Should You Use Cratejoy For An Online Subscription Business?

Should you use Cratejoy to start an online subscription business?

Disclosure: Nothing in this blog should be taken as investment advice. Do your own research. This blog is supported by advertising and affiliate links... Links to products and/or services on this blog may include links to affiliate programs that provide commissions to this blog. All of the content in this blog is 100% my own opinion.


When it comes to creating a online subscription business, you have many options, one of which is Cratejoy.

Cratejoy is an Internet marketplace and e-commerce website hosting platform for online subscription based businesses.

You could also use all-in-one website platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify or WordPress to start an online business.

In each of the aforementioned options, you could set up a subscription business using a recurring payment processor, such as Stripe.

Cratejoy offers recurring payments as a primary feature as it is specifically targeting subscription business entrepreneurs and buyers, though.

Pros of Using Cratejoy

If you want to launch an online subscription business, Cratejoy will let you use a custom URL (i.e. “yoursubscriptionbusiness.com”) which is nice.

The site also has three main features that you should know about… One of them is also a possible benefit of using Cratejoy.

The Cratejoy features that make it helpful for subscription based businesses are:

  1. E-Commerce Website Hosting Platform: You can build a basic website on Cratejoy and collect payments. Think of it as a platform for building a website, like Weebly, Wix or SquareSpace, but focused on subscription based businesses.
  2. Recurring Payments Built-In: Recurring subscription payments are processed automatically for Cratejoy account holders. This way your customers are billed automatically each month when they sign up for your subscription service.
  3. Online Marketplace: Cratejoy has built an online marketplace for subscription based businesses that may drive business to your subscription website. Think of it like Etsy, only for subscriptions as opposed to hand-made goods.

This last feature could also be a benefit for your business if people end up searching on Cratejoy for a subscription service, because they don’t know what they want.

Unfortunately, I think this is somewhat unrealistic… I don’t think people wake up and say to themselves:

Hey, you know I really think I need to subscribe to something… But how do I find the right subscription for me…?!? 

Instead I think people hear about a subscription service that sounds interesting, or from a need or through word of mouth about a specific subscription service brand.

Also, you are completely reliant on Cratejoy promoting its marketplace as a destination for consumers who want a subscription service.

However, Cratejoy is probably motivated to do this.

The company is incentivized to promote its marketplace because when it sends a referral to you from its marketplace, Cratejoy operates like an affiliate of your subscription business.

In other words, Cratejoy is giving itself a 11.25% commission on each customer who buys a subscription from you.

Cons of Using Cratejoy

Cratejoy is meant to simplify the process of getting your subscription business up and running.

However, the platform is limited in terms of its customization for non-developers.

For instance, you can create a store with recurring subscriptions, but if you want to add a blog you will be out of luck unless.

You can collect email addresses with Mailchimp or SumoMe, but are limited in the ways you can collect emails.

For instance, Mailchimp will integrate with Cratejoy, but only in two ways:

  1. You can send your customers’ emails to a list in your Mailchimp account.
  2. You can add a popup email capture form on your Cratejoy site.

But if you want to add an embedded email capture form, you will be out of luck unless you are ready to get into the weeds with custom CSS and HTML.

Having an embedded email capture form on your own URL, as opposed to a Mailchimp hosted URL, or a popup, is preferable.

Overall, Cratejoy could be a good option for someone to get an online subscription business off the ground.