Piper and I have looked at a lot of crates. There have been some really good ones, and some flops. As we would like to aid the mystery crate services in better helping the consumer, I’ve written the following guide on constructing a solid box.
Note: These are guidelines. If you can offer a better crate for your audience by going outside, go ahead!
- Digital items are bonus-only. – Never count digital items as part of the retail value of your box. The consumer won’t. That being said, they are really cool bonuses. If your customers want digital items, they wouldn’t sign up for a physical box to be shipped to their house.
- T-shirts are awesome! (pants are overrated) – Include t-shirts and other clothing items/accessories with unique or exclusive designs which appeal to your fan base.
- So are designer vinyl figures. – Funko Pop! figures are extremely popular (there are even boxes that are nothing but Pop! figures). Other choices include Munny, Mighty Muggs, 10-Doh!, etc. Look around for more options!
- Include uncommon items. – If a customer receives an item they’ve never seen before, it’ll peak their interest in your next box. Keep them hooked.
- Customer Service! – Customer service can make or break a box. Make sure it is easy to use. Also important, the ability to skip a box must be easy to use if offered. Always make sure a customer has few problems leaving. It may sound counter-intuitive, but customers will avoid going back to a box they couldn’t quit easily.
- Item quality. – Don’t make it seem like a bunch of free swag from convention tables, unless it actually came from a convention. The items don’t only have to meet the retail value on paper, they have to feel worth it to the consumer.
- Added value. – Go nuts! Provide website content, digital codes, decorated boxes, giveaways, anything that makes your box something to look forward to. You may just be the highlight of someone’s month.
- Themes. – You don’t have to theme your boxes, but if you do, stick to that theme! Any item that break the theme MUST be high-value.
- Item replacement. – Items get damaged in shipping, go missing, etc. Replace these quickly, and with little difficulty to the customer. Verification is OK, but ship the item(s) immediately and regardless of whether the customer cancelled for the next box.
- Find out what your audience wants. – Prop replicas and items useful to item types you feature are great! IndieBox has included USB controllers decorated in accordance to the games they carry, for example.