The fastest way to grow sales is to focus on old customers instead of spending too much effort on finding new customers. Through a subscription business, your store will provide customers with flexible and convenient subscription boxes periodically. But how do I create a subscription on Shopify? That is why the best Shopify subscription apps below are the top pick of the online stores.
What do you think is that the major chain stores in the e-commerce industry today, such as Sephora, Unilever, P&G, and so on, offer the customer registration box options? According to McKinsey, the e-commerce subscription market has grown to 100% over the years. This proves that this is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide. Why? Let’s dig deeper right below. In this article, we will bring the following information:
- The advantages and disadvantages of the subscription business model.
- The criteria help us to choose the best Shopify subscription apps.
- How these apps work for the Shopify store.
- Top 5 best Shopify subscription apps review.
- The items on Shopify are best suited to the subscription model.
>>> Wish to learn more about other great apps through our Shopify review series?
What Is A Subscription Business Model?
Subscription business models are forms of online businesses that provide customers with an option to streamline purchases while generating a recurring revenue stream for the store. Specifically, companies based on this model will sell certain products or services to customers who subscribe monthly. Essentially, this model helps your store incentivize a customer to pay more in return for long-term access to your store’s goods and services.
The first and foremost benefit is that the subscription business model gives you the ability to predict the future based on metrics such as monthly revenue, unsubscribe rate per month, monthly net growth, long-term customer value. From the above numbers, you can control and come up with campaigns tailored to your store. Instead of depending on the market, you can lead and create your uniqueness. In other words, if the above metrics have parity between revenue and cost (less Stock Keeping Units), the cash flow prediction will be even more straightforward.
Second, this model helps you to generate recurring revenue streams and brand loyal customers. The money spent to buy subscriptions will make it difficult for customers to leave your store, which means increased customer retention. Besides, it minimizes inventory waste because you can predict the consumption of goods.
Third, because this model provides a steady stream of revenue, you can be more confident in planning your marketing and improving your online store’s user experience. Simply, you can know how much you can afford to spend on acquiring customers while ensuring a balanced cash flow for your store.
Besides, some other benefits can be mentioned as:
- Increased focus on cheaper niches that allow the store to absorb better and attract customers.
- Substantial discounts for long-term customers from 6 to 12 months. This is a mutually beneficial way when customers want to save, and businesses can easily predict reliable revenue.
- Save on shipping costs as monthly orders will be shipped at the same time.
- Create more interactive audiences on your online store.
- Re-engage unsubscribe customers with discounts for their future monthly subscriptions. From here, you can also get an idea of the subscriber’s final value.
Of course, every model has its advantages and disadvantages. The subscription business model is no exception. Therefore, some of the downsides can be mentioned here.
- The heavy reliance on exogenous factors such as the environment, socioeconomics, etc., leads to the churn rate often fluctuating without warning. In the present Covid-19, for example, companies may not be able to foresee this epidemic.
- There is a seasonal disturbance for certain commodities. Weather changes can also affect items that are only suited to one season.
- Must constantly innovate and update if you want to retain customers.
- The rate of competition is high as today there are many online stores offering subscription services. This also leads to difficulties in finding only sources.
- Acquisition costs may increase due to a conflict of commitments.
- Ask for multiple social media tapes and customer reviews.
- It is difficult to increase the average order value because of the fixed price system (upsell, cross-sell or bundle can be experimented with).
Types of subscription business model
In fact, there is no limit to the forms of subscription because it depends on each period and the creativity of the business. However, there are three most popular types of registrations available today, including:
- Replenishment: The most popular and profitable form for the store. This is a form suitable for essential consumer products such as functional foods, etc.
- Curation: This method allows customers to choose different products each month. The types of products that match this category would be cosmetics, jewelry, food, etc.
- Access: This allows customers to access exclusive offers for registered members (VIPs) only. For example, offers are available to VIP members only at clothing stores.
- Also, recently popularized a form of registration for a combination of products and content. For example, if you buy a bicycle, you will use a subscription for classes and monthly content.
>> Related topic:
How Can We Choose The Best Shopify Subscription Apps: Evaluation Factors
One of the top criteria for choosing an app is rating. There is nothing more accurate from the customer reviews who have used the app. We have gathered all our customer reviews for the best Shopify subscription apps below. Of course, no app is perfect, but all of these apps have a 4 star or higher rating with more than 100 customer reviews. We recommend these are the best and most popular ones.
In addition to customer reviews, we also rate these apps based on the search page’s ranking. In fact, to get high rankings on the Shopify Appstore, the application must converge many other factors, not only the high rating but also the features, content, and installation amount of the applications. Therefore, this is also a factor worth considering when we choose the top 5 applications below.
