Boost Your Revenue with Shopify Discount Codes for Subscriptions

Shopify-Discount-Codes-for- Subscriptions

Written by Adriana Pope

January 23, 2024

Learn how to create Shopify discount codes for Subscription products so that you can acquire repeat customers & create recurring revenue.

In the vibrant world of e-commerce, finding strategies that blend customer attraction with long-term revenue can be challenging.

Many Shopify merchants overlook a powerful tool: Shopify discount codes for subscription products.

Initially, this concept may seem counterintuitive.

Why offer a discount on a product designed for recurring revenue?

However, as we’ll explore, this approach is not just safe but incredibly effective in converting one-time shoppers into loyal, recurring customers.

This tutorial is brought to you by Ongoing subscriptions, the #1 Shopify Subscriptions app for helping stores offer recurring payments and repeat orders to their customers. f

Misnomers Around Subscription Discounts

What is the Recurring Discount Myth?

A common misconception is that a discount on a subscription product will recur with each order.

This isn’t necessarily true.

With the right tools, like Ongoing Subscriptions, merchants can set discounts that apply only to the first subscription order, then automatically revert to the standard price for subsequent deliveries.

This gives you the control and power to retain your original subscription discount for all recurring orders.

How It Works

So for example, let’s say I own a Shopify store that sells coffee.

If I’m selling coffee that is $10 per bag and it already has a 10% subscription discount, and then I offer a one-time discount off the first subscription order of an extra 10%, the first subscription order is 20% off.

The subscription doesn’t become 20% off forever.

The magic is that after the first order, the extra 10% discount automatically falls off and goes back to the 10% off for all recurring orders.

This strategy is a smart way to boost initial sales without sacrificing long-term profitability.

Watch Video – Shopify Discount Codes for Subscriptions


Creating a Shopify discount code specifically for subscription products and limiting it to the first subscription order involves a few steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Log into Your Shopify Admin Panel: Access your Shopify store by logging in with your credentials.
  • Navigate to Discounts: In the Shopify admin, click on ‘Discounts’ from the left-hand sidebar.
  • Create a New Discount Code:
    • Click on ‘Create discount’ at the top right corner.
    • Choose ‘Amount off Product’.
    • For the ‘Method’ just leave it on discount code, not automatic discount.
  • Name your Discount Code: You’ll then be prompted to enter a name for your discount code. You can name it something like SUBCRIBE10 or SUBSCRIBE15
  • Set the Discount Value:
    • Under the ‘Discount Values’ section, select the type of discount you want to offer (e.g., percentage, fixed amount, free shipping).
    • We recommend percentage based discounts such as 10% or 15% off. Enter the value of the discount.
  • Apply Discount to Subscription Products Only:
    • Under ‘Applies to’, select ‘Specific products’.
    • Search for and select the subscription products you want the discount to apply to.
    • In the ‘Purchase Type’ section, change it to Subscriptions only
    • Note: You have the option to choose a collection, if you have a collection of subscription products.
  • Minimum Purchase Amount:
    • This part is entirely up to you, in this tutorial we are going to make it no minimum.
  • Customer Eligibility: All customers. You can just have this apply to everyone
  • Maximum Discount Uses:
  • You can specify the number of times this discount can be used in total or per customer.
  • This is up to you, in this tutorial we are leaving this blank.
  • You can choose to “limit it to one use per customer” if you’d like.
  • Limit Discount to the First Subscription Order:
    • Scroll to the ‘Recurring Payments for Subcriptions’ section.
    • Select ‘Limit discount to the first payment.’
  • Set the Active Dates:
    • Define the start and end date for when the discount code will be active.
  • Save the Discount Code: Once you have configured all settings, click ‘Save’ to activate the discount code.
  • Test the Discount Code: Before announcing the discount, test it by going through the checkout process as a customer to ensure it applies correctly to the first subscription order of the selected subscription products.

Fear of Over-Discounting

There is the fear of over-discounting, is a valid concern. .

Merchants might think there is potential revenue loss from stacking discounts.

Merchants already offering a standard subscription discount might balk at the idea of an additional markdown.

However, this strategy can be finely tuned.

The additional discount acts as an enticing introductory offer, reverting to the regular subscription discount thereafter – a small investment for a significant return in customer loyalty and lifetime value.

Having an offer that is so insanely good that the shopper can’t say no to, is the best way to convert a shopper into a customer.

