A hand popping out of a mailbox holding a wrapped gift

We’ve talked about ecommerce holiday planning strategies and how subscriptions can help eliminate holiday stress for merchants—but what about making subscriptions an appealing gift? This strategy can not only give your subscribers the opportunity to gift their favorite products (on repeat), but can also help you capture new customers during the busy holiday season.

This blog post will explore the benefits of gifting subscriptions and how merchants can sell their subscriptions as gifts. Plus, we’ve compiled a gift guide of some of the Recharge team’s favorite subscriptions to gift to your own loved ones this holiday season. We wanted to shout out some of our favorite products our team has selected to inspire both customers and merchants with the endless gifting possibilities of subscriptions. 

Continue reading to explore this list and learn about subscription gifting strategies to deploy during the holidays. 

Key takeaways

  • Offering subscriptions as gift options can help merchants capture new customers during the holiday season.
  • Bundling products together is a great way to create curated gift sets for your customers.

How do gift subscriptions work?

There are a few different ways that merchants can offer gifting options, which we’ll cover below. The important thing for merchants to consider is that they need to think through their customers’ eyes when creating gift subscription options. If you were to gift your product or service to a friend or family member, what options would best serve you? How would that look? And are there any special touches you can offer to those choosing a gifting option?

Benefits of creating gift subscription options

Putting in extra effort to offer gift options can benefit your subscription business in the long run. The holiday season is one of the best times of the year to capture new customers. With subscriptions, you’ll keep those customers around into the next year. Here are some of the top benefits of creating gift options for your subscription business:

  • Allow your existing subscribers to gift their favorite products
  • Capture new customers, at a time when many consumers are shopping
  • Continue cultivating customer relationships long past the holidays
  • Reach new customers without putting in a lot of money for customer acquisition strategies

The advantages of capturing the holiday crowd are well worth the effort. The National Retail Federation predicts a 6–8% growth this holiday season—which is a great outlook considering inflation and rising interest rates. So, let’s explore the best ways merchants can do this. 

Creating gifting options with subscriptions

There are a few different ways that merchants can offer gifting options this holiday season. Whether you’d like to create a curated gift box or keep it simple with gift cards, you’ll be sure to delight both new and returning customers. As Modern Retail highlighted recently, direct-to-consumer brands are utilizing product bundles more and more during the holidays. Especially as customers watch their spending, merchants can entice shoppers with discounted sets that make great gifts.

Let’s explore the various ways you can offer gifts this holiday season:

  • Gift cards are always a good product to consider, giving the gift recipient the opportunity to choose what they’d like. 
  • Prepaid subscriptions make it easy for the gift giver and recipient. Offer your subscriptions as prepaid options for a set time period, and let the gift giver choose the best one for them. 
  • Curated gift boxes make use of bundling and take the work away from the gift giver by offering a collection of products already placed and purchased together. 
  • Other gift sets follow the same idea by using product bundling, but don’t necessarily need to be as elaborate as a gift box. Place complementary products together as a set and watch your average order value soar. 

Retaining customers beyond the holidays

As a subscription merchant, constant communication with your customers is important—whether you do that through emails, text messaging, or the customer portal. With all of these gift options available, it’s crucial to continue communicating with your new customers past the holidays. When a prepaid subscription is set to expire, reach out to the gift recipient to see if they’d like to continue receiving their subscription. Chances are, they love your products and are happy to start paying for their subscription!

Merchant gift guide from the Recharge team

While we truly think all of our merchants are worthy of being on this list, we asked our Recharge colleagues to narrow it down to their favorites that they’ve personally gifted. So, without further ado, our 2022 Recharge gift guide. 

For the traveler 

A screenshot of Bokksu's snackbox subscription options with the 3 months highlighted at $45.99.
Bokksu is a great example of a merchant who offers prepaid subscriptions as gifts. 
  1. Bokksu is the perfect gift for the friend or family member who loves Japan.

For the reader

Two hands holding a box with the Papergang logo on it surrounded by other designed boxes on the table.
Papergang has gift boxes that pop—each month the box is designed by an artist. 

  1. Rare Birds Books offers a book club with a book a month, always by women authors.
  2. Most readers love writing too, right? Papergang has a monthly subscription box full of beautiful stationery.

