Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

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BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

In recent years, the pet eCommerce industry has experienced significant growth, driven by the increasing demand for online shopping convenience. 

Pet parents are seeking convenient and hassle-free ways to shop for their furry friends, leading to the rise of subscription boxes in the petcare market.

While the pet subscription eCommerce market is thriving, not every brand has found success in this space. To shed light on a successful example, we will provide a breakdown of the strategy employed by BarkBox, one of the leading pet subscription eCommerce businesses. 

BarkBox has emerged as a prominent player in the industry by delivering value, convenience, and delightful experiences to pets and their owners.

In this blog, learn the key ingredients that have made BarkBox subscription box a standout success in the petcare subscription market.

What is a BarkBox subscription box? 

BarkBox is a monthly subscription service for dogs. This BarkBox subscription box is filled with goodies for your furry friend, including toys, treats, and other fun stuff. They make sure to customize the items based on your dog’s preferences and needs, like allergy-safe treats and their favorite toys. 

BarkBox subscription box is loved by over 2 million dogs and their owners every month, and you can also find their products in retail stores.

Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

What’s in a BarkBox subscription box?

  • 2 plush toys to snuggle & squeak
  • 2 bags of wholesome treats & tasty chews
  • Surprise activities & games for more playtime with your best friend
  • 24/7 customer service 
  • 100% happiness guarantee

With this dog subscription box of BarkBox, you can choose between a 6-month or 12-month subscription. Each month, they will deliver a BarkBox subscription box filled with goodies for your dog, right to your doorstep. They have different themes for each month, so your dog will always have something exciting to look forward to. 

Check out the list of BarkBox subscription box monthly themes here

Takeaways from the BarkBox subscription box model  

Here is the list of key takeaways from the BarkBox subscription box.

1. They clearly show how it works 

When companies are upfront about the terms, pricing, and benefits of a subscription, customers feel confident in their choice and are more likely to commit to the service.

By providing a comprehensive understanding of the subscription model, companies can address any potential concerns, alleviate doubts, and build a strong relationship with their customers. 

With the BarkBox subscription box, for example, BarkBox clearly outlines: 

  • What comes in a BarkBox?
  • Kind of toys
  • Customization as per your needs.
  • Three different pricing plans
  • Cancellation policy

All this information is easily accessible on their homepage, and they also have a FAQ section to answer any additional questions a potential customer may have.

When customers see the value they will receive and have a clear understanding of the terms, they are more willing to engage in a long-term commitment, leading to a higher retention rate and increased customer loyalty. 

Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

2. They personalize customer experiences 

Once you decide to get a BarkBox subscription box, BarkBox will guide you through a series of questions to make the subscription more personalized. They will ask for your dog’s

  • Name
  • Size 
  • Breed
  • Adoption day
  • Treats preference

This level of personalization not only increases customer engagement but also fosters a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness.

The combination of a subscription model and personalized experiences through thoughtful questionnaires creates a strong bond between customers and companies, leading to increased customer loyalty, higher retention rates, and sustainable business growth.

3. They showcase customer testimonials

Customer testimonials provide social proof and give potential customers an insight into the experiences and satisfaction of existing subscribers. By featuring positive feedback and reviews from happy customers, companies can build trust and credibility. 

Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

BarkBox very creatively showcases customer testimonials of their BarkBox subscription box users by using photos from their customers of their pets. 

The subscription model can be particularly successful when companies creatively showcase customer testimonials. Creative presentation of customer testimonials adds an extra layer of engagement and captivates potential customers.

Other creative ways to showcase customer testimonials are: 

  • Create video testimonials featuring satisfied customers sharing their experiences.
  • Design visually appealing infographics that highlight key quotes or feedback from customers.
  • Incorporate customer testimonial quotes into eye-catching graphics or images.
  • Develop case studies or success stories that provide a detailed narrative of a customer’s journey and how the subscription service positively impacted them.
  • Utilize before-and-after visuals to showcase the transformation or improvement experienced by customers.
  • Share customer testimonials through engaging social media posts or stories, using a combination of text, visuals, and interactive elements.
  • Host live or recorded interviews with customers, allowing them to share their stories and answer questions about their experience with the subscription service.

By using these creative formats, companies can bring customer experiences to life, making them more relatable and impactful. 

4. They offer multiple pricing options

By providing different pricing options, companies can cater to a wider range of customers with varying budgets and preferences. This flexibility allows customers to choose a plan that aligns with their specific needs and financial capabilities. 

