Top 10 Subscription Ecommerce Platforms To Visit In 2024
This article will explore subscription ecommerce and why it is a popular and profitable business model in 2024. After testing around 50 different platforms available in the market over the last 2 years, I will review the 10 most popular subscription ecommerce platforms and compare their features, pricing plans, pros, cons, and reviews for you.
What Is A Subscription Ecommerce Platform?
A subscription e-commerce platform is an online business model where customers pay a recurring fee, typically monthly or annually, to receive products or services regularly.
10 Most Popular Subscription Ecommerce Platforms Available
Exploring the top 10 subscription e-commerce platforms, I highlight those reshaping recurring business transactions. Based on my e-commerce experience and expert insights within 10 years in eCommerce, these platforms excel in functionality and customer engagement, confirmed by user reviews and personal use.
- Versatile Templates: Wix provides over 500 customizable templates optimized for boosting conversion rates. You can also start from scratch if you’re feeling creative.
- Multi-Channel Selling: Sell subscriptions on your website and platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.
- Professional Marketing Tools: Access SEO optimization, email marketing, automated Facebook and Instagram ads, and cart abandonment recovery to target your audience effectively.
For example, the brand named “Mod” is using Wix because of its professional Marketing Tools and versatile Templates. Through several experience moments, we noticed that the brand uses Wix’s email marketing function and Facebook ads to help promote its marketing campaigns. The result is excellent as thousands of customers are involved in the campaigns, which later increases the conversion rate of the brand.
- Payment Flexibility: Collect recurring payments easily through Wix Payments or global payment providers, including major credit card companies, PayPal, and Stripe.
- Security: Wix prioritizes tight security measures to safeguard your business data and customer information.
- Business Essence: Starts at $159 per month.
- Business Enterprise: Starts at $32 per month.
- Business Core: Priced at $27 per month.
- Business Bright: Available for $16 per month.
- Conversion-Optimized Templates
- User-Friendly Dashboard
- All-in-One Solution
- Robust Security
- Free Domain
- Efficient Site Speed
- Subscription Plan Requirement
- Limitation of Drag-and-Drop Templates
- Non-Transferable Site
Wix receives positive reviews for its versatility and user-friendly features. Users appreciate the wide range of templates, intuitive dashboard, and robust security. However, some find the subscription plan requirement restrictive and note limitations in creative freedom with drag-and-drop templates.
- Versatile E-commerce: Shopify is a versatile platform designed specifically for e-commerce, making it an excellent choice for businesses in this field.
- Flexible Subscription Integration: Shopify seamlessly integrates with various third-party apps, offering flexibility in implementing subscription models.
- Website Building and Customization: The platform provides a robust website builder, although it may initially feel like it could be more flexible. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes user-friendly. You can choose from various templates and customize your site if you’re familiar with HTML and CSS.
When investing in the current Shopify stores in the market for the last 3 years, I highly focus on a brand named Leesa – a mattress & bedding provider. Leesa is choosing Shopify because it offers a range of website building and customization tools that can help businesses like Leesa create an effective online presence.
- E-commerce Excellence: Shopify excels in e-commerce, assisting in branding with tools for generating business names, logos, and domains and incorporating stock photography. It also offers many sales channels, making selling subscriptions through various platforms easy.
- Effortless Marketing: Marketing your subscription business is simplified with Shopify’s offerings, including email marketing, Facebook Ads, business chat, customer groups, and marketing automation.
- Streamlined Management: Shopify’s user-friendly dashboard makes managing your business a breeze. They also provide a built-in payment gateway, eliminating the need for third-party gateways.
- App Integration: The Shopify app store streamlines the integration of subscription extensions, enhancing your subscription e-commerce business without the hassle of searching elsewhere.
