Shopify Subscription Service, Examples & How to Get Started

shopify subscription service

Written by Adriana Pope

May 19, 2021

Yes Shopify does offer subscriptions. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting started with a Shopify subscription service.

Shopify is the world’s leading ecommerce platform and they are now leading the way with subscriptions.

Make sure you read until the end of the article because we’ll give you tips for the best Shopify subscription apps.

  • Topic covered:
  • Benefits of subscription service
  • Does Shopify offer subscriptions?
  • 8 Subscription Business Websites Examples
  • Is Shopify subscription service safe?
  • Does Shopify offer recurring billing?
  • Does Shopify offer recurring payments?
  • Does Shopify handle recurring order management?
  • Can I Sell subscription boxes on Shopify?

Benefits of subscription service

Offering subscriptions on your shop can boost your sales.

Instead of a customer buying an item only once, a customer commits to re-ordering an item forever with subscriptions.

These “forever transactions” build a long term relationship between your company and the subscriber.

Having repeat orders and repeat customers also means you are earning repeat income.
Recurring revenue is one of the hugest perks of selling using a subscription service.

Learn how to turn your products into subscriptions, and reap the benefits!

Does Shopify offer subscriptions?

Yes.

In order to sell subscriptions on Shopify, you will need to install a Shopify subscriptions app.


These Shopify subscription apps will give you the functionality you need.

They will let you transform any product into a subscription product.
A subscription app will display a subscription widget on your product page. A subscription widget shows all of your subscription plans and makes them available for purchase.

It will also handle all of the subscription billing which happens behind the scenes.

The app handles recurring billing which is when the customer is charged automatically on an on-going basis (example: Charged every month for a subscription box).

All subscription apps on the Shopify app store are fully integrated with the Shopify API Payments. This makes using a subscription app on the Shopify app store a safe and secure choice.

8 Subscription Business Examples

shopify subscription service trends

#1 Orgain Protein Powder

Orgain is one of the leading websites out there to start implementing subscriptions on protein powder.

They now have a huge loyal following of customers who order their protein powder on a monthly basis.

We think their sleek design is a perfect example of a stellar subscription product company to model yours after.

Things we like:

  • Professional product images
  • Display discounted subscription price
  • Defaults to subscription instead of one-time purchase
  • Displays percentage discount (Example: 35% savings with subscription)
  • Add to Cart” button is replaced with “Subscribe and Save” button
  • Lots of reviews increases buyer confidence
  • Keeping it simple with a limited amount of variants (example: Vanilla & Chocolate flavor)
recurring transactions shopify

I think this is a great example of a subscription product page and how you would want to do it on your Shopify store. The copy writing is concise and the product photography matches the season.

We love how they advertise a huge subscription discount of 35% on their homepage to get you clicking on their products.

subscription food product shopify

If you are selling a consumable product (something people will use/eat and need more of) then it’s important to list all of your benefits. For example, the protein powder boasts they are: organic, packed with super foods, vegan, and grit free.

does shopify offer subscription service
Source: Drink Trade

#2 Drink Trade Coffee Subscription

When I searched for “coffee subscription” on Google, Drink Trade ranks at the very top.

That means these guys know what they are doing.

Drink Trade is a coffee subscription company that specializes in personalizing your coffee picks and matching you up with artisanal roasters.


Things we like:

  • Created a landing page for coffee subscriptions. This sells people on why they should subscribe before sending them to the actual product page
  • Emphasizes their subscription box can be personalized
  • Button appears 6x to take you to the subscription product. This is an “action button”. It’s what they want people to do (i.e. click on product and buy product)
  • Simple, clever copy-writing
  • Explains how it works: Step 1, 2, 3
  • FAQ to answer questions
  • Offers free shipping & 30% discount off first order
  • Personalized subscription quiz
shopify apps subscription service
Source: Drink Trade

Overall, this is a great example of a subscription website because they have effective sales pages. The whole point of a shop is to sell products. They understand this.

custom quiz shopify subscriptions
Source: Drink Trade

Their buttons lead the shopper to a quiz where they enter their coffee preferences. By offering a quiz, we think this Drink Trade is helping shoppers find what they are looking for .

This smart marketing tactic encourages a successful checkout and lowers the abandoned cart rate.

subscription business example
Source: Dollar Shave Club

#3 Dollar Shave Club Razor Blades

Dollar Shave Club sells grooming products for men like high quality shaving razors.

Things we like:

  • Homepage is a great sales funnel page
  • Super affordable price point ($5 to start!)
  • Display a sample subscription box (what you’ll get in it)
  • Up-selling through-out the checkout process
  • List of Club benefits
  • Subscriptions called “refills”
  • Emphasize customer is a “member” after first purchase
  • Offers free shipping
  • Chat support

The interesting aspect of Dollar Shave Club is their subscription is called a “Club” so it really gives customers a sense of community.

subscription sales funnel page
Source: Dollar Shave Club

Overall, they do a good job at up-selling and getting customer to commit to ongoing deliveries. Their website is pretty to look at. They’ve taken a consumer product like razor blades and made it an exciting gift to yourself.