Feature & Price
You will probably be interested in how the app can help your Shopify store. That is why we especially carefully selected the applications with the most comprehensive and powerful subscription features. The most prominent features of the applications such as:
- Increase the number of registrations.
- Build customer trust.
- Powerful customization.
- Other advanced features like email and customer notifications; create A / B test campaigns; other automation and synchronization features; etc.
Besides, you should consider your budget before deciding to use any paid apps. We have reviewed and found the apps below have free trials and that the monthly price is well worth the feature it offers. So, depending on the purpose of use, you should choose your online store’s best application.
In fact, this is also an essential factor as well as the above three factors. Many people often do not care about the provider when choosing applications. However, to minimize the risks during use, the supplier’s reputation is also worth considering. Besides, you can know if the application’s customer support service is good thanks to finding out the provider.
How Do The Best Shopify Subscription Apps Help Your Store?
We all know that one of the most effective ways to retain customers is by establishing a subscription model. However, Shopify does not provide the features to handle the recurring charges available. In particular, the biggest problem when creating frequent customers in a Shopify store is that Shopify doesn’t automatically store customer billing information. With each purchase, the customer will have to re-enter the data, and this is a considerable nuisance to even the most easy-going customers. But all these problems will be solved once you use the subscription apps below.
Specifically, these applications help your customers sign up quickly while also tracking sales performance and automating some operations to save you time and effort. In other words, it is a beneficial choice for both you and the customer. Also, these applications allow customers to give payment information and automatically save them for later payments.
In short, the best subscription apps for Shopify will enable your store to do the two most important things to retain customers and manage revenue: easy recurring orders increased long-term value. Customers and easy future cash flow prediction.
Best Shopify Subscription Apps Review 2021
It’s no coincidence that ReCharge Subscriptions is the most used subscription application on Shopify because it offers a list of outstanding features and the ability to create multiple subscriptions plans simultaneously. Besides, customers will want a flexible payment system and have to be transparent when paying subscription fees, so this app will help your store build customer trust. How? It provides various payment methods for customers such as Credit cards, Debit cards, ACH or PayPal, etc. All are integrated into the payment page ReCharge to create the most convenience for customers no matter where you are in the world.
And yet, when you buy online, have you ever wondered where your order is, when will it arrive? This application will answer those customer inquiries on your behalf by providing order management and purchase history accounts for your customers. And of course, you will also benefit from this because you can also control the number of subscriptions more easily. When needed, you can also send notifications to customers thanks to client information.
Also, ReCharge integrates with a lot of other third-party applications to expand the features of your store. Indeed, that link will help ReCharge’s attitude of improving focus and deep user support. ReCharge not only provides a user-friendly interface but also offers a comprehensive solution for your Shopify store’s subscription system thanks to the featured features below:
- Create subscriptions easily.
- Allows customers to create accounts to track purchase history and automatically collect customer data.
- Reduce the rate of customer churn.
- Provide a comprehensive API and management system.
- Have the ability to store customer payment information.
- Provide analytical tools for efficiency and customer engagement.
- Mobile-friendly design.
- Integrate with Klaviyo, Gorgias, Yotpo, Shipstation, Loyalty Lion, and Attentive.
Pricing: 60-day free trial.
- Standard: $60/month and 1% + 5¢ per transaction. This plan includes subscription payment features, order management, and merchant assistance tools.
- Pro: $300/month and 1% + 19¢ per transaction. The plan includes standard features plus advanced analytics, and a client portal.
One of the most comprehensive subscription solutions for Shopify stores, Appstle℠ Subscriptions is a highly rated app on the platform, with more than 1300 reviews! Founded by an Apple-Siri engineer, Appstle℠ enables you to offer products and services to customers on a recurring basis, using different types of subscription models that were previously discussed in this article. It is also one of the very few apps that supports all Shopify themes, both 1.0 and 2.0!
Appstle℠ Subscriptions is highly coveted by merchants of all sizes, because of its.
- Fixed price model – they do not charge a per-transaction variable fee, which makes the billing straightforward and predictable;
- 24x7x365 customer support from dedicated product support engineers
- Highly customizable merchant controls and end customer functionalities.
Apart from the basic subscription features, Appstle℠’s unique functionalities include subscription build-a-box, targeted upselling, one-time product inclusions, multiple and tiered customer discounts, inventory forecasting, custom, tiered shipping, etc. It also comes with additional features such as mixed cart checkout, subscription widgets in quick-view and cart pages, and robust subscriber portal settings, for a stellar end customer experience. Moreover, For Enterprise merchants, Appstle℠ provides robust APIs and webhooks, dedicated relationship managers, and Memberships functionality.
Whether you are a merchant who is installing a subscriptions app for the first time or a merchant who is looking to migrate from another solution, you are in great hands with Appstle℠.
