, 6% from Canada and 5.7% from the UK. The majority appears to have found Cratejoy through the search engines and YouTube channels.
When it was first launched, I remembered that there weren’t that many interesting collections around. Now, they seem to have added and even improvised many features on the marketplace to make it more attractive and business-friendly.
The list below are the product categories that are currently being offered;
- Women (clothing, jewelry, maternity and etc.)
- Men (clothing, accessories, shaving and etc.)
- Family and Kids (kids, toys, educational and etc.)
- Beauty (organic, makeup, bath & soap and etc.)
- Books (adult, fantasy, romance and etc.)
- Food and Beverage (coffee, snacks, meal delivery and etc.)
- Geek and Gaming (nerd, videos, comic books and etc.)
- Fitness and Outdoors (outdoor, sports, weight loss and etc.)
- Art and Culture (music, arts & crafts, spiritual and etc.)
- Pets (dogs and cats)
- Home and Living (gardening, candles, home accessories and etc.)
- Novelty (adult)
Pretty interesting, right? I bet you never thought there are so many kinds of niches that can actually ‘fit’ into a box, uh? Well, marketing has certainly become more innovative nowadays with the advent of eCommerce and the consumer’s craving for more creative products. Now, let’s see what are the ways you can make money through this online marketplace.
How to Monetize With Cratejoy As a Business Owner
Listing in the marketplace is the most common way to get exposure for your product. Apart from that, you can also create a customized checkout or a website to offer more personalization for the customers.
The platform fees vary depending on what you want and need as a business owner. Obviously, the higher the price, the more tools, and support you can expect to get.
1 – It’s free to list on the marketplace, but whenever you sell something, there will be a fee of 11.25% + $0.10 per transaction. Your products are subjected to affiliate promotion and Cratejoy can sometimes select your brand to be featured on their blog.
2 – To cater for a more customized checkout experience, the fee is $19 per month and 1.25% + $0.10 per transaction. Marketplace listing is free (plus 10% transaction fee) and you’ll get access to other support tools.
3 – To own a custom website AND to sell on the marketplace (plus 10% transaction fee) at the same time, the fee is $39 per month and 1.25% + $0.10 per transaction. This means you can potentially get more exposure for the business through search engines.
And here are some of the details they would require when you open a merchant account;
- A business address.
- Your experience as a seller.
- The product description, subscription schedules, photos, videos and etc.
- Your social links and a business website link.
Once all the information is in place, the team will take about 2 to 4 business days to review before granting approval for the product to be sold through Cratejoy. Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward process and if you have got experience in selling, the whole setup will be much easier.
1 – As an established eCommerce marketplace, 1.4 million visitors are quite a lot and this could mean getting a lot of eyeballs for your product on the early stage of launching a subscription business.
2 – All paid plans come with a 14-day free trial so there’s a good duration of time to test run the various features on the platform and see if it could work for your business.
3 – If you are in need of custom-made boxes, Cratejoy has partnered up with a supplier called BoxUp to provide good quality boxes in 25 different sizes according to your preferred designs. Most importantly, you can order in small volumes and not by the thousands.
1 – One of the most obvious disadvantages is the fact that the platform has got a pretty high transaction fee for marketplace listing. To add on, there’s also the payment processing fee (either PayPal or Stripe) which costs 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. All these fees can potentially eat into your profit if you are not careful with cost planning, so keep that in mind.
2 – The platform mainly caters to the US market, so if you aren’t based within this region or plan to ship internationally, shipping fees can be very expensive (some cost even more than the box itself) and thus, less appealing to customers from other places.
3 – Just like any marketplaces, competition amongst businesses within the same niche will be stiff, especially with popular ones like beauty and health. Since you can’t control the order of the listing, visitors will naturally be attracted to brands that have the most appeal-like lower pricings and higher ratings. So for newcomers, it could take a while to get noticed.
4 – The website that comes with the all-in-one business solution (the one that costs $39 per month) is just a simple builder with some basic eCommerce features. It’s not exactly ideal for search engine optimization (SEO) or even to operate a fully functional online store. If you truly want to grow your brand into an online business, you need something more powerful like WordPress site or Shopify online store.
How to Monetize As an Affiliate
Now, what if you don’t own any products, but love to explore a new collection of boxes? Well, Cratejoy has an affiliate program that you can join. Every time you refer visitors to the marketplace, who then become purchasing customers, you’ll earn commissions from the sales.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can benefit from the program;
- 10% tiered commission per sale on blogs/contest sites and social influencers.
- 4% per sale on coupon sites
- Eligibility to earn monthly bonuses
- 30-day cookie window
To put things into perspective, an average order volume of $47 based on a 10% commission rate, can yield a $4.70 profit. Thus, the conversion will be much higher if you can generate multiple online sales per day.
One of the best ways to start promoting is to establish a blog and use your affiliate links contextually. For example, if you are into women’s fashion, then it makes sense to promote boxes in this niche. If you are into book reading, then it’s relevant to talk about book subscriptions instead.
It’s not just because the commission is better with a blog, but content such as articles and videos actually have more potential to acquire long term free traffic which is crucial to generate recurring income. Marketing through social media or YouTube videos with the aid of a blog can reflect your authenticity as a knowledgeable and passionate blogger too.
So if you haven’t got a blog yet, here’s a chance to build one for free using WordPress.
1 – There’s a whole lot of niches that can leverage from subscription boxes and I am pretty sure people still don’t know that they exist. Just look at the varieties available in the Cratejoy marketplace! This is a good opportunity to write product reviews about boxes that you like (or don’t like for that matter) and get more audience for your blog. It’s a fun add-on to the regular one-item review that one would commonly write or read.
2 – The elaborated customer reviews for each product is a sign that many people are shopping in the marketplace. As an affiliate marketer, you can use these reviews and ratings to select boxes to promote as well as get insights about the product quality.
1 – Getting a good flow of traffic and sales conversion from SEO can be time-consuming. That’s because there’s a learning curve associated with keyword research and writing good quality content on a frequent basis. Some people acquire skills faster while others, much later.
Joining the affiliate program today certainly wouldn’t make you money by tomorrow. However, by really diving into the niche and be creative with different marketing techniques, it’s not impossible to make your first commission within several months.
Is Cratejoy a Good Place to Start a Subscription Business?
Most definitely. For subscription box entrepreneurs, it’s a gateway to expose your products to the public, especially if you are targeting the US market. Once the business is more well-known, you can always market independently through other channels.
There’s much to be explored by small to mid-size businesses to see how they can craft their own unique boxes as there’s a rising trend for this product.
Meanwhile, it is a great place for affiliate marketers to identify with popular niches and review a plethora of new products. You can subscribe to different boxes, each month and offer readers a peek into those products. Looking at the trend above, there’s no better time than now to get involved with the marketing of subscription boxes.
I hope this Cratejoy marketplace review has been insightful. If you like to learn how to sell more online or how to start making money in affiliate marketing, please check out my recommended training platform here.
Don’t forget to leave your thoughts or questions, if any, in the comment space below. Talk to you soon.