They emphasize zero commitment, that you can cancel online anytime. In fact, they offer a shave starter kit for only $5 which really makes you want to sign up.

subscription software shopify ecommerce
Source: Dollar Shave Club

They even offer a 30 day money back guarantee which helps people buy their products. Their sales funnel page is by far one of the best we have ever seen for a subscription product. The copy writing is short and to the point.

shopify subscription service example
Source: Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is worth over 1 billion dollars! It’s safe to say this company knows a thing or two about selling subscriptions. It’s always a smart idea to look at what the pros are doing. This will give ideas of how to model your Shopify store to sell subscriptions effectively.

using shopify for subscription service
Source: Scent Bird

#4 Scent Bird Perfume & Cologne

Scent Bird is a fragrance subscription box company.

They offer access to over 600+ authentic designer fragrances for just $15.95 a month.

Their subscription box is also personalized depending on the customer’s preferences.

What we like:

  • Great price point
  • Personalized quiz
  • Member exclusivity
  • Feels like a community
  • Fragrance comes in a sleek refillable case (unique value proposition)
  • First order comes with a surprise gift
  • 25% off first subscription order
  • Display a sample subscription box (gives you an idea of items you may receive)
  • Emphasizes top quality, says 100% authentic
Source: Scent Bird

We really love the look and feel of this Scent Bird website because it drives you to subscribe.
There’s no horsing around here, they get straight to the point. They encourage you to take the quiz, sign up, and checkout.

subscription business ideas
Source: Scent Bird

I think what they do best is they offer great incentives for you to make your first purchase like a free fragrance thrown in for free.

shopify subscription service tutorial
Source: Scent Bird

The price point is excellent… it’s cheap enough that it’s not going to break the bank. It’s also a decent price so there are going to be good margins.

subscription box shopify business example
Source: Cravory Cookies

#5 Cravory Cookies

craCravory Cookies is helping cookie lovers find their fix. This innovative cookie company creates 6 new flavors each month, and that’s what keeps their customers engaged.

Cravory offers a subscription box which they call “Cookie of the Month club”.

The idea is simple. Subscribe monthly and get fun and exciting cookies delivered to your doorstep.

Things we like:

  • Easy to understand subscription plans
  • Phone support
  • Good price point
  • Upfront about shipping costs
  • Photo of cookies makes you want to eat them!
  • Reviews help increase buyer confidence.
  • Clever how they offer free shipping when you order 2 dozen cookies. This helps encourage customers to spend a little more, so they can save long-term.
shopify subscription service business
Source: Cravory Cookies

There is a pay-as-you-go option as well as a Prepaid subscription plan. They encourage the prepaid subscription which has a 25% discount.

Overall, I think this website is fabulous. I wish however the subscription discount was clearly visible so I can see how much I’m saving by opting for a subscription.

Also, it never hurts to write a detailed description about your subscription product which can help with SEO keyword position.

shopify subscription box service
Source: Buddhi Box

#6 Buddhi Box

Buddhi Box is a subscription box made for people who enjoy yoga, mindfulness and self-care.

The box contains cruelty-free beauty products and hand crafted items from India.

We think this is a great example of a store using the Shopify subscription service to increase their sales and make a whole company centered around selling subscription boxes.

What we like:

  • Love the newsletter sign up & receive 10% off first order
  • Photos gives you a good idea of what types of products you’ll get
  • US orders ship free
  • Display a couple photos of past subscription box contents
  • Says box valued at $80 but price is $39.95
  • Simple subscription plans (1, 3, 6, & 12 month options)
  • Orange “Subscribe” button stands out

I really love how they also showcase all of their other subscription boxes on their homepage to get the shopper circulating around their site.

shopify subscription service reviews
Source: Buddhi Box

Overall, I think this website does a great job at selling subscription boxes on their Shopify store. A more detailed description would really help and I think product reviews could increase checkout conversion rates.

shopify subscription service website example
Source: Rakka Chocolates

#7 Rakka Chocolate

Rakka Chocolate is helping folks reignite their love for cocoa.

They offer their chocolate bars on a recurring basis. We appreciate how they tell you which flavors you are going to get. This helps shoppers anticipate what to expect and increases satisfaction levels.

What we like:

  • They have a remarkable product – Unroasted chocolate is rare!
  • List of unique qualities which separate them from competition
  • Monthly box seems like the perfect time frame for receiving recurring product
  • Simplicity of product page
  • Beautiful product image
  • Only offers a 1 & 2 month subscription plans. They aren’t bombarding the shopper with too many options. This makes it easier for the customer to make a selection and checkout.
shopify subscription service product example
Source: Rakka Chocolates

Overall I think this subscription product looks super attractive and high end which makes the shopper want to subscribe. It’s wonderful how they list all of their benefits and remarkable features as a company such as bar-to-bean, small batch, and single origin.

subscription website rakka chocolate
Source: Rakka Chocolates

We would have loved to seen more product photos like different angles and maybe how the product comes in the box. This would help the customer imagining themselves getting the item in the mail. Maybe some bullet points of selling points would make product description stronger as well.

subscription ecommerce company
Source: Fab Fit Fun

#8 Fab Fit Fun Subscription Box

This subscription box was made for women by women.

