Subscription Offers Transform Shopify Ecommerce Business

Shopify ecommerce brands are capitalizing on subscription offers that provide value and drive predictable cash flow for merchants.

how to sell subscriptions on shopify to help scale online business and build brand loyalty

Subscription offers highlight unique opportunities for ecommerce brands to build strong customer relationships. The global subscription ecommerce market is expected to increase from nearly $73 billion in 2021 to over $120 billion by the end of 2022. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of adopting subscriptions for your ecommerce store is that it can help increase customer loyalty and repeat business. Customers who subscribe to your service are more likely to continue using it regularly, leading to a more predictable monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and cash flow. In addition, a subscription model can also help to simplify your marketing efforts. By keeping customers subscribed to your service, you can more easily target them with marketing messages and special offers. 

With growing popularity, many merchants are looking to integrate subscriptions with Shopify’s ecommerce platform. There are a few best practices to keep in mind for ecommerce businesses looking to enhance their subscription offering on the platform. 

How to Set Up a Shopify Subscription and Grow MRR

One of the foundations of subscription models is its efficiency in growing recurring revenue. Beyond providing a steady stream of income, subscriptions help to create loyalty among ideal customers, further accelerating growth.

Adopting a subscription model can also generate positive word-of-mouth for a growing ecommerce store. Satisfied customers who feel they are getting the right value for their money can help generate buzz, helping to increase traffic and boost sales. Creating the right offer and choosing the most suitable subscription model type for your business can set you on the right path.   

The key is to start by thinking about your customer base and what they would be interested in receiving on a recurring basis. Once you have a few ideas, you can develop a pricing and shipping strategy to help ensure that your business is profitable. By starting small and testing your offering, you can zero in on the formula that will work to scale your customer base

Once you have the foundation of your product or service in the context of the evolving marketplace, you can develop a plan to grow your monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Promotions, discounts and word-of-mouth advertising can all help to boost your bottom line. With a bit of strategic planning and execution, you can soon start to see the benefits of having a subscription service as part of your ecommerce store. But first, creating a subscription offering that matches customer behavior is essential for ensuring long-term success. 

sell shopify subscriptions to help scale online ecommerce business

Selecting Your Subscription Offer Type

Choosing the right kind of subscription is pivotal in ensuring customers receive value from their repeat purchases. There are four main types of subscription models: recurring product or replenishment products, build-a-box models, curated offers, and offers or products with exclusive access. Various types of subscription offers provide key benefits for merchants that are looking to pivot toward predictable, recurring revenue. However, subscription box offers remain among the most popular types of products on the market.

Whichever subscription model is selected, it's vital to be thoughtful of the pros and cons of each subscription type, as adopting the right approach to your subscription strategy is essential in sustaining long-term MRR growth. 

Recurring Products or Replenishment

Recurring product or replenishment boxes are perhaps the most common type of subscription box, as they offer a convenient way for customers to receive their favorite products regularly. On the plus side, replenishment subscriptions can help increase customer loyalty and brand awareness. They can also provide a steadier revenue stream since customers are more likely to continue using a product they have already subscribed to. 

For recurring subscription or replenishment boxes, it’s critical that merchants are carefully examining key performance metrics to ensure that they’re focused on providing a beneficial and unique service for their customers. Churn rates and customer lifetime value data points can provide valuable insights on how customers are receiving particular products and even how long they choose to subscribe. 


The build-a-box subscription model allows customers to customize their box according to their preferences, which can be a significant benefit in building loyalty. It also offers a competitive pricing structure that can be appealing to customers. Getting personal with product offers can help steadily increase customer lifetime value and improve the overall experience for your key buyers. When subscribers have the power to easily adjust their orders, it can also alleviate unexpected churn.

A good example of build-a-box subscription offers are meal prep products. Customers are provided the opportunity to select meals that appeal to their unique tastes and preferences and make edits to these selections on a recurring basis. Not only can this help improve the shopping experience for the customer, but merchants are better able to evaluate which types of popular products are retaining more customers.

selling subscriptions on shopify can help merchants build predictable revenue and grow brand loyalty

Curated Subscription Boxes

Boxes that are carefully curated and contain high-quality products can quickly become must-have items for your target audience, generating a high degree of loyalty. However, it can be challenging to consistently deliver boxes that meet customers' expectations. There is also the risk that customers will become disappointed if they feel like they are not receiving value for their money. This challenge is easily overcome if merchants take steps to connect with subscribers. 

Ecommerce business owners who offer curated subscription boxes have a unique opportunity to build customer relationships for sustainable growth. One key method to accomplish this is surveying buyers to see which products they prefer. This can help merchants understand how to curate future boxes and better personalize subscribers’ overall experience. 

Exclusive Access

The exclusive access type subscription box has become a popular option for ecommerce merchants in recent years. This type of box offers customers a selection of products that are not generally accessible to the public. While this can be a great way to build brand loyalty and generate repeat business, there are also some potential drawbacks. One test of your ecommerce site's popularity is whether it can attract new visitors. 

With an exclusive access type subscription box, you may inadvertently limit your potential customer base by making it difficult for new people to find and purchase your products. In order to overcome this challenge, it’s critical to understand the positive aspects of exclusivity. For one, it can help ecommerce merchants narrow focus to a specific niche, reducing marketing spend and driving faster customer acquisition through a more targeted approach. Further, it’s much easier to understand buying behavior of certain exclusive community groups and improve offers based on buying habits of subscribers. 

Subscription Process for Your Shopify Store

Customer convenience is one of the most obvious and vital benefits of setting up subscription offers. When set up properly, customer experience can elevate transactional relationships, as well as add the convenience of automated product delivery. Subscribing to a product means skipping over repurchasing each time a customer needs the product.

Setting up a subscription box offer on Shopify is a process and with the right tools in place, merchants can streamline setup while reaping the benefits of successful recurring revenue operations.

Pricing Subscription Offers

Pricing subscriptions can be complex as you will have to consider how much it costs to make and ship product offers. Additionally, consider what an ideal customer might be willing to pay on a recurring basis and how long they’re likely to stick around. These critical data points can help ensure that merchants are looking to increase the customer lifetime value through key strategies as they move through the process of growing their business.  

What to Look for in a Subscription Management App

When it comes to Shopify subscription apps, there are a few key features to look for. These subscription management apps will facilitate your experience scaling your subscription revenue by providing ease of use and powerful capabilities. 

  • Flexible billing and customer self-management options: Allow customers to easily change billing frequencies, update credit card information and pause or cancel subscriptions. 
  • Dunning automation: Capture failed payments and help decrease involuntary churn with decline management tools.  
  • Insightful analytics dashboards: The best subscription apps give you practical insight into your ecommerce store's churn rate, lifetime value and more KPIs so you can improve operations. 
  • Cross-selling and upselling capabilities: Offer additional subscription packages to existing customers to boost AOV. 

Build Your Shopify Subscription With Ease

The Subscriptions app streamlines how businesses sell subscriptions on Shopify by making it easy to configure and launch subscription offers for multiple products in minutes. Designed with customization at the forefront, the app allows you to implement flexible subscription models and manage customer orders directly from within your Shopify product display page. This built-in ease of use helps you automate and scale your operations without the hassle of managing ecommerce subscriptions. 

flexible Shopify subscription management app helping merchants to build predictable revenue

Our limited-time offer lets you use the Subscriptions app for Shopify and pay $0 monthly platform fees for the first six months. The offer is good through December 31, 2022. Terms and conditions apply. Get started today.