30-day free trial; No per-transaction fees (applicable to all plans); 24x7x365 support on all plans, at no additional cost
- Free: 100% free. Comes with 50 subscription orders, regular and pre-paid billing, subscription management, pre-set delivery dates, email engagement, inventory forecast, and analytics.
- Starter: $10 per month (or $96 per year). Comes with 1000 subscriptions. All features in lower plans plus, customer segment-based plans, dunning management, subscription widget display modes (dropdown, radio buttons, etc), third-party app integrations.
- Business: $30 per month (or $288 per year). Comes with 10,000 subscriptions. All features in lower plans plus, automatic product swap, custom subscription widget placement, custom shipping profiles, custom Email HTML, and cancellation management.
- Enterprise: $100 per month (or $960 per year). Comes with unlimited subscriptions. Besides, all features in lower plans plus, build a box, targeted upselling, quick view and cart page subscription widget placements, robust APIs and webhooks, Email domain, and Memberships.
Suppose you are looking forward to starting a subscription business model and increasing your store revenue; Seal Subscriptions is one of the best choices with the most valuable features. This app’s unique feature is that it provides a registration utility right next to the shopping cart on the store’s product page, making it easy for customers to see and click. Also, the app allows customers to make convenient recurring payments with more than 100 payment gateways on Shopify and provides powerful order management for store owners.
And yet, a reminder will be automatically sent to the customer’s email when the subscription payment is due. More importantly, customers can view or unsubscribe without registration. Besides, the customization options make it possible to set discounts for early signup or long-term orders.
Finally, Seal Subscriptions allows your customers to choose how long to subscribe for each different product freely. For example, a customer may customize the subscription period for product A to 1 month and product B to 6 months. This creates convenience for customers, thereby increasing customer experience and satisfaction.
Outstanding features of the application include:
- Create product subscriptions and discounts easily on the Shopify store.
- Add the registration widget right next to the shopping cart on the product page.
- Offer mixed subscriptions in the same cart.
- Pay with Shopify’s 100+ payment methods.
- Automatically send payment invoices to customers’ emails.
- Free Plan: Free provides you with automatic charging, automatic recurring billing, no transaction fees, and 100 subscriptions per month.
- Premium Tier 1: $17.99/month with features from the free plan plus the ability to edit subscriptions and 1000 subscriptions per month.
- Plan Premium Tier 2: $29.99/month includes the features of the above two packages and 10,000 subscriptions.
- Finally, Premium Tier 3: $59.99/month allows you to have up to 50,000 subscriptions per month. For more extensive plans, you can contact customer service for details.
With over 128 reviews and hundreds of trusted Shopify stores, PayWhirl is one of the best Shopify subscription apps that offer smooth subscription and payment management options. Like Seal, it integrates with Shopify’s payment system, which supports over 100 different payment gateways. Besides, it also easily integrates with other order management systems on Shopify. That’s why PayWhirl Subscription Payments is excellent if you want to manage and sell subscriptions on Shopify.
And yet, the app provides freedom and control comfort to your customers by allowing them to purchase and manage their subscriptions easily right from their online store. For example, customers can log in to their accounts and contain their personal information, view payment history and make changes according to their wishes, and so on. More importantly, the designs the app offers are also customizable that integrate seamlessly with the Shopify store theme if you want with ease.
Also, PayWhirl’s infrastructure database is scalable and cloud-based. Other outstanding PayWhirl features that you might enjoy:
- Create and manage subscriptions conveniently.
- Securely store customer payment information.
- Automatic recurring payment.
- Offer checks quickly.
- Give your customers the freedom to add, delete orders and update personal information when logging into their accounts without contacting staff.
- In addition, integrate with Themes, Product Pages, Carts, Checkouts, Reports, and Analytics.
In short, PayWhirl is an application that provides convenience for both you and your customers. On your side, you can manage and create subscriptions quickly and easily. On the customer side, they can track their subscriptions, make quick payments with Shopify payment gateways, and make easy information changes.
Pricing: 14-day free trial.
- Starter: Free to install; 3% transaction fee.
- Pro: $9/month, 2% transaction fee.
- Plus: $49/month; 1% transaction fee.
- Ultimate: $249/month; 0.5% transaction fee.
Surely if you are a customer, you also do not want to make complicated payment operations, right? The same will be true of your customers. To bring your customers satisfaction at checkout, Bold Subscription is the key to help you do this. It’s no coincidence that the Bold Subscription is on this list. It has won a lot of trusts and responded by users in optimizing the payment process.
First, mention the speed of the checkout page that this application brings. With the most popular payment methods, your customers can easily choose the right payment gateway and make a quick payment. Besides, it also allows your customers to create accounts and manage their information and purchase history. From this information that customers provide, your store side can also quickly analyze shopping trends and product orientation for each customer.