Their flagship product is the FabFitFun Box which contains beauty, fitness, and fashion products.

Things we like:

  • Subscription options are simple (only two options)
  • Perfect price point
  • Example subscription box looks great with lots of value!
  • Free Shipping for USA orders
  • They advertise that they include full size products
  • Annual subscription says “Best Value” which makes you want to click on it
subscription plans annual vs seasonal
Source: Fab Fit Fun

Overall, Fit Fun Fabulous is a great example of a subscription business website who sell recurring orders. They make it easy to sign up for a subscription. Having a simple process is key when trying to get a new customer.

subscription models company examples
Source: Fab Fit Fun

We think this Founders photo is amazingly bold. Don’t be afraid to showcase who you are. Create an “About Us” page on your website to tell your unique store. Also, cheers to minority owned businesses!

Does Shopify subscription service offer recurring billing?

Yes.

Recurring billing is when a customer is charged on an on-going basis for a subscription product.

Their credit card is only entered once for the initial order, and then stays on file for future automatic subscription deliveries.

Again, you will need to install a Shopify subscription app on your shop.

The subscription app will have recurring billing as a feature.

Essentially, a subscription app is recurring billing (they are the same thing).

When you offer customers a way to get repeat orders on your products automatically, you are using recurring billing to make this happen.

Customers are charged based on the delivery and billing frequency selected when subscription order was first placed.

Does Shopify subscription service offer recurring payments?

Yes.

To offer and accept recurring payments on your Shopify store, you will need to install a Shopify subscription app.

Recurring payments are payments charged automatically to customers on an ongoing basis.

For example, if a customer purchases a subscription box on a monthly basis, they will see a recurring payment hit their bank account ever 30 days.

There are a lot of benefits to using Shopify recurring payments, so make sure to not to miss out on the opportunity of selling subscriptions.

Make sure to check out our complete guide on What are recurring payments? 10 Do’s and Don’ts to Thrive

Does Shopify handle recurring order management?

Yes.

If you want to sell subscriptions on Shopify, you’ll need to install a subscription app.

This will give you the functionality to manage recurring orders.

A subscription app will give you the capability to accept, sell, and track recurring orders.

You will be able to manage all of your subscription orders from the app.

Can I Sell Subscription Boxes on Shopify?

Yes.

You can create your own subscription box and sell it on Shopify.

Make sure to read our guide How to Start your Own Subscription Box which gives you a step by step instructions on everything you need to know.

Subscription boxes are super popular these days and it makes sense to sell them on your store.

The benefits of creating a subscription box is you can narrow down your inventory. Instead of selling a billion things, you can concentrate on one (or a couple subscription box ideas).

Instead of worrying about a huge inventory, you can shift that focus on what type of cool products you fill your subscription box with.

Is Shopify subscription service safe?

Absolutely.

Shopify is currently trusted by over 1,700,000 businesses worldwide.
If you have a Shopify store, then it is PCI complaint which lets you process payment info safely.
They offer a secure network and protect the cardholder’s data.
Shopify also has fraud detection as well as vulnerability checks in place to keep your store safe.

Shopify is the lead ecommerce platform in the world today. This Canadian company is redefining how people shop online. They have over 7000 employees and $6.40 billion in equity which are some impressive stats.

You can easily set up a Shopify store for free with their 30 day trial.

Shopify utilizes top notch security for their platform and the millions of websites they power.

shopify subscription service ongoing

Shopify Subscription Service Best App

The best Shopify subscription service app is Ongoing.

Ongoing is all you need to get started with subscriptions on your Shopify store.

Once you install Ongoing, you can start creating your first subscription product. The app will take care of displaying your subscription plans on the product page. Ongoing will also handle the recurring billing aspect of selling subscriptions.

That means your customers will get charged on a set schedule automatically and the funds will be sent to you on an on-going basis. So if a customer buys a subscription box from you on a monthly plan, they’ll get charged every month a set price on a recurring basis.

Without an app like Ongoing, you can’t sell subscription products on your Shopify store.

Ongoing is the best Shopify app for subscriptions because it lets you sell your products on a weekly, quarterly, monthly, and even yearly period.

You need an app to sell subscription products. Check out Ongoing today!

shopify subscription service company
Source: Drink Trade

Summary

Shopify is a great ecommerce platform to set up a shop with, and start selling subscriptions.

I hope this article gave you a better idea of what it’s like to use the Shopify subscription service.

Shopify has enhanced their platform so that subscriptions work seamlessly on any storefront. You’ll just need to use a subscription app like Ongoing to get the job done.

We wish you lots of luck on your journey to selling subscriptions!

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