Consumers are constantly in search of brands focused on quality and ethical business practices in a move away from box stores. So much that 57% of consumers are willing to try new brands for the first time. While the e-commerce space is growing, the real opportunity is specifically in subscriptions. Global subscriptions are projected to grow 70% year-over-year and hit $478B by 2025.
As a merchant, there’s never been a better time to invest in subscriptions. Recharge and Bold are two of the most popular solutions. Both have an out-of-the-box solutions and APIs for a more customised experience but which one is better for your business? Here’s a breakdown of where Recharge and Bold win.
Out-of-the-Box Solutions are platform-dependent, so this should be one of the first considerations.
Two major e-commerce platforms, Shopify and BigCommerce both offer Recharge and Bold as subscription apps in their respective platforms. Bold offers 14 apps on Shopify ranging from basic subscriptions to bundling, loyalty and upsell. But on BigCommerce they only offer two apps, subscription and checkout.
On the other hand, Recharge focuses on one solution for subscriptions that encompasses all of the necessary features. Recharge also offers the same self-service app across both Shopify and BigCommerce. Lastly, Recharge is a BigCommerce Preferred Partner while Bold is not.
Analytics is a key piece to any business. How can you make informed decisions about the business direction or campaign efficacy without data to back it up? For a growing merchant, this is as important as the subscription provider themselves. Both Bold and Recharge offer analytics on subscription products.
Bold provides an analytics dashboard with base information including Active Subscribers, Average Subscriber Value, and Churn Rates. Bold also goes slightly deeper with Total Processed Value, Average Order Value and Total Orders. Along with other key metrics around existing and New Subscriptions, Cancellations, and Churn Rates.
Recharge provides two levels of analytics in their Standard and Pro versions. Standard includes information similar to Bold including Total Sales, Recurring Sales, Sales per Charge, Refunds and Churn Rates along with Future Revenue Planning Estimates.
The Pro version provides even more robust analytics detailing customer cohorts, cohort retention, product variants, KPI’s and industry benchmarking. Recharge even evaluates customer action analysis and media attribution so you can evaluate the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Both Bold and Recharge offer automated customer communication via email for subscription creation, transaction failures, upcoming orders and expiring payment methods. In addition, Recharge offers subscription cancellations, upcoming charges, out of stock, declined payments, and refunds.
Bold supports basic customer “retention” strategies by offering customers the ability to select reasons for cancellation that the merchant would specify.
Recharge offers automated actions based on the reasons specified. For example, if the customer indicates they have too much of a product, a merchant can offer to skip the next shipment instead of cancelling, or if the product is too expensive, offer a discount on the next shipment to avoid cancellation.
Recharge also offers transactional SMS, which is different from marketing/promotional SMS as it provides a way for existing customers to communicate with merchants about upcoming orders. This allows customers to interact with their subscription orders via text message for easy tasks like skip and swap or add one time products.
Bold offers 24/7 support via their app which essentially generates an email thread to work with the support team via email. There are paid support options for managed accounts but all other merchants must reach Bold via email support.
Recharge has standard support which was recently upgraded to 7 days a week during business hours with same day response commitment (within 8 hours). In addition, they also offer live chat support as a standard offering. They also offer an enhanced support add-on for an additional fee. With this add-on, merchants will receive 24/7 support through phone/chat/email channels and a 4-hour initial response commitment.
As a business, Bold is the largest app developer in the Shopify ecosystem. They have 20+ apps, one of those being Bold Subscriptions. Other popular apps include Bold Upsell, Bold Loyalty, Bold BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), and Bold Memberships.
Since Bold provides many of their own apps they are more likely to work on their own apps versus technology partner integrations. On their website, they list seven partners: Quadpay, SMS Bump, RiseAI, NoFraud, Littledata, LeadDyno and Stitchlabs.
Recharge prefers to build a library of seamless integrations. Recharge has integrations with over 32 technology partners such as Avalara, Gorgias, Klayvio, LoyaltyLion, Rebundle, ReferralCandy, Tradegecko, to name a few. You can find Recharge’s full integration list here.
APIs offer the ability to customize your subscription service and with proper expertise gives you limitless opportunities to do whatever you desire. However, not all APIs are created equal. A general concern when using any API is the rate limits of those API or the ability of the integration to recover from errors.
Say you are submitting 10k orders and there is an issue at order 6789, will the system know where the error occurred and be able to repost the transaction only including the unsuccessful orders? Is the API optimized allowing you to make a single call for action or is it organized poorly and requires you to make several calls to accomplish one task such as placing an order or changing a shipping address? If several calls are required this can also affect the total time required to successfully make the calls.
Bold APIs are only available to their Advanced plan members. Recharge offers its APIs to all merchants.
Why we choose ReCharge
ReCharge is the powerhouse of subscription apps on Shopify. With their impressive customer service, one-click integrations and the ability to look after your data, it comes as no surprise that ReCharge features highly on our app recommendations. ReCharge has extensive integrations with Klaviyo, SMSBump, Octane.ai, Gorgios and LoyaltyLion so that from email to a conversation, to customer retention, the experience is always consistent and streamlined. You can read more about why we always recommend ReCharge in our blog here.