Most importantly, the Bold Subscription app is trusted by the biggest Shopify stores like Sugar Bear Hair or Lucky Tackle Box, so you can rest assured with the features it offers. Besides, the application provides flexible registration in 3 ways: subscribe to each product, subscribe to the entire shopping cart or shopping cart mix. Better yet, this is the first Shopify app that allows users to offer Build-a-Box or Meal-Plan-style subscriptions.
In short, given the flexibility the app offers, I believe it will fit the majority of your store’s strategies. Let’s take a look at the great features of Bold Subscription:
- Create subscriptions from simple to complex.
- Deliver a premium customer experience with the freedom to manage different aspects of the online store.
- Offer some customization to encourage subscription.
- Build on both Shopify Plus and Enterprise.
- Offer flexibility in design customization and language.
- Ability to set a fixed delivery date.
- Send automatic notifications via email to customers.
Pricing: 60-day free trial.
- Core: $49.99/month.
- Premium: Contact Bold Subscription (include advanced customization).
One of the essential features of this Recurring Order & Subscription by SpurIT app is creating and managing subscriptions. Of course, in this list, there is no lousy application in this section. However, Recurring is more special as it does not require customers to login or create an account to complete the registration process. Besides, customers can also unsubscribe via the email link, making the registration process quick and easy.
The app also offers the option to register directly on the product page, next to the add to cart button, to stimulate an increase in your online store’s subscriptions. Besides, it helps you automatically send payment emails with payment links with more than 100 payment gateways on Shopify.
And yet, the application generates automatic invoices instead of billing, which makes it great for customers as they can pay at any time and by any payment method. The best taxes and fees are automatically applied during the checkout process instead of offering a series of complicated options. Recurring Order & Subscription also offers comprehensive customization as it allows you to customize invoices and email notifications to match your brand and audience.
What’s more, the outstanding features of the app are:
- Offer the best ability to create and manage subscriptions.
- Send periodic invoices to customers.
- Automatically generate invoices on demand.
- Provide a subscription for the software.
- Option to send a reminder email if the customer does not pay for a subscription.
- Offer extensive customization options.
- Allow subscriptions of a mixed cart.
- Free: Free with one product on a specific page.
- Beginner Plan: $15.95/month. This plan includes 10 products per month, integration with 95% Shopify themes, assistance to set up, and fast live chat support.
- Basic Plan: $19.95/month, includes all features from beginner plan plus 100 products per month.
- Pro Plan: $29.95/month. This plan provides up to 200 products per month.
Which Type Of Shopify Products Work Well With Subscription Model?
Nowadays, as subscriptions are more and more diverse, countless products are applying this form creatively. However, there are special product categories that are suitable for the subscription model. With the following product categories, once you apply the subscribed business model, your chances of success will be greater than with other categories. Of course, there will be exceptions, but most of the brands that apply to the following products are more or less successful. Let’s go to the examples below.
Topping this list are beauty products, including makeup and skincare. For this type of product, there are a variety of registrations that can be used such as replenishment, curation, or access. Most of the weight of a full-size skincare product is only enough for customers to use for up to 3 months. The same goes for make-up cosmetics, customers are ready to experience new types.
Of course, if you want to succeed with the subscription model, you also need to research your customers closely. Only sell hot, popular products that many people buy as a subscription. A good example of the registered sale of beauty products is Kopari. The Kopari brand after customer research has launched a loyalty program, which customers can score for repeat purchases.
According to experts, underwear products should be changed every 3 to 6 months. So implementing subscription boxes for lingerie products is a good idea. This is for sure convenient for your customers and also provides a source of recurring revenue for your store. Of course, optimizing your store’s subscription process quickly will need the help of the above applications. For example, BootayBag, a women’s lingerie business, has increased its subscribers by 350% in just 2.5 years by using the ReCharge app.
Surely if you are a pet lover, there have been times when your pets ran out of food but forgot to buy them or the products you want to buy back out of stock? That is why I think the introduction of pet care periodic subscription packages is very necessary. One more note, you should carefully study customer behavior so that you can design subscription packages suitable for each customer. This personalization is much more difficult than one-time purchases but offers many benefits to your store.
For example, Bullymake Box took advantage of the problems of raising customers’ pets to create subscription boxes. The longer you subscribe, the cheaper the price per month will be. This is an extremely effective way of building loyal customers.
Final Verdict: Our Best Shopify Subscription Apps
This article compares the best subscription apps and provides the information required if you want to start a subscription business model. Frequently asked questions have been summarized and answered here. So, I hope this article will help you understand the methods, pros, and cons of subscription. Then consider using the apps above to improve your online store sales and customer experience. On the current Shopify app store market, there are not too many good subscription apps so I believe these are the applications worth experiencing. Wishing you success with starting this model!
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