Replenishment Subscriptions: Ultimate Guide

replenishment subscriptions

Written by Adriana Pope

August 11, 2021

Replenishment Subscriptions offer customers a way to get their favorite products delivered to their door whenever they want.

This type of subscription business model is gaining more traction because it’s become a popular request from shoppers.

People want the convenience of being able to order their essentials automatically on repeat.

Shoppers want to save time and money, and subscriptions offers them both of these perks.

If you’re interested in creating a subscription, this article will help you understand how to set it up.

We’ll also cover what makes a good replenishment product, and much more!

Topics to be covered:

  • What is a replenishment subscription?
  • How does a replenishment subscription work?
  • What product makes for a good replenishment subscription?
  • Will replenishment subscriptions work for your shop?
  • How can I offer subscriptions on my online store?
  • Replenishment Subscriptions & Ongoing Subscriptions
  • The Benefits of Replenishment Subscriptions
  • 5 Tips for Selling Replenishment Subscriptions

What is a replenishment subscription?

A replenishment subscription is pretty much the same as a refill.

Let’s say I sold coffee subscriptions. Coffee is something people drink on a daily basis and will run out of eventually.

Instead of driving to the store, waiting in line and paying for my coffee, I can instead just sign up for a coffee subscription with an online store.

The store will deliver me coffee whenever I need on a schedule based on my preferences.

I’ll get to choose how much coffee, when it arrives, the grind, and flavor, and I might even get a discount for subscribing. 

This is the perfect example of a replenishment subscription.

How does a replenishment subscription work?

Replenishment subscriptions are helpful for products your customers order repeatedly. With recurring billing, the process become automated!

Once a customer is done using the product, they’ll want it again delivered to their door.

The customer won’t want to re-order the product online and enter their credit card details all over again, and checkout.

They just want the product to automatically re-order on its own.

This is where subscriptions come into play.

If you offer the product as a subscription on your online store, the customer can subscribe and get charged automatically on a recurring basis.

This is called recurring payments or recurring billing (It’s the same thing).

Recurring payments can significantly benefit your sales because you create a forever transaction with your customers.

What product makes for a good replenishment subscription?

The best replenishment subscription products are ones that get consumed.

A replenishment subscription is usually a product that is going to get consumed or used.

If the customer needs more of it, often, this would make for a good replenishment subscription product.

Hygiene products like tampons, diapers, deodorant, and toothpaste are some examples.

Also household products like cleaning supplies and mop heads.

Food products like customers need to refill their pantry.


Refills are products your customers use and then need more of. These are everyday products that you use around the house or in the office. Refill subscriptions has been gaining in popularity because it saves people a trip to the store. It’s convenient. And saves them money.
Some examples of refill subscription products include:
Razor blades
Body Wash
Skin Care


Consumables are products your customer eat, drink or ingest. Consumable subscription products are items you would fill your pantry with and always need more of.
Some examples of Consumable subscription products include:
CBD Tinctures
Dog Food
Fresh Meat

Will replenishment subscriptions work for your shop?

If you notice your customers re-ordering products, this is a very good sign.

This means you have a product customers want to receive often.

If you believe your customers will want a product you sell on a recurring basis, then a replenishment subscription might work for your shop.

If the customer needs to re-stock their supply by reordering, then this is good news for your store!

You can help your customer by letting them schedule more frequent deliveries automatically.

As the company selling the product they need on a regular basis, you can earn more sales.

If you sell a product customers will want to subscribe to, this can help you earn more revenue.

How can I offer subscriptions on my online store?

You can offer subscriptions on your online store by using a subscription app or recurring billing software.

A subscription app will give you the tools you need to turn an ordinary product into a subscription product.

The difference is that an ordinary product can only be purchased once. And if the customer wants to order again, they have to manually reorder.

With a subscription product, the customer will choose how often they want the product delivered and get charged automatically on a recurring schedule.

If you have a Shopify store, we recommend checking out Ongoing Subscriptions.

Replenishment Subscriptions & Ongoing

Ongoing is a Shopify subscription app which enables you to offer subscription products on your site.

If you are looking for a way to offer recurring orders on your shop, Ongoing can help.

Ongoing lets you transform any ordinary product into a subscription product with subscription plans.

Customers can choose their own delivery frequency, and Ongoing handles the recurring billing.

This means customers who bought a subscription will be charged automatically on a repeat basis.

The Benefits of Replenishment Subscriptions

There are many benefits to creating a replenishment subscription on your store.

