We’ve spoken time and time again about the reasons your Shopify store should have a subscription option. We at Blend have also presented case studies on companies that have implemented the change and seen the incredible results they receive. If you haven’t yet read why you should have a subscription option on your site, head here and then come back. We’ll be going through the different options you have when it comes to subscription platforms, allowing you to make an educated and informed decision on which option would suit your company best.

Your Subscription Options for Your Shopify Store

Some of the top options for subscription services you could add to your Shopify store are Bold, Skio, Smartrr, Retextion, and Recharge. We’ll start with a comprehensive comparison of these options to help you decide what would be best for your store.

Bold: 

Using Bold with your Shopify store allows you to use the Shopify checkout, has the payment gateways Shopify Payments, Authorize.net, and Paypal Express, and allows you to design a custom subscription experience, onboarding flow, and customer portal using their APIs. Their checkout integrations allow for compatibility with any product in Shopify’s app store, and you can add extra features if needed. 

Skio: 

Skio boasts a 1-click checkout through Shop Pay, creating a smooth transition from shop to checkout for the customer. They also have a feature that allows for an easy login by sending a 4-digit code through SMS and email, allowing customers to checkout faster instead of logging in using their details. Their analytics are provided through their partnership with Source Medium. Skio boasts modern technology for a faster build by using React, Next.js, and GraphQL. They also claim subscription editing only takes 5 seconds. Skio also allows for easy gaining of referrals by giving friends who subscribe a $5 group discount on each order. 

Smartrr:

Smartrr launches prepaid subscription options that will generate upfront revenue while also allowing you to enable a sequence of either gifts, prices, or products after a certain amount of deliveries have been met. You can enable a subscription end date after a certain amount of time or use this capability to encourage shoppers to gift a subscription. Smartrr allows you to offer customers a recurring delivery of products which comes in handy with products a customer may need weekly or even monthly. Smartrr has a functionality they call retention actions where you can identify the reasons that customers have attempted cancellations and you can offer alternative actions. Smartrr provides tools and information your staff may need to serve your customers while you’re also able to trigger automated email notifications at each touchpoint of your customers’ journey. Using their analytics allows you to track key performance indicators, identify top-performing products and geographies, and monitor growth and retention over time. Smartrr integrates with Klaviyo, Gorgias, Postscript, and more. Their open API also allows quick integration with their application to build unique subscription services, and they also provide snippets and guides to embed subscriptions easily on any headless site.

Retextion:

Retextion allows for flexible subscriptions, meaning you can have options within your subscription that includes price, percentage, shipping plans, and discounts. They also allow for an easy-setup customer portal that enables A/B testing and easy customisation where you can select your colours, fonts, adjust your CSS and manage your entire portal. Their merchant portal also makes management easy with customisable aspects and the ability to adjust customers’ subscriptions. Retextions campaign builder helps you to create marketing strategies and constantly update retention tactics by segmenting subscribers and targeting a them specifically with specific products. Their customer communications feature allows for branded SMSing and emails, and allows you to connect with your subscriber using your favourite loyalty app, such as Yotpo, or whatever you may be using. 

Recharge:

Working with over 15,000 brands, Recharge is one of the best options you could have for sustainable subscription services on your Shopify store. They enable you to set up your subscription service within minutes, no heavy customisation required. They support all major payment processors like Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree by Paypal, and Shopify Payments. They also support credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, SEPA Direct Debit, and iDEAL. Your store can have built-in discount, taxes, and shipping engines within Recharge and they also integrate with the best technologies for your Shopify store like Klaviyo, Gorgias, Churn Buster, Avalara, and a whole bunch more. 

RechargeSMS or the customer portal allows your subscribers to change their subscription settings easily. RechargeSMS allows customers to reply to a text message to change their subscription options. Increasing your AOV with Recharge is also easy by allowing your customers to have both one-time and subscription items in the same cart - meaning they won’t have to make two separate purchases. Customers will be able to skip or reschedule their deliveries easily too, improving retention. You can decrease your churn rates by allowing customers to easily swap products in their subscription; an option that will be given should they try to cancel as well. 

