Should You Consider Selling Subscriptions On Shopify?

Should You Consider Selling Subscriptions On Shopify?

If you are still not a part of this $10 billion market, then this is the time to make some changes. Subscription ecommerce is a huge market that is growing at an alarming rate. Almost on every e-commerce website, you can find a subscription model that offers faster shipping, customised feeds, and many more benefits.

If you wish to become a part of this new trend, explore how you can sell subscriptions on Shopify.

Why Sell Subscriptions on Shopify

Let’s start with an obvious question: why should you sell your subscription on Shopify? Is your dropshipping store cut out for this model?

Back in 2010, a company named Birchbox made a makeup box and tried sending these to beauty creators for a fee of $10. This model sold amazingly. They had huge sales, and this was such a hit.

Along similar lines, we can create a subscription model for customers that has a recurring charge and a consistent product supply.

Here’s why it's important for your dropshipping store:

Predictive Revenue

Selling subscriptions on Shopify helps you predict revenue in the future, which means you can judge the cash flow of your business. This, right here, gives some level of mental peace to a startup or dropshipping business.

Better Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Since selling subscriptions on Shopify is recurring, you end up creating a huge audience. This means better customer lifetime value for your company. However, you should keep in mind that better CLV is proportional to the experience you are offering to your users.

Lower Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Usually, you need to spend a considerable budget on customer acquisition. This involves both sales and marketing to attack and convert new customers. However, when you sell subscriptions on Shopify, you are able to receive recurring payments, which reduces your final investment in customer acquisition.

Improve Upselling

When selling subscriptions on Shopify, you are able to upsell and cross-sell to existing customers. Ideally, upselling and cross-selling to existing customers require more effort because you need to consistently connect with them. When you have subscription customers, you are already consistently connecting with these customers, so it is easier to upsell and cross-sell to them.

Common Types of Subscriptions on Shopify

There are many common subscription-based Shopify models that help you improve the revenue of your dropshipping stores. In this section, we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of these models.


The replenishment subscription model is a convenient model that allows customers to create an automated alert for essential product purchases, such as pet food, sanitary napkins, diapers, etc. If you don’t sell anything that customers may need on a monthly basis, you shouldn’t try selling subscriptions on Shopify like this.


Another popular method to sell subscriptions on Shopify is the curation subscription model. These are personalised boxes that are created by your brand and sent to customers on a subscription basis.

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Usually, businesses using the curation subscription sell fashion or luxury items that can be customised for a person based on their personality.


The third subscription model on the list is the exclusive access model. Subscribers pay a monthly charge for some perks, such as free delivery, exclusive access to items, or early access to sale products. These are the best types used by dropshipping businesses. It helps you create a credible customer base.

Add-on Subscription

An add-on subscription is a form of business approach that leads to one of the above subscription models. Businesses that are not sure of the model they wish to adopt or the method they need to use to generate revenue using this model. They include subscriptions in the existing pattern, sometimes free of charge, to understand the landscape and explore more user requirements.

Procedure to Setup Subscriptions on Shopify

What is the process of setting up subscriptions on Shopify?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to selling subscriptions on Shopify:

The Basics

First, start dealing with the basics:

1. Decide the content for your products. Whether you are going to repurpose some products and offerings or not.

2. Select the type of subscription model that you are planning to use for your dropshipping business.

3. Select the subscription's frequency. Is it weekly, monthly, yearly, or any other customised model?

4. What payment methods do you accept? Do you want to add this subscription to the cart and allow the customer to place an order? Or is this subscription giftable?

You need to explore different combinations for all of these products. This will help you curate a subscription methodology that works best for your business.

Subscription App

The second step is to utilise one of the subscription apps available on Shopify. This is because Shopify Plus and Shopify don’t store details for payments, therefore, it is not possible to set up recurring payments with Shopify alone. You'll need a third-party application for the same.

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You need to look for essential features regardless of which subscription app you choose. Here are some features worth having in your subscription app:

  • Ability to create or utilize different subscription methods.
  • Ability to offer one-time purchases along with subscription-based purchases in the same order.
  • Ensuring a customer-facing portal for editing frequency, subscription management, and swapping or upgrading the product.
  • Ability to create a cancellation flow to retain a customer cancelling the subscription.

Subscription Fulfilment

The third step towards selling subscriptions on Shopify is subscription fulfillment. You need to deliver your promise on time with high-standard features and services because your customers are paying in advance for the service.

However, don’t worry, this is not a crucial task. With the help of the Shopify app, you can re-create orders or set up recurring orders. But, you need your fulfilment partner to fulfil these orders recurringly every month. For this, you need to keep in mind the following:

  • Integrate Shopify and your fulfilment partner, so that you are able to process and deliver orders immediately.
  • Offer tracking details to your users to help them understand the status of their subscription. For example, if you are sending a package via subscription, you should send tracking information to know where it has reached.
  • Lastly, try to keep these orders ready before the payment so that you are able to dispatch them as soon as the payment is completed. This will help send orders quickly.

Market and Sell

The final step here is to market your subscription well. In your dropshipping store, you need to work extra and put in more effort to make this happen. Some tips for marketing your subscriptions are:

  • Utilize influencer marketing to offer social proof to customers. This will allow your users to trust your subscription service.
  • Utilize discounts or referrals to reduce the risk of subscription as felt by the potential customer.
  • Utilize social media ads that help customers find you when they need the product and they are searching for it.
  • Provide value to this subscription with a trial subscription, free shipping, and other such methods.


Selling subscriptions on Shopify is a great strategy used by marketers to improve footfall on the website. If you are in need of increasing the traffic on your website, you should try a subscription-based model on your dropshipping store.

Read the above steps to understand how you can start selling subscriptions on Shopify and improve your dropshipping revenue.

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