The Ultimate Playbook for Implementing Subscriptions in Your Business (2023)

August 7, 2023

2023 is the Year of Subscriptions 

Can you believe that 2023 is already here? It's crazy how time flies! But what's even crazier is that this year is shaping to be the year of subscriptions! 

You've probably noticed how many companies are now offering subscription-based products and services, from streaming services to beauty boxes to meal kits. A report by Recharge says that the most popular subscription categories include food and beverage, beauty and personal care, and health and wellness products. 

The subscription economy is all about providing consumers with greater convenience, flexibility, and value for their money. And it's not just consumers who benefit - businesses enjoy its benefits too. With advancements in technology making it easier than ever to manage subscriptions, it's no surprise that more and more companies are embracing this model. 

Subscription model of a pet store Dog Food

In fact, as per a report, the subscription e-commerce market has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating this trend. The numbers speak for themselves - subscription e-commerce is a rapidly growing industry, with a projected market value of a whopping $15.5 billion by 2023.

If you’re a business owner looking to capitalize on this trend, 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year in the world of subscriptions!

How can subscriptions benefit your business?

The average customer subscribes to two to three different subscription services, with 15% of customers subscribing to five or more. Without any further ado, let's quickly take a closer look on what are the benefits of incorporating a subscription program into your business.

1. Predictable revenue: By offering subscriptions, you can have a steady flow of recurring revenue, which makes it easier to forecast and plan for the future. This can help you make more informed decisions about investing in new products, hiring employees, or expanding your business.

2. Subscriptions encourage customers to engage with your brand on an ongoing basis. With regular deliveries or access to content, customers are more likely to build a relationship with your brand and become loyal advocates for your business.

3. Increased customer LTV: When customers subscribe to your products or services, they are more likely to continue using them over an extended period. This can increase the lifetime value of each customer and make it easier to recoup acquisition costs.

4. Cost savings: Subscription businesses can often save money by optimizing their supply chain and reducing waste. Since they know exactly how much product they need to produce or purchase each month, they can minimize excess inventory and reduce costs. The report by recharge also states that subscription-based businesses have lower customer acquisition costs and higher customer lifetime values than traditional e-commerce businesses.

5. Data insights: By tracking customer behavior and preferences through subscription data, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer preferences, which can help inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer service improvements.

Well, it's no secret that it can be a game-changer. You'll enjoy revenue predictability, improved customer loyalty, increased customer lifetime value, cost savings, and data insights. 

However, before you take the plunge, it's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons and to execute the model effectively. After all, as any good baker knows, it's all about the execution to get that perfect rise. So, if you're ready to bake up a subscription storm, make sure to do your research and execute with precision to maximize the sweet, sweet benefits!

Individual Subscription V/s Subscription Box

Now when businesses decide to take the plunge to offer a subscription-based product or service, they often find themselves deciding between offering a subscription box service or individual subscriptions. But how do you decide which one is right for your business? 

Well, it depends on a variety of factors, including the type of product or service you're offering, the level of personalization you want to provide, and the cost structure of your business. Below, we'll explore four key considerations to help you make an informed decision and choose the subscription model that best fits your business goals and customer needs.

Product Offerings

If you are offering a range of products or services, a subscription box model may be more appropriate. Subscription boxes often include a mix of products or services, allowing customers to try out different items each month. On the other hand, if you offer a single product or service, an individual subscription model may be more appropriate.

Customer Experience

Subscription boxes can offer a unique and exciting customer experience, with the element of surprise each month. Customers can look forward to receiving a box filled with different items, and it can create a sense of anticipation and excitement. With individual subscriptions, the experience is more straightforward and may not offer the same level of excitement. Whatever you may choose, you must note that the most successful subscription businesses offer personalized experiences, flexible subscription options, and excellent customer service to their customers.

If you’re using Shop2app, you may integrate with Klaiyo to send out personalized push notifications to your customers.

Cost and Revenue

Subscription boxes often require a significant investment upfront, as you need to source, package, and ship multiple products each month. However, they can also generate more revenue as customers are likely to pay a higher price for a box of products than they would for an individual product. With individual subscriptions, you can avoid the upfront costs but may need to price the subscription lower.



Subscription boxes can lead to higher retention rates, as customers are more likely to continue their subscription to see what new products they will receive. With individual subscriptions, the customer may cancel their subscription once they have received the product they wanted.

As we have delved into the main factors to consider while selecting an offering, it's important to also understand the concept of subscription bundles and their significance.

Now, what are subscription bundles?

Subscription bundles are a way for e-commerce businesses to offer multiple related products or services together as a package for a discounted price. This is often done to encourage customers to purchase multiple items at once and can help increase customer loyalty and repeat business. 

Note: The difference between a subscription bundle and a subscription box is that the bundles offer a discounted price on multiple related products, while subscription boxes offer a curated selection of products delivered regularly. 

Adding bundles to your subscriptions can bring a host of benefits to your business. Here are just a few reasons why you should bundle up your offerings.

  • Increased customer value: Bundles provide customers with multiple related products or services at a discounted price, making them a more attractive purchase. This can help increase customer loyalty and repeat business.

  • Higher average order value: By offering bundles, customers are more likely to purchase multiple items at once, resulting in a higher average order value.

  • Reduced inventory: Bundling related products can help reduce excess inventory for e-commerce businesses. By selling related products together, businesses can move inventory more quickly and efficiently.

  • Simplified logistics: Bundling related products also simplifies the logistics of order fulfillment, making it easier for businesses to manage and ship orders.

