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As illustrated by the rise in online consumer shopping and familiarity with recurring payments, the ecommerce subscription business model continues to gain popularity. This post explores 10 great examples of ecommerce subscription businesses along with the tactics they use in their success. 

Some of the examples utilize a stringent subscription model, while others combine one-time purchases with subscriptions. For all of these merchants, they are focused on creating an experience that generates loyal customers with higher customer lifetime value.

The most successful subscription businesses tend to have a few things in common: They focus on customer satisfaction and the customer experience, while working to acquire new customers through a strong value proposition and positioning. 

One-time purchase + ecommerce subscription businesses

There are ecommerce merchants that combine the standard ecommerce model—where people shop for items one by one—with a subscription service that offers additional benefits  for existing customers.

Who Gives a Crap

Homepage snapshot of Who Gives A Crap's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by a cat hiding in the bathtub with a toilet in the foreground.

Category: Health & Wellness

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions 

What they offer : Who Gives a Crap delivers toilet paper to customers’ homes so they don’t have to carry it all the way to their place.

Target market : This subscription box brand targets households with both individuals and families.

Positioning : They establish themselves as an environmentally-friendly toilet paper with a mission to save the world. “Though we’re still growing, and now make more than just toilet paper, we always want to stay true to our roots: toilet humor and making the world a better place.”

It is made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste, such as used exercise books and worksheets that the company gets from local schools.

Who Gives a Crap also comes with a social mission. It uses 50% of its profits to “ensure everyone has access to clean water and a toilet within our lifetime.”

How do they take advantage of the subscription model? Customers have the option of making a one-time order (24 or 48 double length rolls) or subscribing so they never run out of TP.

Delivery options are every:

  • 8 weeks
  • 12 weeks
  • 16 weeks

In case they run out of toilet paper earlier than anticipated, the company gives them the option of adjusting their delivery schedule at any time.

Customers can also cancel at any time, and even ask for a money back guarantee: if they’re not happy, they can send the product back for a full refund. Tactics like this instill confidence in consumers who want to try something new, without the risk of wasting money.


Category: Personal care

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions 

What they offer :  Bite offers eco-friendly and sustainable dental hygiene products and have expanded to body care products.

Target market : Bite markets to people who care about the products that go on their body and into the earth.

Positioning : Bite first began with their toothpaste tablets that went viral for their innovation of a product that was rarely iterated on: toothpaste. After achieving virality and getting funding from investors, they became a one-stop shop for oral care that was better for the customers and the planet.

How do they take advantage of the subscription model?   Bite offers their products on a recurring basis as they are meant to be consumed regularly. With their toothpaste bits, for exampe, the default delivery cadence for their subscription is every four months. Each of their products have default delivery cadences that are personalized to the product and expected usage.

There is also a discount on the subscription option for products that offer both a subscription and one-time purchase option.


Homepage snapshot of Ballsy's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by a a gift set of their products.

Category: Beauty & Personal Care

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions 

What they offer:  Ballsy are the creators of ballwash, an original product specifically made for men’s below the belt personal care. 

With their bold, playful brand, they’ve become men’s go-to place for grooming. Subscribers can build a box with their favorite products and choose a subscription cycle that works for them. 

Target market : Men looking for quality personal care products 

Positioning : Ballsy founded the first product for an often overlooked part of men’s bodies, and have created a brand based on bringing men variety and quality in their personal care products. 

How do they take advantage of the subscription model?  Ballsy customers can build their own subscription, selecting from the entire product line of deodorant, face wash, and shampoo. Every subscription includes free shipping and 20% off products. 

By using the subscription model, they help customers in always having their personal care essentials in stock. And, they ensure a recurring revenue stream and increase customer lifetime value.

Once Upon a Farm

Homepage snapshot of Once Upon a Farm's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by a cartoon farmer standing next to one of their products.

Category: Food & Beverage

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions 

What they offer :  Cold-pressed fruit and veggie pouches in a variety of flavors

Target market : Parents with young children who want to create healthier eating habits.

Positioning : Once Upon a Farm positions themselves as approachable healthy eating made easy for kids and families. We strive to nurture our children, each other and the earth in order to pass along a healthier and happier world for the next generation.”

How do they take advantage of the subscription model?  Allowing customers to customize their subscription box with 24 flavors, while also saving 15% is a great tactic for customer retention. They spell out their value proposition to subscription customers up front, and provide variations in flavors, child age, and type of pouch. 

Vital Proteins

Homepage snapshot of Vital Protein's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by a tub of their collagen peptides with a scoop in it.

Category: Health & Wellness

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions 

What they offer:  Vital Proteins offers collagen protein powder and beef gelatin, along with other products like supplements, wellness gummies, collagen bars, and collagen water.

Target market : This brand markets to people who are interested in the wellness industry—in terms of fitness, beauty, sleep health, and more—who want to incorporate convenient, healthy habits into their daily lives. 

Positioning : Vital Proteins aims to help their customers live “fuller, more vibrant lives” through their collagen products, which they note may have benefits for hair, skin, nails, and joints. They want their products to be accessible for customers, no matter how busy or active their lifestyles are. Many of their products—gummies, collagen water, etc.—are ready to consume immediately, while others only require stirring a scoop or two of the powder into your favorite hot or cold beverage.

How do they take advantage of the subscription model?  Vital Proteins offers its products both via one-time purchase and subscription. Their subscribe-and-save option provides shoppers with a 25% discount compared to one-time purchases for their first order, and a recurring 15% discount for subsequent orders.

Subscriptions are available in one, two, three, four, and eight-week intervals. In addition to the product discount, subscribers receive free shipping and free samples, and cancellation is available at any time.


