The lowdown on Amazon's Subscription & Discovery Box program

Amazon Subscription or Discovery Boxes allows 3P FBM Sellers to list, sell and manage a subscription service of Amazon products for consumers. Unlike Subscribe & Save, which caters to single item consumables, the aim of subscription boxes isn’t to subscribe to a specific product but to subscribe to a service to help consumers discover new products they love. Sellers basically pack and ship their subscribed discovery boxes on a monthly basis as a Direct to Consumer service (D2C).

Why enrol? 

  • Brands & re-sellers alike are able to create their own discovery boxes.
  • Increase product awareness amongst new audiences.
  • Can create a discovery box in any of Amazon’s product categories.
  • There are no additional fees for participating in this program. Standard selling and referral fees apply.
  • Entirely your decision as to what to include in your boxes.
  •  You can curate a variety of plan options for your subscription eg. larger sizes/quanity, people’s preferences/tastes or even allergens eg. gluten-free options.
  • You can manage single items and subscriptions from the same seller account.
  • Amazon Subscription Box sellers have the option of fulfilling orders on a rolling basis as new subscriptions are generated or in batches all at once at the same time each month.
  • Can create a recurring, loyal, revenue base.
  • Consumers are given a % off their first order to entice them to try the service.
  • Amazon takes care of administration eg. customer acquisition, sign-ups and payments so you don’t have to.
Subscription boxes have been around since 2004 and have consistently become more popular during the last decade with companies such as Birchbox truly leading the trend. Amazon thrives on innovation and understanding the psyche of the everyday shopper,  so it comes as no surprise that Amazon has created their own platform for 3P sellers to sell subscription boxes on too. Through a trusted Amazon experience, consumers are more likely to try something new and this is where Amazon subscription’s value lies. Consumers generally remain loyal to their brands which makes enticing new customers or audiences a challenge from the start. With discovery boxes, consumers are more likely to try new products and perhaps replace their old ones risk-free. 

25% of US population are currently receiving a subscription box, and another 32% plan to subscribe in the next six months

What is required to be eligible for the program?

  • Sellers must be using FBA.
  • Invite-Only program.
  • Only available in North America at the moment (
  • Must be able to support free shipping directly to customers in all 50 states, Guam & Puerto Rico.
  • Sellers must have an active Professional Seller account to begin selling subscription boxes (not required to apply).

If eligible, applicants will be notified via email of their status in 7-10 business days.

There are over 100 subscription box offerings on Amazon as of today

Any last tips for subscription bowes?

It must be mentioned that subscribers to your discovery box service can cancel at any time so it is important that you find a way to keep consumers subscribed. For example, for food & drink sellers it might be worth shipping new products each month to keep your audience interested. Whereas toy brands may want to consider a different theme each month for example, ‘superhero’ and ’90s’. The key to a successful subscription service is to generally keep subscribers excited with what they will receive in next month’s delivery. The unpredictability of the service is ultimately what entices consumers to specific subscription boxes.
As we near ever closer to the end of the year, we will soon realise how close to Christmas we actually are. This will be excellent news for those who are considering creating a subscription box service as subscriptions make perfect Christmas presents for both family and friends alike.