And not just any type of customer, but the best kind of customer – a repeat customer.

By offering a Shopify discount code to your audience and getting them to become subscribers is much more fruitful than offering a discount code and getting them to just buy once from your store.

Benefits of Shopify Discount Codes for Subscriptions

30% Revenue Boost

On average, offering a Shopify coupon code for customers to use on just subscription products can lead to a very big increase in revenue.

The reason for this is because customer are essentially committing to future purchases with their first order.

When they sign up for a subscription, they are automatically going to be receiving future orders, that they’ll get charged for automatically.

This helps the Shopify store generate more revenue than they would have if they just encouraged the shopper to buy a one-off product.

80% of One-Time Orders Never Order Again

Instead of having people buy a product as a one-time purchase, it’s better to route them towards your subscription products.

Why? 80% of one time orders are from customers who you’ll never see again.

They came to your site, purchased a product, and are basically gone forever. Now you have to spend time, money, effort, and possible advertisement dollars to bring them back to your site to get them to buy again.

That’s a lot of work, and for not much reward.

75% Increase in Retention

You can use that same amount of energy to get someone to buy a subscription product, which not only earns you more revenue now, but also helps to generate future revenue for your company.

If someone buys a subscription order, they will automatically have an order created for them in the future, meaning you just got way more ROI from that transaction.

75% of Shopify businesses that offer discount codes to their customers report an increase in customer retention.

The likelihood that the customer will stay on for their second subscription order is very high, and in fact increases by 75% after using a Shopify discount code for their subscription purchase.

50% of Consumers Report Buying Subscription

Increased Conversion Rates
: The use of Shopify discount codes has been shown to effectively double the likelihood of consumers opting for subscription products, indicating a strong correlation between discounts and purchase decisions.

Incentive-Driven Purchases: This statistic highlights how significant a role incentives like discount codes play in consumer decisions, particularly in the subscription market.

Marketing Leverage: The high response rate to discount codes offers an excellent opportunity for targeted marketing campaigns, encouraging more customers to transition from one-time purchases to subscriptions.

Consumer Expectations: The prevalence of discount code usage reflects a growing expectation among consumers for value-added deals in their shopping experience, especially in subscription models.

Building Long-Term Relationships: By attracting half of the consumer base with discount codes, Shopify stores not only boost their immediate sales but also set the stage for long-term customer relationships and recurring revenue.

30% More Likely to Convert

It has been found that consumers are 30% more likely to purchase a subscription if they have a discount code.

  • Enhanced Initial Appeal: Discount codes significantly increase the attractiveness of a subscription offer, making the decision to subscribe more appealing for first-time customers.

  • Perceived Value Increase: The presence of a discount code elevates the perceived value of the subscription, leading customers to believe they are getting more for their money.

  • Lower Entry Barrier: Discounts lower the financial barrier to entry, making subscriptions accessible to a broader range of consumers who might be hesitant about the regular price.

  • Encouragement to Commit: A discount code can serve as a nudge for customers sitting on the fence, providing just enough incentive for them to commit to a subscription.

  • Trial and Adoption: Offering a discount for the initial period of the subscription encourages customers to try the service, increasing the likelihood of them continuing the subscription at full price after experiencing its benefits.

Benefits of Using Discount Codes for Subscription Products

Increase in Average Order Value

On average, subscription customers who use discount codes through Shopify spend $8.60 more per order.

That means that if you give your shoppers a Shopify discount code that they can use to buy a subscription product, they are more likely to buy more than one item.

After-all, they’ll get a discount off all their subscription products, so they might as well add more items to their cart since they’re getting a deal.

A discount code promotion encourages your fans to load up on the things they love.

And for newbies to your subscription program, they will get excited to finally place an order if it’s something they have been thinking about doing, but just needed the extra push to do.

Boosting Initial Conversion

That first-time discount? It’s like a VIP pass to your subscription party. Customers can’t resist stepping through the door when they see a sweet deal waving at them.

The initial discount serves as a powerful incentive.

Customers are more likely to subscribe when they perceive an immediate, tangible benefit, making that first click much more appealing.

If they had any hesitation to buy your product, the initial deep discount on the first subscription order is likely to take them over the edge, and get them to buy your product now.

You can think of the extra discount as a way to reward them for signing up for the automatic auto-pay enrollment.