Homepage snapshot of LOLA's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by snapshots of the three categories of subscription products they offer.

Category: Health & Wellness

Subscription business model: Replenishment and access subscriptions

What they offer —  LOLA offers period care, vaginal health, and sexual wellness products.

Target market —  Those in need of period care products.

Positioning —  LOLA breaks the stigma of period care and sexual wellness conversations by making their products accessible and customizable to their customers. “We believe reproductive care should be safe and accessible for everyone. We’re dedicated to making that a reality.”

How do they take advantage of the subscription model? —  LOLA utilizes multiple subscription options: replenishment services and access services, as well as one-time purchase options to provide customers with the most flexible and convenient options. 

Recently, LOLA implemented a headless build for their website to enable these custom options and create an ecommerce subscription service that is as unique as their customers. 

Another unique feature LOLA deploys is allowing customers to donate products to those in need via a subscription service on a recurring basis. For a nominal fee, consumers subscribe to a donation box paired with their normal order, generating millions of period care products to those who need them. 

Box companies

These companies don’t provide the option of one-time purchases, relying solely on subscriptions. Customers are able to cancel their subscription at any time, making the commitment less stringent.


Homepage snapshot of Billie's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by someone shaving their legs with a Billie razor.

Category: Beauty & Personal Care

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions 

What they offer — Award-winning razors with refill blades for only $10 

Billie’s start kit includes their 5-blade razor, encased in charcoal shave soap, with a magnetic holder for safe-keeping. Customers can then get new blades based on their personal shaving schedule — and always free shipping. Additionally, Billie sells shave cream, body lotion, and salve, to complete customer’s self-care experience.

Target market — Billie was created as a product for women without the pink tax — it works for anyone wanting to shave without spending a ton of money.

Positioning — Billie set out to create a new routine — unfussy, inexpensive, and accessible, without sacrificing quality. Their everyday essentials are made with powerful, clean ingredients, and no parabens or GMOs. 

Billie also made history as the first brand to ever show women’s body hair in a razor ad. Since launch, they’ve donated 1% of their revenue to support women and important causes around the world. 

How do they take advantage of the subscription model? —  As a product that people typically use on a regular basis, razors make perfect sense for a subscription. Billie also saves on extra costs and environmental damage by providing customers a reusable handle — with each new order, they only have to replace the blade, and they’re good to go. 

After purchasing their starter kit for only $10, customers take a quiz about their shaving routine. Then, they can choose a delivery schedule that suits them, and get four refill blades for only $10, whenever they need them.

Izzy & Liv

Homepage snapshot of Izzy & Liv's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by their customers in shirts that say "Out Here Being Cute".

Category: Fashion & Apparel 

Subscription business model: Curation subscriptions 

What they offer — Izzy & Liv’s Brown Sugar Box gives subscribers access to best sellers, new releases, and limited edition items.  Each box comes with a newly released shirt, and extra goodies like stationary sets, hair care, or lipstick.

Target market   Izzy & Liv’s product line is created for Black women, and to celebrate their unique aura, bond, and beauty.

Positioning —Nicole W. Brown founded  Izzy & Liv as a line to empower Black women – a way to reminding them of their strength, inspire a sense of pride, and provide them with more visibility. “I hope our designs speak for themselves and tell stories you can wear and that allows you to just be you,” Nicole writes to her customers.

How do they take advantage of the subscription model? — While Izzy & Liv has many products available as one-time purchases, their subscription boxes offer a curated experience. Subscribers pay only $40 for a box with over $90 worth of items, all designed by and for women of color. 


Homepage snapshot of Bokksu's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by a snapshot of their snack boxes.

Category: Food & Beverage

Subscription business model: Curation subscriptions

What they offer : Bokksu offer curated Japanese snack subscription boxes of authentic Japanese treats, candies, and teas delivered to customers’ doors sourced directly from centuries-old small family businesses.

Target market : People looking for tasty authentically Japanese treats 

Positioning —  Bokksu takes a personal approach to providing authentic snacks to their customers. From working with small makers, to overseeing every communication to their customers, Bokksu embraces attention to detail to provide a stellar customer experience. “Our mission at Bokksu is to empower Japan’s traditional snackmakers by sharing their authentic food and stories with the world.”

How do they take advantage of the subscription model? —Bokksu offers their monthly snack boxes to be billed annually, bi-annually, every 3 months, or monthly—with discounts provided as larger investments are made.

In each box, customers get 20-24 Japanese snacks, a culture guide magazine, and free shipping, directly from Japan.

Hello Bello

Homepage snapshot of Hello Bello's—an ecommerce subscription business— website as shown by a gif of their pirate diaper box.

Category: Home Goods

Subscription business model: Replenishment subscriptions

What they offer : Hello Bello use a subscription model to offer premium baby products at non-premium prices. 

Target market :  Parents of young children looking for convenience when diapering their kids.

Positioning : When customers create their first Hello Bello bundle, they can choose whether they want diapers, training pants or a combination of the two. From there they are walked through choosing the size, designs for the products, and a free item on their first order. Customers are then taken to a one-time products page with options like bath bombs, floor cleaners, shampoos, soaps, creams, wipes and more, helping to take the guesswork out of what parents need for their kids.

How do they take advantage of the subscription model?  Hello Bello’s products are ideal to be delivered as a subscription service, as they’re regularly consumable packaged goods that require consistent replenishment. They make it convenient and affordable to provide new parents with the necessary toiletry goods for babies and young children on a set it and forget it schedule.

Orders arrive on a 5 week cadence and they incentivize their replenishment subscription bundle option with exclusive benefits and perks like, exclusive diaper designs, discounts on one-time products, and even the subscription boxes themselves upcycling into playthings.