Subscription Box Business 104—From Picking, Packing, and Kitting to Shipping, Manage Seamless Fulfilment

This is the fourth piece of the series. In our last blogs, we already have discussed the subscription business model, the different dynamics of the subscription box business, such as building subscription box business and audience, curating a subscription box, managing the procurement and inventory, and market the subscription box services.

Once the box is curated, the customer is approached, and the order is received, the next phase is, order fulfillment.

What is a Subscription Box Fulfillment?

Subscription Box fulfillment refers to the process of delivering the subscription box to the customer from the seller, on a recurring basis.

The subscribers receive the subscription box with the same products or with different assortment depends on the subscription plan, each day, week, month, quarter, or at any other pre-defined interval.

Subscription box fulfillment doesn’t revolve around delivery, only. It seems simple, but it is, actually, a quite complicated process. Often, many subscription box services especially E-Commerce subscription box businesses, with the growth of their customer base, outsource one or all the phases of the subscription fulfillment.

Before leaping into the debate of outsourcing or no outsourcing, let’s understand, fully, the concept or process of subscription fulfillment.

So, Subscription fulfillment involves four key processes:

  • Picking
  • Packing
  • Kitting
  • Shipping

Let’s go through each process in detail and see what it means in subscription fulfillment.


Picking is the beginning phase of the Subscription Box Fulfillment. It deals with inventory management. Curating a subscription box requires the availability of the products and workforce, every month.

To ensure not running out of the stock, what you need is the optimal inventory management.


Once the items to be included in the subscription box are picked, the next process is called, packing. The gathered items are then packaged, properly, as per the details of the order. The products can be boxed into branded packaging or with simple wraps. After packing and wrapping, the subscription boxes are labeled with the order, customer, or any other details.


Some subscription boxes are adored by the customers, due to their kitting. Packing the items in the box is not enough. Sometimes, it requires special or personalized treatment. This personalization may include a special arrangement of the products, special notes, or giveaways.


After picking, packing, and kitting, the labeled subscription boxes are ready to ship to the end customer. The shipping or logistics services can pick it up from you, or you can manage it yourself. Subscription Box services usually outsource the recurring shipping for smooth and on-time delivery.

In-House Handling or Outsourcing—How to Manage Subscription Fulfillment?

Managing a subscription box fulfillment varies from business to business. Subscription Box of various niches, customer base size, resources, budget, etc. can go for multiple options. Some subscription box businesses also use a combination of fulfillment strategy to contain their resources while not compromising on their stellar customer experience aspirations.

Also Read: Self-Service Payment Portal: Digitally Empower Your Clients and Simplify Account Access

Subscription Box In-House Fulfillment

Few or all of the In-house subscription fulfillment processes are an option for you if you are dealing with one of the situations mentioned below:

  • Managing a subscription box business in its beginning phase
  • Managing a personalized subscription box services
  • Dealing in fresh-market and gourmet items
  • Dealing in fragile, precious, or luxurious products
  • Manufacturing the items and managing the inventory yourself

The subscription box in-house fulfillment includes picking, packing, or kitting. In very rare scenarios, the subscription box businesses manage the shipping, too. Usually, they outsource the shipping with the courier services.

Subscription Fulfillment Outsourcing

Outsourcing the subscription box fulfillment is ideal in most cases. It reduces the operational costs and allows you more engagement in work. Subscription fulfillment outsourcing is easy, simple, and instant solution for time- and cost-efficient monitoring and tracking of the subscription box.

Subscription Box Business 104

Subscription Box fulfillment outsourcing makes curating, packaging, and delivery seamless with less personal engagement and more systematic workflow.

For outsourcing, subscription box businesses can opt for a 3PL—third-party logistics company. They manage it all—from orders, inventory, packaging, labeling, and shipping, regularly.

Hybrid Subscription Fulfillment Solutions

In some cases, subscription box services opt for a combination of subscription fulfillment. They manage the picking, packing, kitting, and labeling part on their own and outsource the shipping. And, in some situations, they process few and exclusive fulfillments on their own and outsource the regular ones.

It all depends on the subscription box business type, resources, and budget.

How to Choose A Carrier for Subscription Box?

Selecting a carrier or shipping company is the most important aspect of subscription fulfillment. Third-party logistics companies may or may not offers you the shipping services.

Without customer retention, the subscription box business cannot survive. Prompt, neat, and fast delivery of your subscription box helps you hook customers with your subscription box business.

Here are the few features of a good carrier that enables you to deliver your subscription box to the valued customer in its best form and time. These are:

  • Offering Subscription Services for Recurring Shipping
  • Real-Time Monitoring and Tracking of the subscription Box Delivery
  • Shipping Management Self-Service Portals
  • Online Invoicing, Billing Adjustment, and Payment Processing
  • Real-Time Analytics for Customers’ Delivery Details
  • Efficient Workforce and Huge Network
  • Favorable Shipping Rates
  • Streamlined Delivery Operations Management
  • And more

How SubscriptionFlow Can Help With Subscription Fulfillment?

SubscriptionFlow is a highly extensible platform that allows you to not only automate the recurring billing and payment processing, it also helps you to manage other business processes with third-party integrations.

Manage orders, inventory, sales, marketing, support, logistics, and shipping from a single window. Integrate the stack to sync data across the platforms and monitor real-time standard business operations.

Learn more about subscription box business management, request a demo with SubscriptionFlow expert, today!.