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How Subscription Management Software Streamlines Shopify Business

Subscription management software helps streamline, organize and simplify billing for Shopify merchants. See how Shopify subscription apps can help scale business.

Growth in the digital world amplified by a pandemic continues to impact the present and future of online business as we know it. Changes in purchasing behavior on the consumer side, plus significant increases in advertising costs are shifting how ecommerce merchants address business models and purchase options. The focus is pivoting more frequently toward subscription offerings, which has quickly captivated the ecommerce industry.

Every day, more business owners are adding new revenue streams through Shopify while selling services and products that answer the essential needs for customers. However, reduced profit margins, involuntary churn, wasted hours of investment and managing chaos are realities that most Shopify merchants seek to avoid. Without scalable subscription management tools in place, ecommerce merchants will fight an uphill battle of converting and retaining loyal customers through subscription sales.

Discover how subscription management software streamlines Shopify business.

Profitability and Scalability Trends Using Subscription Business Models

Subscriptions aid in establishing a stream of dependable, recurring revenue for ecommerce businesses. With the right product and market fit, a Shopify store can easily scale to new heights using subscription software to boost long-term recurring revenue.

But the success of a viable subscription program is also what makes this business model unique — each subscription requires attention to build out proper frameworks and billing methods suitable for buyers. This has led to a growing demand for efficient headless ecommerce tools to manage subscription lists and automate billing processes.

With the subscription model, customers can continue to receive their products or services from ecommerce businesses without revisiting the site or reordering the purchase. This, in turn, maintains a regular flow of revenue and keeps customers coming back.

What Is Subscription Management?

Tools that help streamline, organize and simplify subscription billing, also known as “subscription management software,” can help handle and maintain the lifecycle operations for Shopify stores. 

Quality subscription management software for Shopify can provide:

  • Flexible billing management
  • Dunning automation
  • Seamless subscriber account portal
  • Data and analytics dashboards for merchants
  • Special promotion implementation such as cross-selling and upselling based on consumer insights

From a merchant standpoint, subscription management software should answer the pain points of operating a subscription business by simply automating the process and removing the guesswork from customer acquisition to customer preferences. From a user perspective, subscription management software should alleviate friction during checkout processes and eliminate the frustration of managing one-time purchases. 

Woman reviewing subscription management software options

Common Challenges and Solutions of Subscription Business Models

Subscription management software has been available for years, but an ongoing surge in subscription models and personalization has created a demand for more flexible management solutions. 

Many Shopify businesses turned to subscription models as a creative way to market during pandemic shutdowns. Some merchants already had subscriptions in place and adapted strategies as buying behavior changed in the wake of the pandemic. For other established subscription-based companies, many were not prepared for the influx of sales, plus unforeseen disruption in supply chains during lockdowns. Ecommerce technology sought to alleviate some of these hurdles.

The larger a subscription base, the harder and more complex it is to keep it well serviced. The problems can include preventable churn, lost revenue through billing failures and hours of lost time due to product syncing issues or manual task management.

Increasing revenue and ensuring businesses scale at speed is subject to an effective subscription management strategy. However, there are often complexities and challenges that can result in lower acquisition rates, hindering growth of revenue streams if left unattended. Some of the challenges around selling subscription offers can include:

Establishing Recurring Billing

Merchants using a subscription business model face a tough decision between building a custom billing system or opting for an out-of-the-box solution. While both options have their benefits, native apps that integrate directly with Shopify allow merchants to set up and start selling subscriptions fast.

Self-Managing Subscription Purchases

Customers are looking for the easiest way to subscribe to an offered product or service. Merchants should consider the overall user experience and make it easy for customers to buy how they want. Since customers expect to self-manage their subscriptions, online portals should provide the ability to easily:

  • Pause, restart or cancel subscriptions
  • Change frequency of a subscription 
  • View the subscription history

Providing these functions can be complex, but it should be seamless from the customers’ viewpoint. Software options can help leverage design and functionality from one convenient portal without the headache of complex coding, security feature considerations and other costly endeavors.

Disruptions in the Supply Chain

Even with active subscriptions, shipping disruptions due to political issues, government shutdowns and other occurrences can hinder the supply chain. A subscription management system in place eases communication with customers and gives them visibility into their shipments. Shopify merchants should rely on a subscription app that easily sends automate email notifications, billing alerts and allows customers to update shipping information.

Man preparing subscription boxes using software

Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Up Subscriptions

Selling subscriptions through a Shopify store is thrilling for merchants and customers. However, there are common missteps that merchants can often overlook and they all can be linked to not having scalable management software when setting up the products.

Confusing Subscription Policies

The temptation to make elaborate membership programs may offer marketing appeal and even drive some conversions. But, if membership programs are unclear and the customer can’t understand billing and charges, you will begin to see an increase in churn.

Subscription management software gives your customers easy-to-use interfaces to navigate your onboarding process. These tools can help you give your customers clear expectations and simple navigation to eliminate any unpleasant surprises.

Loyal customers want to pay for your products. Giving them easy-to-use tools to make sure that happens is what they deserve.

Failing to Implement Dunning Strategies

Dunning is the process of reattempting failed payments which are often the result of credit card information needing to be refreshed, insufficient funds or connectivity issues. Without subscription management software to establish best-practice dunning strategies, your revenue will suffer. Most of the time, your customers may not even be aware there has been an issue.

Subscription management software can give business owners the tools to implement pre-dunning emails to remind them that their credit card is going to expire. They can also give customers the ability to easily implement backup payment options.

Not Utilizing Customer Data

One of the long-term missteps when scaling a subscription model is being unaware of your customers' tendencies, behaviors and inclinations. Without the proper ecommerce infrastructure in place, it can be difficult to gather information and track account lifecycles.

Subscription management software is designed to collect information and curate reports and analytics onto a dashboard. These behind-the-scenes mechanisms can identify at-risk customers who need nurturing and even highlight buying patterns. Traffic dashboards report your highest traffic sources to equip your marketing and sales team with where and how you should be focusing resources.

Shopify merchant selling a subscription box

sticky.io Integration With Shopify and Its Easy-to-Implement Solutions

While many applications can respond to various merchant and customer needs, none are quite as inclusive as Shopify’s native apps. sticky.io’s native subscription app for Shopify enables merchants to configure subscriptions quickly, as well as easily customize promotions and offers.

sticky.io provides several features for Shopify merchants, including:

  • Flexible billings options
  • Automated transaction emails
  • Guest checkout options
  • Multi-currency support
  • Mixed-cart processing
  • And more

Shopify has opened up an avenue to easily generate recurring revenue through subscription apps like sticky.io to save merchants time and valuable resources.

Learn more about how sticky.io can provide a convenient subscription experience for both Shopify merchants and customers. Schedule a demo today to get started.