- Diverse Marketing Channels
- Decent Store Themes:
- Fast Page Load Speeds
- One-Click Selling
- Easy Setup
- Rigid Website Builder
- SEO Performance Improvement Needed
- Third-Party Tools Required for Subscription Sales
- Costly Apps
- Developer Needed for Advanced Customizations
Shopify enjoys a stellar reputation, evidenced by its millions of customers across 175 countries. With a track record of helping customers generate over $490 billion, it’s clear that Shopify has established itself as a trusted e-commerce partner.
While it doesn’t natively support subscriptions, its flexibility and robust features make it a top choice for businesses. Users particularly appreciate its diverse marketing channels, fast page load speeds, and ease of use. However, some find the website builder less accommodating for beginners and suggest improvements in SEO performance.
- Subscription-Centric: Subbly is an all-in-one eCommerce platform primarily catering to businesses focused on recurring subscriptions. It also accommodates the sale of one-time products if needed.
M&S has chosen Subbly as its ecommerce platform to create custom solutions for its business because it is a subscription-first platform with everything in one single, seamlessly integrated, all-in-one ecosystem. This helps M&S to save time and money on building the subscription site from scratch.
- Integration Flexibility: If you already run an eCommerce store on platforms like Shopify, WIX, Squarespace, WordPress, or Weebly, Subbly offers seamless integration of its customizable checkout.
If you pay annually:
If you pay monthly:
- Flexible Subscription Billing
- Basic eCommerce Functionality
- Customizable Checkout & User Experience
- Efficient Shipping & Logistics
- Marketing & Growth Tools
- Comprehensive Management
- High Transaction Costs
Subbly enjoys a high user rating of 4.9 stars based on 169 reviews, reflecting intense user satisfaction with the platform’s capabilities.
- Flexible Customization: Allows adjustment of subscription plan prices, setup fees, extras, and discounts.
- Subscriber Management Tools: Offers tools for effective subscriber management and business growth.
- Analytics and reporting tools: Recurly provides detailed analytics and reporting tools that can help Kahoot analyze revenue, subscriber behaviors, and other key metrics to make informed decisions.
For businesses with an annual subscription revenue of less than $40,000, Recurly offers the Starter plan free of charge for the first year. Afterward, it costs $249 per month. While Recurly also offers Professional and Elite plans, their pricing details are available upon request.
- Exceptional customer support
- Seamless integration with a wide range of payment processors and gateways
- Relatively high pricing, along with transaction fees
Recurly boasts a solid reputation, earning an impressive rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 58 reviews.
- Recurring Payments: Stripe offers a convenient solution for handling regular payments.
- Flexible Integration: Easily integrate Stripe into your payment system.
- Customizable Reporting: Tailor your reports to suit your business needs.
- Automatic Tax Calculation: Let Stripe handle tax calculations for you.
- Global Payment Support: Accept payments from customers worldwide, both online and in-person.
- Credit Card Payments: Stripe processes credit card payments securely.
- PCI Compliance: Ensures the security of payment data with PCI compliance.
- 24/7 Support: Access support whenever you need assistance.
- Transaction Fee: Stripe charges a transaction fee of 2.5% plus 0.25¢ for UK cards or 1.5% plus 0.25¢ for standard European Economic Area cards.
- Convenient Recurring Payments
- Easy Integration
- Global Payment Acceptance
- Secure Transactions
- Support Availability
- Transaction Costs
Specific reviews for Stripe Connect weren’t provided, but users generally appreciate Stripe’s convenience for managing recurring payments, easy integration, and global payment support. However, some note the transaction costs associated with the service.
- Subscription Support: Like Shopify, Magento doesn’t have built-in support for selling subscription products and services. To enable this, you can install extensions from Magento Marketplace, turning it into a subscription-based e-commerce platform.
- Costs Involved: Magento Open Source is free, but you’ll still need to cover expenses for hosting and domain expenses. If you lack technical expertise, you incur development costs.
- Additional Resources: More resources are available to help you explore Magento, including reviews of Magento 2, installation guidelines, and a ranking of the best Magento themes.