Increase Sales with Recurring Payments

You can increase your sales quite a bit by offering and accepting recurring payments on your Shopify store.

A replenishment product is frequently ordered on an automatic repeat basis which makes it perfect for increasing revenue.

This means recurring payments are on auto-pilot which saves you time, and headaches.

Quality over Quantity

Another beneficial aspect of Replenishment Subscriptions is you can offer less products.

If you have only a handful of subscription products you specialize in, you can focus more attention on making these products better.

Recurring Billing Streamlines your Business

Next, Replenishment Subscriptions make your business more streamlined.

You don’t need to worry about a million different things, since you’re recurring billing is automated.

Customers are charged on time, every time!

All you need to do is take care of the delivery, which you can choose to outsource as you scale.

Replenishment Subscriptions Help you Earn Recurring Revenue

Also, subscribers can help you generate a stable recurring revenue that you can depend on and easily forecast.

Focus all your time and energy, getting subscribers.

Suppose I was making $2000 this month in subscriptions, chances are I would make $2000 or more in subscription orders next month too, since they are continuing orders.

Replenishment Subscriptions offer Convenience

Lastly, Replenishment Subscriptions are the future of ecommerce.

People expect your online store to offer recurring orders these days.

Your shoppers will appreciate if you let them subscribe and get on an AutoPay type of model.

They get their product and are happy, and you get to charge them automatically.

Higher Customer Retention with Replenishment Subscriptions

Here’s the cherry on top! If you offer Replenishment Subscriptions, you can increase your customer retention. A returning customer is great.

But a customer who signs up for your subscription product is ideal!

They will most likely stick around, as long as you create an excellent subscription experience.

5 Tips for Replenishment Subscriptions

1.) Keep Track of Inventory

When you offer a replenishment subscription, this means you’ll need to have plenty of that product in stock.

If you are using a drop shipping company, that’s fine as long as they are reliable and won’t leave you hanging.

Does your drop shipping company suddenly not have the product in stock for some reason? This could make cause you to issue refunds or have shipping delays.

Are you a fan of good old fashioned inventory like physical products in storage somewhere? That’s fine, just make sure that you have enough of the product to last you through upcoming orders.

Lastly, pay attention to your most popular items!

2.) Offer reasonable delivery frequencies

Customers who want to order your products on re-order, will need to choose a delivery frequency.

If they don’t see a subscription plan they agree with, they might not buy your product at all.

Think about how often your customers will want the product.

How often will they run out of the product?

By offering standard frequencies like monthly and quarterly deliveries, you can ensure customers will find a plan they like.

3.) Offer an Automatic Subscription Discount

If a shopper wants to buy your product as a subscription, they should be incentivized.

Subscription discounts helps to encourage customers to subscribe.

If it’s the same price to receive the product more than once, they might not be convinced.

However, if the product is much cheaper, the shopper might be encouraged to sign up for a subscription plan.

A good rule of thumb is you can offer a 10% discount for recurring orders.

This way, when they toggle the price between the one time option and subscription option, and the subscription option is a lower price, they’ll be incentivized to subscribe.

4.) Sweeten the deal with Free Shipping

Free shipping is an excellent way to make sure your shopper successfully completes their checkout.

Charging for shipping on a subscription product can sometimes lead to an abandoned cart. And you don’t want that.

You want the transaction to be as smooth as possible.

Note: To offer Free Shipping on Shopify for example, you can offer a Discount Code they can enter at checkout to get free shipping.

5.) Offer Prepaid Subscriptions

Prepaid subscriptions is when a customer pays upfront for the subscription for a certain amount of time (like 3 or 6 months, or even 1 year).

It’s a good idea to offer a discount for prepaid subscriptions to persuade shoppers to choose that subscription plan.

repaid subscriptions are a great way to have more cash flow on hand for your company. For example, let’s say I sold a deodorant for $15 as a one time option, but as a 3 month subscription for $40.

That’s $5 off the normal price if they commit to a 3 month prepaid subscription.

And if they like the subscription and the product, they can continue to let it auto renew every 3 months.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our article on Replenishment subscriptions, and have a better idea now of why they are so useful for ecommerce.

Replenishment subscriptions are not a trend, they are a new way of purchasing products that is here to stay.

We recommend trying out offering a replenishment subscription on your site, and seeing how it goes.

If you have a product people love and want to have it ordered again and again, this is the perfect business model for you!

Try out Ongoing today, and create your very own Subscription product on your Shopify store.

Feel free to leave a comment down below letting us know what you think makes the best replenishment subscription product, and why.

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