From a leading logistics provider

August 17, 2016
Subscription boxes – should you outsource your fulfilment?

Just a few years ago saying you’d bought someone a subscription as a present meant nothing more exciting than a magazine. Today the subscription gift market has expanded beyond all recognition. If the UK follows the US market, then practically anything that can be packaged will be available to buy in a subscription box.

In the US, subscription box deliveries have been around for many years. Before the Internet, many people subscribed to wine clubs or received books monthly or quarterly.

About 4-5 years ago the subscription box services really took off. Starting with just a couple of services – a beauty sample subscription box and an affordable jewellery subscription service, both raised millions of dollars of venture capital investment.

Today, the subscription box industry is thriving with thousands of businesses offering subscription box services, catering for everyone from pet owners to cheese fanatics. And it’s not just the gift market that’s taken up the idea of subscription boxes – time poor consumers are now signing up for regular deliveries of everyday items.

Should you outsource your packing and shipping?

So with subscription box services on the rise, businesses in this market need to give careful consideration to how they plan to fulfil the orders they receive. The process of receiving products, packing your monthly boxes, and shipping, is a fundamental element of your subscription business.

Initially when the business is small it may make sense to carry out the order fulfilment in-house. However, as the business grows it will take up a considerable amount of effort and time. So it is vital to have plans in place to cater for the time when your subscription box service grows beyond your ability to provide your customers with an excellent customer experience.

You are in business to sell your product not become a fulfilment expert. Your time should be spent growing revenue and maximising your profit.

Benefits of using JLUK

At Johnston Logistics UK we are experts in pick and pack and ecommerce fulfilment.

We can provide a complete end to end fulfilment solution for businesses. With our proven accuracy and quality of the service we provide, our experienced operations can help businesses save money and achieve greater efficiencies.

We offer a fully scalable logistics service to our customers. So we can deal with any influx of orders you may get as well as cater for the quieter periods.

We use state-of-the-art technology allowing us to integrate with third party ecommerce systems and our computerised stock management system allows us to operate an efficient fulfilment operation. If you lose track of stock or send orders out using the wrong shipping method, it can be very costly as well as ruin the relationship you have with your customer.

Being able to deal with any returns efficiently is just as important as getting the orders despatched. We can provide a full returns process.

Accuracy is an important factor as errors can be a large expense. One large expense could offset the profit gained on several other orders. Accuracy comes through better processes and experience, and at Johnston Logistics UK we have built up our expertise and are very proud of our accuracy statistics.

At Johnston Logistics we have built up a network of transport providers. Meaning we can save you money on your shipping rates.

Being able to deal with any returns efficiently is just as important as getting the orders despatched. We can provide a full returns process.

Le Petit Ballon

French based Le Petit Ballon sources wines of distinction from small French growers. They offer these to customers on a monthly basis. Their Master Sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc, former head sommelier at the Ritz, selects the best wines available each month – using his expertise is to rigorously test their quality and taste.

The subscription boxes include two bottles of wine each month from £24.90 including delivery. As many people love wine but don’t always know much about it the boxes also include tasting notes plus a Gazette with information on food and wine, chef recipes, travel diary, interviews and tips. Go to to find out more.

Earlier this summer the number one wine subscription box in France started importing its subscription boxes into the UK. They chose Johnston Logistics UK to be their fulfilment partner and we are now processing orders and dispatching them around the UK.