For instance, after a test on the Coca-Cola brand, we found that the brand uses Magento to allow its customers to personalize products by adding their names on apparel and soft drink bottles. Coca-Cola utilizes the installation guides and reviews function to provide more insights about its products to customers.
- Recommended Extension: “Subscriptions & Recurring Payments” by Magenest is a notable extension for Magento. It allows customers to subscribe to products, set intervals for automatic reorders, and manage payments.
- Magento Open Source: It’s free, but you’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain.
- Extension Cost: To download and install “Subscriptions & Recurring Payments” by Magnet, you’ll need to pay $249. Magenest offers an installation service for an additional $50.
- No Initial Software Cost
- Resource Availability
- Feature-Rich Extension
- Additional Costs
- Technical Knowledge Needed
The Extension can be a valuable addition to Magento for managing subscriptions. Users appreciate Magento’s flexibility with extensions, although it requires technical know-how. Hosting and development costs may also be factors to consider when using Magento.
- Versatile Packages: BigCommerce offers two packages to cater to different business sizes—Enterprise for larger companies and Essentials for smaller stores.
- Customization: Utilize their site builder to personalize your web pages according to your brand. You can start with themes or build from scratch. WordPress users can integrate e-commerce effortlessly.
- Marketing Tools: Access marketing tools like discount codes, SEO assistance, cart recovery, and customer segmentation. Adding a blog can boost organic traffic.
- Subscription Sales: Expand your reach by selling subscriptions online or through social media.
- Risk-Free Trial: BigCommerce provides a free trial to explore the platform.
- Integration Consideration: Remember that, like Shopify, BigCommerce may require third-party integrations for subscriptions, which could come with extra costs.
- Starting at $29/month: Paid plans begin at this price, and you can save 25% with an annual subscription.
- 15-Day Free Trial: Try BigCommerce for 15 days without any charges.
- Standard Plan: Available for $29 per month billed annually.
- Plus Plan: Priced at $79 per month billed annually.
- Pro Plan: Costs $299 per month billed annually.
- Powerful E-commerce Platform
- Integration Variety
- Solid SEO Features
- No Transaction Fees
- Speedy Performance
- Yearly Sales Threshold
- Third-Party Integration for Subscriptions
- No In-Built Email Marketing
BigCommerce has earned positive reviews, with users appreciating its powerful e-commerce capabilities, scalability, flexibility, and solid SEO features. Some users mention sales limits for each plan and the need for third-party subscription integrations. However, the platform’s performance and features are generally well-received by the user community.
Podia is an all-in-one platform that provides the creative penn: website creation, email marketing, and digital product selling services to creators.
- Comprehensive Platform: Podia offers a platform for selling digital products and services like online courses, coaching sessions, webinars, and community access.
- All-in-One Solution: It provides features for web design, content creation, marketing, and billing, making it a convenient one-stop shop for digital creators.
- Flexible Subscription Plans: Easily create subscription plans for your content and expertise, whether charging for access to your Knowledge or setting up recurring services like coaching.
- Free Plan: Podia offers a free plan, but it comes with an 8% transaction fee.
- Mover Plan: For $33 per month, you can subscribe to the Mover plan, which has no transaction fees.
- Shaker Plan: The Shaker plan, priced at $75 per month, also has zero transaction fees.
- Transaction Fee-Free
- Unlimited Hosting
- Free Forever
- Page Builder Improvement
- No Open API
Podia boasts a solid rating of 4.6 stars based on 88 reviews, indicating intense user satisfaction with its capabilities for selling digital products and services.
- Integration with WordPress: If you already use WordPress, WooCommerce seamlessly integrates, making it a convenient choice for your online store.
- Free Core Plugin: The core WooCommerce plugin allows you to set up an e-commerce store without additional costs.
- Subscription Support: With the WooCommerce Subscriptions add-on, you can offer subscription-based products or services to your customers.
- Flexibility: WooCommerce offers flexibility in in-store customization, allowing you to create a unique subscription store according to your preferences.