Once picked the right plan as per your requirements, the BarkBox subscription box, offers 1-, 6- or 12-month subscriptions. 

Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

The pricing for BarkBox subscription boxes becomes friendlier as the number of months increases. 

Multiple pricing plans also provide an opportunity for upselling and cross-selling, allowing companies to offer tiered upgrades or complementary services to increase the overall value for customers. 

The strategy of pricing becoming more favorable as the number of months in the subscription increases incentivizes customers to commit to a longer-term subscription, as they can enjoy cost savings or additional benefits by opting for a lengthier commitment.

4. They make a lucrative offer

Offering enticing deals, discounts, or incentives attracts new subscribers and encourages them to choose their subscription service over competitors. This not only helps companies acquire new customers but also increases the likelihood of converting them into long-term subscribers. 

One such offer that BarkBox offers is free shipping for a BarkBox subscription box when you add extra toys and treats to your plan. 

Offering free shipping removes the barrier of additional costs for customers, making the subscription service more appealing and convenient. It enhances the overall value proposition, as customers can enjoy the convenience of having their products delivered without incurring extra charges.

Free offers work wonders. The perception of receiving something for free increases customer satisfaction and encourages them to continue their subscription. Moreover, free offers can generate positive word-of-mouth and referrals, as customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. 

5. They keep things interesting

Providing subscription boxes with different monthly themes that cater to different purposes and offer various products is highly beneficial for subscription box services like BarkBox. Here’s why it works well:

  • It keeps the experience fresh and engaging, as customers look forward to discovering what’s inside each themed box. This variety prevents monotony and ensures that customers consistently receive new and exciting products.
  • This targeted approach allows subscribers to receive products that align with their individual needs, making the subscription more relevant and valuable to them. It enhances the overall personalization and customization of the service.
  • This allows customers to explore and try new products that they may not have otherwise discovered. It also allows companies to partner with different brands or suppliers, expanding their network and offering a diverse selection of items to subscribers.
  • This adds a timely and relevant touch to the subscription service, creating a stronger customer connection. Seasonal themes can include products and experiences that are suitable for specific times of the year, further enhancing the value and enjoyment for subscribers.

6. They make it easy to pause, cancel or change subscriptions

The subscription model can be highly successful when companies make it easy for customers to pause, cancel, or change their subscriptions. 

This flexibility and convenience are essential for customer satisfaction and retention. By providing straightforward and hassle-free options to modify or discontinue subscriptions, companies empower customers to have control over their membership. 

With the BarkBox subscription box, if your pup isn’t happy, they’ll work with you to make it right. They can also help if you need to skip, pause, or cancel your box. All you have to do is reach out to their Happy team at

Customers appreciate the ability to manage their subscriptions with minimal effort, leading to higher levels of satisfaction, continued engagement, and increased loyalty.

It eliminates any potential frustrations or barriers that might discourage customers from engaging with the subscription model. This customer-centric approach fosters trust and transparency, building a positive relationship between the company and its subscribers. 

7. They make it easy to pay with multiple payment methods

By offering a range of payment options, companies accommodate the diverse preferences and circumstances of their customers. Not everyone prefers the same payment method, and providing flexibility in this aspect ensures a seamless and convenient experience. 

Whether customers prefer to pay with credit or debit cards, digital wallets, bank transfers, or other methods, having multiple options allows them to choose the one that suits them best. This accessibility promotes inclusivity and widens the customer base. 

BarkBox subscription boxes often have customers from around the world. Different countries have varying popular payment methods, and by providing a variety of options, BarkBox caters to a global audience. 


Establishing a successful pet subscription model in the eCommerce industry requires careful consideration of various factors. 

That’s exactly why Appstle is one of trusted Shopify subscription apps providing powerful and customizable subscription features.

With an easy-to-use admin dashboard, Appstle provides management features, automation, subscription widgets, and growth-focused subscription analytics to help grow your business.

Want to learn more about Appstle? 

Reach out to our experts or explore our Shopify apps today

About the author

Appstle | BarkBox Subscription Model Strategy Breakdown and Takeaways

Vanhishikha Bhargava

Vanhishikha Bhargava is the Content Marketer for Appstle Solutions. You’ll always find her creating content or reading up on the industry with a cup of coffee in hand, which makes her anxious at times! But stay tuned for insightful pieces. Always.

If you are looking to understand more about Appstle Inc’s products and solutions, you can get in touch with us. Our 24x7x365 available experts will be happy to assist you further.

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