If you are running an online business, you know how difficult it is to retain customers. Acquiring a new customer will cost you more than keeping an existing customer, and growing your sales can only come easy if you focus more on your current customers. But how can you achieve this effectively?
One fastest and most effective ways to get repeat customers is through a subscription service. A subscription business model can be advantageous to any business, whether a refill subscription for a beauty care brand or an organic food supplies brands.
Improving the repeat conversion rate and customer lifetime value are some of the highlights of a subscription service. It offers flexibility and convenience to both the business owner as well as the buyer by automating the entire purchase process through recurring payments.
If you are a business owner with a website on Shopify, one of the best ecommerce platforms available, then the setup is easy. In this article, we will look into some of the best subscription apps for Shopify to help you generate recurring income and boost your customer lifetime value.
- What Is A Subscription Business Model?
- How Do Subscription Apps Help Your Store?
- Best 10 Subscription Apps For Your Shopify Store
- Seal Subscriptions
- Recharge Subscriptions
- Recurpay Subscription
- Appstle Subscription
- PayWhirl Subscription Payments
- Bold Subscriptions
- Subscriptions by Yotpo
- Loop Subscriptions
- Skio Subscriptions
- Wrapping Up
I. What Is A Subscription Business Model?
So far, we know that a subscription business model improves buyer retention and customer success across businesses. The possibilities of using a subscription service are not just limited to ecommerce but are also being actively used by companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and many more. Hence, the value and success a subscription-based revenue model can bring to your business are immense.
In a subscription business model, your customers pay a certain amount on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis for your products and services. Your customers will get them automatically in the right intervals without needing to re-purchase. With this, your business’s sales leading to Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), become stable and secure for the future.
Subscription-based Business Model. Image Credits
One of the best examples of a subscription service is a newspaper. Even though many buy newspapers individually, most customers have a subscription model with local newspaper distributors or companies that regularly deliver the newspapers to their doorstep. This way, you don’t have to go out and purchase your newspaper, as you’ll receive them directly to you for a certain duration you have taken the service for.
According to research done by McKinsey & Company, at least 15% of online shoppers have subscribed for one or the other products and services to receive on a recurring basis. This simply means that subscription commerce is growing at a rapid rate.
Subscription lifestyle across streaming-media and ecommerce. Image Credits
There are different types of subscription-based business models that you can consider for your business, such as:
01. Service Subscription
Service-based subscription is one of the most common recurring revenue models used by many companies, such as WordPress.com, MailChimp, and so on. In this, the users can subscribe to the model for a certain period of time, usually for a value-based-pricing. The users only have to pay for the service they need, and it typically comes with flexible pricing depending on the features and tenure of the subscription.
02. Subscription Box
Subscription boxes are product-based subscriptions where users can simply subscribe to products of their needs and preferences. Some examples of subscription box models include meal plans, skincare or beauty care, coffee refills, and many more.
03. Digital Content Subscription
Most of us are familiar with a digital content subscription which is what giants such as Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify offer. This subscription model offers access to digital content that is exclusive to them. Due to the exclusivity of this model, customers feels more privileged and valued.
04. Other Miscellaneous Subscriptions
One of the best parts of a subscription service is that any business can use it. It could be through a perk-based membership where exclusive members get access to certain discounts or offer that a regular customer doesn’t, or through a subscription and save model where customers get a special discount or offer by signing up for a subscription.
A good example of this would be Uber’s ‘Uber Ride Pass’ which allowed riders to avail of a certain discount on the regular fares, saving money. Several automobile companies, such as Porsche, Nissan, and Hyundai, also offer vehicle subscription services.
Even though a subscription business model presents itself with a lot of benefits, it is essential to understand the pros and cons closely to make the right decision.
- The flexibility of choosing the tenure of the subscription lies with your customers. They can choose from the various options you provide them for the subscription. It is also best to offer to renew or cancel options to customers so that customers who have completed their subscription can easily restart the service or cancel an existing one without affecting your customer satisfaction.
- It helps you forecast the future of your subscriptions through specific metrics such as MRR, customer lifetime value, conversion rates, unsubscribe rate per month, and so on.
- Subscription business models help you gain more loyal customers, increase customer retention and improve inventory management and reduce wastage as you will be able to predict your future sales.
- It is important not to wear out your customers in the long run. Not introducing new products or services with time and not presenting your customers with more options can get you replaced by something better, such as an upcoming competitor, especially in a subscription business model.
- Whether it is a single product or many, you need to ensure that your customers are satisfied. Existing subscribers who are unhappy with your service can end up canceling the subscription or not renewing the service once over.