Recharge’s analytics provider gives you in-depth sales breakdowns, total refunds, average order values, churn rates, just to name a few. They also tell you why your customer has cancelled, and all the details that surround skipped deliveries, churn, and product swapping. Their set of APIs is designed so you can customise your subscription, build custom checkout flows, develop post-purchase upsells, and design your customer portal the way you want it.

Pros and Cons of Shopify Subscription Options

We’ll go through the pros and cons of each subscription option before heading into the pricing differences. Not everything is about price, especially when you know exactly what you want out of your subscription service.

Bold:

Pros

Cons

There are many features

Bold isn’t well suited for subscription-based business models

It integrates with smaller apps like Facebook Pixel

It doesn’t integrate with Octane AI for quiz purposes

It has more payment options

It doesn’t integrate with Google Analytics

Every user would see the Shopify Checkout, including the use of Shopify Payments allowing for potentially lower fees

Customers can’t edit a subscription

Access to API for the Pro version only

Customers would need to cancel a subscription and rebuy a subscription instead of editing

V1 has a gift functionality, but V2 does not

V1 has a build-a-box option, but V2 does not

There is no SMS integration, although you could achieve this with another app called Blueprint

 

Skio:

Pros 

Cons

They have many features, such as requesting testimonials straight after the purchase

You would need a developer to do most of the work, or at least some foreplanning

Skio will help to migrate 10, 000 subscribers

More expensive option when compared to Recharge

Skio allows 1-click Shop Pay checkout

SMS integrations

 

Smartrr:

Pros

Cons

Very cheap option

You would need to migrate users in sections

Ability to add gifts to subscriptions

Only 5, 000 users at a time

Ability to purchase a subscription for someone else

Migration would take time

SMS integration

 

Retextion:

Pros

Cons

Flexible subscription options

Only 4 reviews

Easily customisable

Less than 100 live brands

4-digit code login option

No integration with Gorgias

Flexible billing

No split subscriptions

Limited payment plans

 

Recharge Standard:

Pros

Cons

Better overall experience

Fewer payment options

Better option for subscription based businesses

Does not yet have 1-click checkout

Google Analytics integration

Full Klaviyo integration

Octane AI integration

Two free Themes on Recharge Standard, one is basic while the other allows for basic customisation

Customers can add or remove from their order

Customers can update their details

Gift Functionality is standard for Recharge Standard

Recharge has a native SMS functionality

Users can add products to subscriptions through SMS

Recharge has a big integration with Reamaze

 

Recharge Pro:

Recharge Pro has all the same benefits as Recharge Standard, and includes the following:

Pros

Cons

Custom checkout domain

Same cons as Recharge Standard

Configurable rate limits

Google Tag Manager

Customisable shopper portal

Custom domains on customer portal

Revenue KPIs

Customer cohort

Customer retention

Product SKU

Product variant

Media attributions

Pre-authorise transactions

For an added $300 a month you will receive a dedicated account manager

 

Pricing Comparison 

Bold 

Bold has two options, one costing $49,99 a month, the other being a custom option.

Skio

Their starter option is $400 per month when taken annually, or $500 per month when taken month-to-month. There is also a custom option. All options also take 1% and 20c per transaction.

Smartrr

With three options, Smartrr has Launch costing $99 per month, Grow costing $299 per month, and Excel costing $499 per month. All options also take 1% GMV. 

Retextion

Their first option is $300 per month + 1% and 19c per transaction. Their second is a custom option.

Recharge

Recharge Standard costs nothing in monthly fees, only 1% +10c per transaction. Recharge Pro costs $300 per month and 1% + 19c per transaction.

 

Why we Choose Recharge

Recharge caters to everyone, no matter what you need from your subscription service. They also provide an option for those who aren’t sure, or who have never had a subscription service before with their Recharge Standard option - costing nothing in monthly fees. Their integrations with Octane Ai help in gaining integral insights on your customers and boost your data pools. They are also the only subscription option who allows for Google Analytics integration. And their full Klaviyo integration means more personalisation within your marketing. 


If you’re looking to take the next step in increased revenue, increased customer loyalty, and increased personalisation for your customers, book a call with Blend

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