Which Shopify App Should You Use for Your Subscription Box Business

blog shopify Sep 13, 2021

 

Tech is a roadblock for so many subscription box owners. I get it. It can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you don’t have tech experience. Don’t let tech hold you back! Ask your questions, do your research, and get started. 

New subscription box owners - and even some who’ve been doing this a while - have a lot of questions about setting up Shopify subscriptions and which app to choose. 

When I spent some time inside Shopify subscriptions, I discovered there were 21 different apps that all did essentially the same thing. What the what?!? 

* This post contains affiliate/referral links. I could make a commission at no charge to you if you purchase my recommended products.  Please read my disclosure and privacy policy HERE.

How is a subscription box owner supposed to choose? 

Twenty-one options is too many for you to wade through and try to figure out which is best. Instead, I’m going to share my thoughts with you. Thoughts based on five years of subscription box experience. 

 

Why do you need an app for Shopify subscriptions?  

 

The most important reason is simple. Recurring payments.  

I’ve talked a lot about how recurring revenue is one of the biggest benefits of a subscription box business. To get that recurring revenue coming into your bank account when and how it should, you have to set up your tech correctly.

Shopify’s native platform doesn’t let you set up recurring payments. You need to put one of their subscription apps in place. 

These apps allow you to run subscriptions through your Shopify store. They update your product pages with subscription options, store payment and subscription information, and generate recurring orders and payments. 

Shopify’s subscription apps also include customer analytics that help you manage your business. 

But how do you decide which of the 21 apps is right for you and your subscription box business? 

 

The Top 3 Shopify Subscription Apps

 

I’ve had subscription boxes for almost five years. And I’ve worked with thousands of subscription box owners inside Launch Your Box. That means I’ve researched, used, or heard about a LOT of these apps. 

Three stand out as being the main players. Those are the ones I’m going to talk to you about today.   

  • Bold

  • Recharge

  • Paywhirl

     

Bold 

This app is a popular choice among Launch Your Box members. It is quick and easy to set up and allows you to customize the appearance to match your branding.  

Bold’s easy-to-use dashboard lets you easily keep track of important metrics. Customer insights help reduce cancellations and give you important information about why cancellations are occurring. 

 

 

Bold costs more than many other options. You’ll pay $49 per month as well as a 1% fee on all orders containing a subscription product. Bold does offer a free 60-day trial period, so you have a no-cost opportunity to see if this app is right for your subscription box business. 

Bold’s reviews average 4.3 out of 5 stars. Out of 197 reviews, 135 users give it five stars and 18 users give it only one star. The one-star reviews are around issues with version two, customer support, and charges to subscribers. 

 

Recharge

Recharge offers a standard plan that has no monthly fees. This makes it a popular choice for new subscription box owners. Simply pay 1% + 10 cents per transaction. 

Recharge allows you to set up your subscription payments in minutes. Its automatic payment retries and dinning help improve payment conversions. Recharge integrates with popular e-commerce tools, including Klaviyo. 

 

 

Recharge has a lot of satisfied customers. Its reviews average 4.7 out of 5 stars. Out of 683 reviews, 583 users give it five stars and 29 users give it only one star. Many of the five star reviews talk about Recharge’s customer support and say the app is easy to use.  

 

Paywhirl 

Paywhirl lets you bill customers weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, and more. This makes it a great choice for quarterly subscription box businesses. 

You can get started with Paywhirl’s Starter Plan which is free to install. You’ll be charged a 3% transaction fee. Paywhirl offers three other levels from $9/month up to $249/month. All levels give you unlimited subscriptions, free installation and support, and subscription analytics and data exports.  

 

 

Paywhirl’s customers seem to love using this app. Out of the 152 reviews posted, they had 142 five star reviews and only 3 users gave it one star. Users had great things to say about Paywhirl’s customer service team and improvements to the app. 

 

What do subscription box owners have to say about Shopify’s apps?  

 

I love reading reviews. When I shop online, I pop into the reviews to find out what people who already bought that item thought about it. 

Wondering what some Launch Your Box members have to say about the Shopify subscription apps they’re using in their businesses?

 

“I love Bold because it’s simple and perfect for recurring (rolling) monthly subscriptions.” - Nicole J., GPig Box

“I use Recharge. No monthly fee, so it’s good if you’re starting out. You set the frequency of your boxes, so you could pick every 45 days if you wanted to.” - Amy S., GFGoodys

“Bold is expensive for beginners. $49/month plus a fee with each charge is a good chunk of change while trying to build a customer base from scratch. The customer support has been good as long as I take advantage of live chat during regular biz hours.” - Rhonda C.

 

So which Shopify subscription app should you choose? 

 

I held a poll inside the Launch Your Box Facebook Group asking which Shopify subscription app members were using. Check out the results: 

 

 

The right app for you is the one that is right for your business. Spend some time researching the options. I suggest starting with the three I talked about today. 

Decide what’s most important to you. Are you tech challenged or tech nervous? You’ll want an app that’s easy to install and has great customer service. Worried about failed payments? Look for one that offers dinning and automatic retries.  

Hear me loud and clear on this one - don’t let tech hold you back. Understand what you need a tool to do and find one that does it well. Click here to learn more about the tech solutions you need to have in place to start your subscription box business. (Don’t worry - there are only four!) And remember… I’m here to help. 

 

 

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.

  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.

  • Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired! 

     

Find me on social:

 

 

JOIN SARAH'S NEWSLETTER

Learn more about how to start and grow your own subscription box business! Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

6 Ways to Keep a Subscriber | Episode 36

Sep 22, 2021

5 Things Subscription Box Businesses Should Email Their List Each Week

Sep 19, 2021

We All Start from Scratch – How Donna Ended her First Launch with 6...

Sep 15, 2021