  • Competitive advantage: Offering subscription bundles can set your business apart from competitors and attract new customers who are looking for convenience and value.

By carefully selecting the items to include in the bundle, you can create a compelling offer that drives subscriptions and growth for your business.

It's like a one-stop shop for your customers, but with the added benefit of savings. So, go ahead and bundle up - your customers will thank you (and so will your bank account)!

You now are in a position to decide what you should offer, as a Shopify store owner, but what should be your pricing strategy? 

Fret not! 

We have got you covered for that as well. 

How should you price your subscriptions?

Defining the right pricing strategy for introducing subscriptions is like Goldilocks trying to find the perfect porridge - too hot (high prices) and customers will get burned, too cold (low prices) and your revenue will freeze. But finding the just-right pricing strategy will help you attract and retain subscribers, establish your brand value, and stay competitive in the marketplace. So, don't be a Goldilocks, be a savvy subscription seller!

5 steps to undertake while defining your pricing strategy

One of the most critical aspects of a successful subscription program is determining the right pricing strategy. Finding the right balance between affordability and profitability can be difficult, but make sure your pricing can attract and retain customers, generate sustainable revenue, establish brand value, and stay competitive. We will outline the five essential steps to define the right price for your subscriptions. 

Step 1: Understand your costs

Before setting your subscription prices, make sure you understand your costs. This includes not just the cost of producing or delivering your product or service, but also any associated marketing, overhead, and administrative costs.

Step 2: Know your target audience

Understanding your target audience is essential to finding the right pricing strategy. Consider factors such as their income, spending habits, and what they are willing to pay for your product or service.

Step 3: Research the competition

Research to understand how your competitors are pricing their subscription services. This will help you determine if your prices are competitive and if you need to adjust your pricing strategy.

Step 4: Test different pricing models

Consider testing different pricing models to see which one works best for your business. For example, you might offer different pricing tiers with varying levels of access or benefits.

Step 5: Monitor and adjust

Once you have set your subscription prices, it's important to monitor them regularly and make adjustments as needed. This will help you stay competitive and ensure that you are generating sustainable revenue over time.

Once you have determined your offering and its prices, the next step is to figure out how you can begin offering the subscription. This typically involves setting up a platform for customers to sign up and manage the subscriptions. If you own a Shopify store, then you can consider the following apps to set up the subscriptions. 

  1. ReCharge: This is a popular subscription management app for Shopify that allows you to create and manage different types of subscriptions and recurring orders.

  1. Bold Subscriptions: This is another popular subscription management app that allows you to offer different types of subscriptions and recurring orders, as well as upsell and cross-sell products to customers.

  1. PayWhirl: This app allows you to create and manage subscription plans and also provides features like customizable checkout pages, customer management, and reporting.

  1. Appstle: This is a subscription management tool that offers a variety of features, including the ability to create and manage different subscription plans, as well as track customer data and analytics. Appstle also offers tools for upselling and cross-selling, as well as customization options for subscription pages.

  1. Loop: Loop is a subscription management app that allows you to create and manage subscription plans, as well as track customer data, and manage recurring payments. Loop also offers features like customizable checkout pages, customer management, and analytics to help you optimize your subscription business.

These are just a few examples of the many subscription management tools available for Shopify. You may want to evaluate each option and choose the one that best fits your specific business needs.

Now, you know all you need to implement a subscription program in your Shopify, but before you begin your success journey, let us look at the success stories of Shopify stores that are doing wonders with subscriptions. 

Success stories to get inspired!

We want to leave you with some inspiration and not with a whole lot of stress so we will be talking about five Shopify stores that have leveraged the power of subscription services to generate recurring revenue and build loyal customer bases. Let’s see where they are today. 


By introducing a subscription service for its line of beard grooming products, Beardbrand was able to generate over $100,000 in monthly recurring revenue within a year.


In addition to its popular line of sustainable footwear, Allbirds launched a subscription service for socks that allowed customers to receive new pairs every few months. This helped the company generate an additional revenue stream while also building brand loyalty.


SnackNation, a provider of healthy snack options for workplaces, added a subscription service to its offerings, which helped the company increase its revenue by 10x in just one year.


By implementing a subscription model for its premium men's socks, Blacksocks was able to achieve a 30% increase in revenue and a 70% customer retention rate.


By offering a subscription service for its high-quality matcha tea products, was able to generate a steady stream of recurring revenue and expand its customer base beyond traditional retail channels.

As we've seen in the success stories of companies like Beardbrand, Allbirds, and Matcha, implementing a subscription model can be an effective way to generate recurring revenue, build customer loyalty, and differentiate your brand from competitors. 

However, it's important to approach subscription offerings strategically and ensure that they provide real value to your customers.

The success stories are inspiring, right? It’s your turn to take your business to the next level by integrating subscriptions into it. 

Parting thoughts


As the subscription economy continues to grow and evolve, we'll likely see even more businesses embracing this model and offering new and innovative subscription services. For consumers, the subscription economy offers a level of convenience, personalization, and flexibility that traditional retail models simply can't match. As such, it's clear that the subscription economy is here to stay, and businesses that adapt to this new model will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Business owners must note that to succeed and provide a seamless customer experience, the subscription businesses must have effective billing and payments, shipping and fulfillment, and customer service processes in place. They must also be willing to innovate and experiment with new products, pricing models, and marketing strategies to stay competitive.

Need a convenient channel to offer and manage subscriptions? Nothing beats a mobile app! Turn your Shopify store into a mobile app with Shop2app and take your revenues a notch higher.

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