If you haven’t noticed, subscription commerce has exploded in the past year or so. There are so many subscription boxes out there, it’s crazy — Birchbox, Dollar Shave Club, BarkBox, etc. But it’s not just subscription boxes that are big, it’s subscriptions in general. All of those software as a service companies (Dropbox, Netflix, etc) offer their products as a subscription too.
The explosion in popularity of subscriptions makes it clear, people’s mindset are shifting from the fundamental idea of buying something once to now paying for a subscription to receive access to a service and/or get new stuff monthly. And that’s where Cratejoy comes in. Founded by Amir Elaguizy and Alex Morse, both graduates of Y Combinator and former execs at Zynga, Cratejoy wants to help businesses build exceptional subscription brands online and is launching its public beta today.
I spoke with Mr. Elaguizy last week to learn more about Cratejoy and how it will benefit businesses. Signing up for Cratejoy is easy, the company says it takes just 5 minutes and you are in business (literally). According to Mr. Elaguizy, his company’s product is a one-stop-shop for your subscription business — it handles [mostly] everything. What it doesn’t handle is figuring out your distribution, acquiring your customers, or putting the product in the box — at least it doesn’t do those things yet.
For Cratejoy customers that are using the service to run a subscription box-based business, the company offers its customers better postage rates for shipping through special deals between Cratejoy and the shipping company. In addition to running the transactional side of things, Cratejoy also offers in-depth subscription analytics, including KPIs such as ARPU, Retention, Average Subscription Duration, and Number of Active Subscriptions.
According to Mr. Elaguizy, the company really wants to offer businesses real insight into their performance based on the data its collecting from its customers. For example, Cratejoy is currently still testing (in private beta) a benchmark analytics tool that compares your subscription business to others in Cratejoy network and will tell you what things you should focus on improving.
If you are already running a subscription based business and are interested in trying out Cratejoy, don’t fret. Mr. Elaguizy told me he has a migration script that he can run to move over all your data from other services like Chargify and WooCommerce to Cratejoy. While this migration can only manually be done, I’m told that it is a feature he would eventually like to see automated.
I’m excited about Cratejoy because it has the potential to revolutionize the subscription ecommerce industry by making it universally accessible to all kinds of entrepreneurs. Some of the subscription businesses using Cratejoy already are pretty cool. The most unique one to me was The Fox Society, which is an entirely different kind of subscription service, that provides custom-planned dates for Austin couples — very cool, especially for couples are super busy with work and/or family.