Since they are making a commitment with their credit card being on file for recurring orders, you are rewarding them with a deeper discount off their first subscription order.

Discount on First Subscription Order

The idea is that you want to encourage shoppers to try out your subscriptions with an amazing deal.

Enticing customers to sign up for a recurring transaction is much more fruitful than getting them to buy a product one-time with those discounts only targeting one-time orders.

After the customer buys one time, they’re gone, so the idea is to reel them in with this offer, and get them to be a repeat customer from the get-go.

Securing Long-Term Customers

Once customers subscribe, they’re likely to keep subscribing.

That first discounted subscription order is just the beginning of a beautiful parade of future repeat purchases. Cha-ching!

Trying to attract subscribers is much more beneficial to your shop than trying to get one time purchases.

Stand Out From the Competition

In a competitive online market, unique offers like these make your store stand out.

It’s a smart way to differentiate your brand and products.

If a customer sees a Shopify discount code in an email you send them, they’re more likely to return to your shop and place a subscription order.

A Shopify discount for email subscribers is the best way to lure people back to shopping on your store.

Ongoing Subscriptions Works With Shopify Discounts Automatically

Ongoing Subscriptions seamlessly integrates with Shopify discount codes, allowing automatic synchronization and application of discounts.

This system simplifies the process, ensuring the discount applies only to the first order without manual intervention.

Capitalize on Recurring Transactions

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to transform your approach to subscriptions.

You can effortlessly set up Shopify discount codes on subscription products, attracting new customers and ensuring their transition to loyal, recurring buyers.

It’s time to rethink your strategy and embrace the potential of subscription-based discounts codes.

The Role of Initial Discounts in Customer Conversion

A discount on the initial subscription transaction acts as a powerful motivator, often tipping the scales for customers contemplating a purchase.

This strategy effectively rewards their commitment, enhancing the chances of converting them into long-term subscribers.

Busting Myths with Style

In this section we’re going to bust some of the common myths about Shopify discount codes for subscriptions, and set the record straight – you know why?

Using Shopify discount codes for subscriptions instead of one-time purchase products is a strategy that can really improve your Shopify store’s revenue and we want to make sure that you try it out, it can make a real difference.

The “Forever Discount” Fiction

Think one-time discounts on subscriptions are a never-ending giveaway? Think again! With the snazzy Ongoing Subscriptions app, you’re the maestro, conducting a one-show-only discount that bows out gracefully after the first act, leaving your regular prices to take the spotlight.

“Discount Overload” Drama

Already dishing out subscription discounts?

Worried another discount is overkill? Fear not!

This nifty deal Shopify discount code is like the cherry on top for your customers’ first order. It’s your secret sauce for turning a maybe into a heck-yes-I-want-that-subscription!

“Stacking Discounts” Conerns

When someone subscribes using a Shopify Discount code that applies to their first order only, yes they will get the discount from the coupon and also if you have a subscription discount through Ongoing.

However, if you have other Shopify discount code coupons that you don’t want them to stack up, you have the control to choose exactly if you would like your customers to be able to combine other discounts.

We recommend not checking those boxes when it says would you like to let customers combine the discount with other discounts. You probably don’t want them to be able to combine different Shopify discount coupon codes so don’t say yes to that when creating your Shopify discount code.

In your summary, it should say “Can’t be combined with any other product, order or shipping discounts.”

Try Ongoing Subscriptions

Here’s where Ongoing Subscriptions steals the show.

It syncs with Shopify discount codes like a dream, ensuring your one-time discount waltzes in smoothly and exits with grace – no manual fuss needed.

No extra leg work needed.

Just create your Shopify discount code on Shopify like you normally would (follow our video tutorial for step by step instructions) and it’ll automatically work at checkout .

Ongoing offers more advanced discounting options for subscription-based orders & works natively with Shopify discount codes – no extra work needed, it just syncs automatically with Shopify. Wa-lah!

Join the Subscription Revolution

Ready to jazz up your sales?

Let Ongoing Subscriptions be your partner in driving up revenue.

Set up those irresistible Shopify discount codes on subscription products and watch as one-time buyers transform into lifelong fans.

This is one of the best strategies out there for getting your fanbase to finally make the leap and become a subscriber.

But best of all, this is your best way to have a compounding exponential affect on your revenue.

Install Ongoing Subscriptions today & Try our 30 Day Free Trial.

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