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Should You Start a Monthly T-Shirt Subscription Service?

Should You Start a Monthly T-Shirt Subscription Service? - Threadsy

Anne Dorfman |

With a whopping 65% of Americans interested in purchasing a product subscription, it might be the right time for you to create a t-shirt subscription box they can’t resist. The name of the game? Dishing out a personalized service that goes way beyond the usual shopping trip, delivering exactly what your customers want to wear, straight to their doorstep. But, before you take the plunge, we answer seven common questions about getting started.

1. What kind of t-shirt themes should I choose?

There are lots of ways to find out what type of tee design your customers would be excited to receive from you each month, including surveys and focus groups where you directly ask buyers their preferences. Depending on what types of designs you already offer in your business, you’ll likely have an idea of what appeals to your customers: vintage designs, animals or pets, food, memes and jokes, relationships, sports, hobbies, music, work, fitness, or activism and social causes. 

You can also look at overall industry trends and what competitors are doing to identify gaps where your subscription service could disrupt the marketplace – and catch consumers’ attention. When you review your closest competitors, pay attention to how closely their product meets buyer wants, pricing and how they promote their subscription service.

2. What types of t-shirts should I choose?

Hands-down, the tees you choose should be good quality, comfortable, flattering to most body types, and come in a range of sizes and colors. Threadsy carries blank tees for women, men and children from many well-loved brands, so you can shop in one place for the best options for your customers. It’s a good idea to offer customers a variety of fit options and detailed sizing charts so they can choose the best option for themselves or another person if the subscription is a gift.

Pro tip: Check with your supplier to choose deep-stock items so that you can always get what you need. Try to plan your production schedule and inventory needs in advance to meet the demands of your subscription service.

3. What kind of subscription options should I consider?

Numerous subscription services provide various tiers, each offering distinct benefits such as exclusive designs, discounts, complimentary shipping, quantity of products per delivery and delivery frequency — all at different price points. Should you choose this approach, it’s crucial to effectively communicate the unique value proposition associated with each tier.

For example, here’s how you might structure three tiers:

  • Basic or Essential Package: This serves as an introduction to your amazing t-shirts! Give them a budget-friendly option with a popular design, with standard shipping, to get them excited about getting your box each month. The goal is to dazzle them so they want more, and upgrade to a more expensive package. Premium Package: Give them one (or two) t-shirts per delivery, featuring premium designs, with priority shipping for faster delivery. This tier gets exclusive access to limited-edition designs.
  • VIP Package: Give them two (or three) t-shirts per shipment, decorated with exclusive and limited-edition designs, with express shipping for the quickest delivery. This tier receives VIP access to pre-releases and special collections, a personal stylist service for customized selections based on personal preferences, and bonus merch or accessories in select shipments.

When first launching your subscription service, you might want to just offer one tier to test out your process and offerings before expanding.

4. What are my options for fulfilling orders?

When you’re starting out, you may opt to decorate, pack and ship your orders in-house every month. Another option is to work with a third-party provider who’ll decorate and ship your orders, or simply pack and ship the products you provide.

For a monthly subscription service, you’ll probably want a set shipping window when you pack and ship all your boxes. If you’re fulfilling your orders in-house, you can plan your time better. Plus, subscribers will know when to expect their next package!

No matter who’s shipping your orders, you should ensure you’re working with reliable shipping partners. If you can offer tracking information to your customers, they’ll appreciate knowing where their tee is in transit.

5. How should I market my subscription service?

Use marketing channels your audience responds to for sharing information about your subscription service. For example, if they hang out on Instagram, focus your efforts there by regularly posting visually appealing content, such as photos of you wearing your tees, style tips and behind-the-scenes looks at your design process. Build up user-generated content by encouraging customers to post photos wearing your tees or videos of their unboxing experience with a dedicated hashtag. The more you create a community, the more engaged your subscribers will be – sticking around for the long term.

Another great way to build buzz about your service is to collaborate with influencers in fashion and lifestyle niches to increase credibility and social proof. Choose influencers who have audiences matching your target audience so you can maximize those collaborations.

Don’t leave out email marketing, since regular pings in their inboxes are another great way to keep buyers in the loop and engaged. When you’re starting out, offer an incentive like a discount code to encourage people to opt in. Then, send your emails on a consistent schedule to let customers know about upcoming releases, special promotions and behind-the-scenes stories to maintain a connection with your subscribers.

6. Do I need a “fancy” website for a subscription service?

Not necessarily! What you do need is a website or landing page on your existing website that’s first, visually appealing and on brand, and that also clearly communicates the excitement and value of your subscription service. Avoid overwhelming your prospects with information overload. 

Instead, focus on the basics like high-quality images of your t-shirts, detailed information about your subscription tiers, and an easy-to-navigate checkout process. That way, there are no roadblocks keeping a customer from subscribing, managing their account or providing honest feedback. Many vendors offer subscription management software to enhance the customer experience, so you can look into options to see what might work for your business.

7. How can I add a personal touch to my service, without needing to actually “personalize” each package?

Here are some quick ideas to make your monthly t-shirt shipment even more special:

  • Invest in custom packaging. That includes branded boxes, filler paper and wrapping tape. (Bonus points if they’re eco-friendly!) As soon as a customer sees your package in their mailbox or on their doorstep, they’ll know exactly what’s inside! Your goal should be to create an amazing unboxing experience they’ll want to repeat over and over.
  • Include a printed note from you. Your customers will love to learn the inspiration behind this month’s design or get an insider styling tip from you.
  • Add unexpected surprises. For example, include a special discount code for another product or even a bonus item, like a fabric headband, that pairs well with the t-shirt.

Offer amazing customer service. If a buyer reaches out to you with a concern, respond promptly and courteously, attempting to solve the issue as fairly as possible.

Ready to Start a T-Shirt Subscription Service?

Starting a monthly t-shirt subscription service can be a lucrative venture, given the high interest in product subscriptions among consumers. To ensure success, focus on personalized tee designs, offer quality and diverse options, and carefully consider subscription tiers with unique benefits. Adding a personal touch through custom packaging, personalized notes, and unexpected surprises can enhance the overall customer experience and contribute to the success of your subscription service. If you’re already experiencing success with your t-shirt sales, the time is right for you to offer an even more personalized and profitable way to get your tees in customers’ closets.

Shop Threadsy for All Your On-Trend Subscription Box Styles

With our affordable collection of wholesale apparel for adults and kids of all ages in different colors, fabrics and fits, you can quickly build a must-join subscription box service. Shop Threadsy’s retail products at wholesale prices are great for decorating with graphic or text-based designs and wearing everywhere. Make your t-shirt shop the online destination for all things fashion!