For the new parent

A screenshot from Hello Bello's website showing different options to gift new parents: A Diaper Sampler Box, eGift Cards, and a Back to School Kit.
Hello Bello makes it easy to gift with a lot of different bundle options, plus gift cards to let the new parent choose what they’d like. 

  1. Hello Bello is one of the Recharge team’s favorite gifts to give new parents. Make their lives easier with a diaper bundle or a kit of baby-friendly products. 
  2. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is another great idea—what busy parent doesn’t want their freezer stocked with delicious ice cream?

For the foodie 

A wooden box that says "Fuego Box" surrounded by 5 different types of hot sauces.
The Fuego Box is fun and so easy—choose from a selection of curated boxes full of hot sauces from around the world. 

  1. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is a great choice for your friend who loves Southern cooking—this merchant ships their heavenly biscuits across the country. 
  2. Have a vegan on your list? Rancho Gordo makes gift boxes that will win the heart of any enthusiastic vegetarian chef. 
  3. Everyone has that one friend that’s obsessed with hot sauce. Gift them a Fuego Box, and they’ll love you forever.
  4. Theo Chocolate is great for anyone on your list, but especially those who are hard to shop for. Chocolate always brings joy. 
  5. Cowgirl Creamery is arguably the best gift for the cheese lover in your life. The Cowgirl Cheese Club will give them access to a new selection of cheeses each month!

For the drink connoisseur

Westward Whiskey Club's offering. A box with 3 different whiskeys and a toffee bag.
Like many subscriptions, the Westward Whiskey Club gives subscribers access to more than just their whiskey.

  1. Cocktail subscriptions are here. Select just the right cocktail collection for the aspiring bartender from Bartesian.
  2. Give the gift of an elevated whiskey experience with Westward Whiskey. Westward Whiskey Club members get special access to whiskey releases, special events, and other perks. 
  3. Don’t forget the non-alcoholic drink enthusiasts on your list. De Soi is perfect for the mocktail lover, with a line of non-alcoholic apéritifs made with natural adaptogens.
  4. Athletic Brewing Co. is another great option for those that like to have a drink, without the alcohol. Their line of non-alcoholic beers and sparkling waters are popular among athletes, hence the name.  

For the coffee or tea addict

A screenshot from Atlas Coffee Club that explains what each box includes.
The Atlas Coffee Club lets subscribers personalize their subscription—from the bean type to the way you brew your coffee—so you’ll receive the best coffee for your morning cup of Joe.

  1. Give the gift of coffee from around the world with the Atlas Coffee Club. Choose from the Coffee of the Month club, or explore their past collections. 
  2. Smith Tea is made for the tea lover in your life—gift them a tea subscription to ensure they always have a cup of hot tea in their hands this winter. 
  3. There are a number of other coffee subscriptions to choose from, and what’s better than gifting someone their new favorite blend?

For the health & beauty enthusiast

A pink bottle of product from Blume resting on a box with a blue bottle sitting next to it.
Blume makes it easy to gift with their curated holiday bundles. 

  1. Give the gift of self-care this holiday season with Blume. Choose from one of their holiday bundles for the skincare-obsessed friend in your life!
  2. For your friend who is always ready with an extra lip gloss, check out florence by mills for the best beauty gifts and kits. 
  3. Don’t forget about the men on your list! Gift your favorite guy everything from soap to beard care products from Bearsville Soaps
  4. For your friend who’s really into mindfulness, Silk + Sonder has you covered with their monthly wellness journal subscription. 

For the outdoor lover

Battlbox's offering of a Camping Gift Box for $79.99 with an array of outdoor tools.
Choose the best Battlbox for your friend that’s always outdoors.

  1. What about that friend that’s always headed on their next adventure? Make sure they stay safe and prepared in the wilderness with a gift from Battlbox.

Gifting subscriptions

Whether you’re gifting to your friends and family or buying a subscription for yourself this holiday season, we hope this list of merchants inspires you to think outside the box. And for merchants, don’t underestimate the power of gifting subscriptions for winning new customers and pleasing your current subscribers. Happy holidays!