- Open Source: As an open-source platform, you have complete ownership and control over your store.
- Theme Options: Choose from thousands of customizable themes or hire a developer to create a custom design.
- Plugin Options: Access over 50,000 free and paid plugins for extended functionality.
- Ease of Payment: WooCommerce supports various payment solutions, including WooCommerce Payments, Stripe, and PayPal. Its built-in cart simplifies the payment process.
- SEO-Friendly: While SEO-friendly by default, you can enhance your store’s SEO using tools like Yoast SEO.
- Resource-Intensive: Due to its resource-intensive nature, consider a mighty web host like Nexcess for smooth operation.
The preferred WooCommerce host, Nexcess, offers flexible pricing options. Paid plans start at $4,09 per month, with annual discounts available.
- Complete control over your website and store.
- Complete ownership of your online store.
- SEO-friendly features for better search engine rankings.
- A wide range of features and functionalities.
- Quick and straightforward installation.
- Automatic tax and shipping calculation.
- Support for multiple payment solutions.
- Creating a top-notch store might take time, especially if you’re new to it.
Customer reviews for WooCommerce have been generally positive, praising its compatibility with WordPress, extensive customization options, and SEO-friendliness. Some users mention a learning curve for beginners, but the platform’s flexibility and features make it a popular choice for e-commerce websites. Hosting through Nexcess is also well-received for its reliability and performance.
Sellfy suits businesses of all sizes, providing a straightforward solution for hassle-free sales. Its features include:
- Marketing tools: Available for reaching customers through social media and your online store.
- Customer subscription management: Available for added convenience.
Sellfy offers different pricing plans to meet your needs:
- Starter Plan: $19/month, supports up to $10,000 in monthly sales.
- Business Plan: $49/month, suitable for businesses with up to $50,000 in annual revenue.
- Premium Plan: $99/month, designed for companies with up to $200,000 yearly income.
- Quick and easy store creation.
- Smooth and efficient payment procedures.
- Customer service may not be as efficient as desired.
- The user interface could be more user-friendly.
Sellfy has received a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 30 reviews.
How To Choose The Appropriate Subscription Ecommerce Platform
As a 7-years experienced eCommerce expert, I deeply understand how to select the appropriate eCommerce platform for beginners. Starting and running an ecommerce subscription business requires specific tools like subscription management and recurring billing features. Here are several things to keep in mind:
- Multiple Payment Options: These platforms support various payment methods, including credit cards, digital wallets, and global online payments.
- Advanced Analytics: Analytics tools help businesses keep track of sales data and assess how well specific products and services are performing. Some also offer keyword data, showing search volumes for certain words and phrases to improve search engine rankings for your store and products.
- User-Friendly Interfaces: A good ecommerce subscription platform makes it simple for customers to make purchases, manage their accounts, and track incoming orders or subscriptions. Many also have subscription management features, allowing customers to renew, cancel, or pause subscriptions online.
- Recurring Billing and Invoicing: Subscription businesses often use recurring billing, where customers agree to pay a set amount at regular intervals for ongoing services or product deliveries. Many subscription ecommerce platforms offer automated billing and invoicing to make these recurring payments easy for business owners and customers.
- Integrations: Ecommerce subscription platforms can integrate with various payment processors, customer relationship management systems, billing software, and ecommerce websites.
- Customer Support: Sometimes, issues may arise, such as website downtime, checkout problems, or payment processing glitches. A reliable ecommerce subscription platform provides 24/7 customer support for business owners. Adequate customer support can quickly resolve issues and minimize downtime, helping your ecommerce store generate revenue smoothly.
I have introduced the top 10 valuable subscription ecommerce platforms in this article. As per my recent experiences with all of these 10 above platforms, I can suggest Sellfy and Podia if you plan to sell digital products. On the other hand, if you intend to create a comprehensive online store, industry-leading ecommerce platforms such as Shopify or BigCommerce would be the most suitable.