- When adopting a subscription service for your ecommerce store, you might face the challenge of convincing them why they should go for a subscription plan instead of purchasing your products or services individually. Keep in mind that how you sell your subscription service depends on your target customers and how they can benefit from them.
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II. How Do Subscription Apps Help Your Store?
Increasing sales is one of the biggest challenges online businesses face. Having an online store on platforms such as Shopify can prove beneficial to you to increase sales on your Shopify store. With revenue models such as the subscription-based model gaining popularity in the ecommerce world, subscription apps can be your helping hand for a favorable outcome for your online business. If you are new to online business or subscription service, let us help you.
To start off with, what are subscription apps, and how can they help your online business?
Subscription apps for Shopify are software tools that help you sell your products on a subscription basis by integrating with your checkout for a seamless experience.
Using a subscription app for your online store can give you the following advantages:
- Customers can pay for products at a discounted rate for weekly or monthly subscriptions.
- Aids in a hassle-free checkout where customers can make the payment and sign up for a subscription easily.
- Customize your subscriptions based on your requirements to offer a personalized service.
- Create, manage, and update all recurring payments, subscription information, and scheduled fulfillments.
Shopify App Store offers numerous options for subscription apps that you can easily integrate with your Shopify checkout. Furthermore, you can manage your subscriptions right from the Shopify Admin. You can also view the products your customers purchased and the subscription frequency in the admin.
And not just that, if you are on a Shopify plan or higher, you can track subscription data in select reports other than sales reports through the purchase option filter or column (which you need to add).
III. Best 10 Subscription Apps For Your Shopify Store
Subscription apps for Shopify can not only help your customers sign up quickly, but you can also track your sales performance and automate your subscription service and save a lot of time! With the right subscription app, you can be guaranteed of an easy flow of customers and revenue in the future.
The subscription-based business model of a coffee brand. Image Credits
Out of the many subscription apps out there, we have handpicked 10 that stand out for several features and could easily be some of Shopify's best subscription apps.
01. Seal Subscriptions
Simplifying the subscription management process with Seal subscriptions, a Shopify Subsccriptions app. Seal Subscriptions offers native Shopify checkout with a subscription widget next to the Add to Cart button to promote subscription rates. It has a 4.9/5 rating and is pretty much an all-in-one platform. Here are some of its outstanding features:
- Automatic billing to increase customer lifetime value.
- Integration with Shopify for easy checkout.
- Analytics and insights into your subscription products.
- Edit, skip, and pause options on orders for customers.
- No signup requirement for customers.
Pricing: The app offers a free plan for up to 150 subscriptions. The premium plan starts at $4.95/month.
02. Recharge Subscriptions
Recharge is one of the best subscription apps, with over 15,000 customers and various subscription features. With a rating of 4.8/5 on the Shopify App Store, it enables seamless check-out for customers. Brands can easily manage all subscriptions and increase conversion rates with endless customizations. Some of the features include:
- Supports all major payment processors such as PayPal, Shopify Payments, Apple Pay, and many more, in addition to credit cards.
- Shopify app integrations.
- Subscription management scope for customers.
- Analytics to track subscriptions and recurring revenue.
- Skip and reschedule options for customers, hence reducing the churn rate.
With recharge subscriptions, your customers can enable SMS notifications and manage their subscriptions through the customer portal. However, Recharge does not offer any built-in features for precise inventory management, so you might feel the need to change the SKU after several orders.
Pricing: Standard plans start with a 1% fee + 10 cents per transaction with no monthly fees.
03. Recurpay Subscriptions App
Recurpay is another subscription app with robust features and an easy interface to create and manage subscriptions. It has a 4.9/5 rating and lets you experiment with a wide range of tools to build your subscription business. Here are some of Recurpay’s features:
- Analytics and insights on a daily basis.
- Free trial before subscribing.
- Notifications for every customer signing up for the subscription.
- Cash on delivery (COD) option for subscriptions.
Recurpay is an excellent choice for any business with multiple products in a single subscription plan and can easily handle complex business requirements with API built structure.
Pricing: Free subscription until $100 in revenue. The basic plan starts at just $9/month.
04. Appstle Subscription
Appstle offers a comprehensive subscription management tool with a 5/5 rating on Shopify App Store. It is easy to install and integrate with your Shopify checkout. It has several customer-friendly and self-management features that make the entire subscription process easy for both the seller and the buyer.
- Subscription boxes.
- Widgets for quick view and cart page.
- Personalized notifications for customers.
- Analytics and insights into your subscription products.
- Customizable with CSS.
Pricing: Offers a free plan with 0 transaction fee. Basic plan starts at $10/month + 0% transaction fee.
05. PayWhirl Subscription Payments
PayWhirl lets you manage subscriptions and payments of your business in a hassle-free manner. It integrates with the Shopify checkout for a smooth customer experience and offers many designs to choose from.
Some of the best features of PayWhirl Subscription Payments are:
- Automated recurring billing.
- Secure storage of payment details.
- Easy setup.
- Integrations with all major Shopify apps.
- Embedded payments widgets and checkout.
PayWhirl has an overall rating of 4.9/5 and is suited for medium-sized to enterprise businesses as the pricing is slightly more expensive.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $249/month + 0.5% transaction fee.
06. Bold Subscriptions
Also one of the best subscription apps on Shopify with a 4.3/5 rating, Bold subscriptions is one of the most customizable options out there that lets you choose any aspect of the design, even the code. It is used by over 20,000 brands and offers a wide array of features such as:
- Edit, skip, and pause options on orders for customers.
- Customizable subscription offers.
- Integration with major Shopify apps.
- Failed credit card transaction recovery.
- SMS subscription management.
Bold subscriptions help you scale your subscriptions on demand.
Pricing: Offers a 60-day free trial period. Subscription starts at $39.99/month in addition to a 1% transaction fee on every order.
07. Subscriptions by Yotpo
Subscriptions by Yotpo have been in the ecommerce industry for over 10 years, and it is one of the top subscription apps for Shopify. Yotpo offers powerful technology and partnerships and has impeccable customer success. Like any other best subscription app for Shopify, Yotpo helps you accelerate the growth of your business through recurring revenue. The features include:
- Easy catalog management.
- Extensive analytics.
- Excellent customer support.
- Secure Migration options.
- Seamless checkout experience.
The app is fully equipped with all you require for kickstarting your subscription service journey and has a rating of 5/5.
Pricing: Free plan with limited offerings. The basic plan starts at $19/month.
08. Loop Subscriptions
Loop subscriptions help you raise your subscription rate through easy subscription management, designs, and minimal payment failures. It offers seamless migration from other platforms, such as Bold and Recharge, in under 10 minutes. Some of its features are:
- Native Shopify checkout.
- Password-less SMS and Email subscription management.
- Smart Dunning Management System.
It has a 4.9/5 rating and is suited for small- and enterprise-sized businesses.
Pricing: Premium plan starts at a $49/month + 0.75% transaction fee.
09. Skio Subscriptions
Skio is rather a new subscription app introduced to Shopify that quickly gained fame with a strong user and customer experience. With Skio, you can benefit from automatic customer account creation on every new subscription order and allows the customers to log in without a password. Some of the top features of this newcomer subscription app include:
- Easy migrate option from Recharge and Bold subscription apps.
- One-click checkout flow to increase conversions.
- Fast-loading subscription editor.
- Group discounts option to increase customer retention.
- SKU swapping.
Skio subscriptions app offers tons of features that any online business could benefit from and has a 4.9/5 rating.
Skio might not be the one for you if you are a small store owner. Skio subscription pricing is on the higher side and is mostly suited for higher-volume subscription companies only.
Pricing: Offers two plans, a dog plan(standard) and a cat plan(custom). The standard plans start at $299/month on an annual basis and $399 on a month-to-month basis, along with a 1% + 20 cents per transaction.
As a business owner, if you don’t want to compromise your customer experience at all on a subscription business model, then Smartrr is the one for you. The app has a 5/5 rating and focuses on customer loyalty and retention through a variety of features and tools. Some of them include:
- One-click subscription management.
- Seamless checkout experience.
- Churn prevention tools.
- Customer and vendor portals for managing subscriptions.
- Analytics and detailed insights.
Pricing: Smartrr offers three plans, Launch, Grow, and Excel. The basic plan starts at $99/month + 1% subscriber GMV. It also features the option to pay both monthly and annually.
Being an online business owner is no easy job. Still, subscription-based ecommerce business is a powerful technology that leading brands use due to its limitless potential. Whether you are a small business owner or not, a subscription business model can help you maximize your revenue, customer loyalty, retention, and satisfaction.
Remember to develop a subscription plan that suits your business based on the products you sell, your target clientele, and your inventory. Don’t forget to do competitor research to understand their offerings to curate products and prices that can attract customers to your subscriptions.
And lastly, choose the right subscription app for your Shopify store for sustainable growth so you never have to look back and have better control over the future of your brand!