Update: Accepting Recurring Payments on Shopify February 18, 2016 03:00

There has been a lot of change and improvement in apps enabling recurring payments for Shopify since our last post about recurring payments. This includes new features, integrations, support, and a wider adoption of these apps on Shopify stores.

In this post, we will look at the top three recurring payment apps currently available, and do a quick comparison for things to consider while starting with any of these apps.

Recurring payments: Subscriptions and memberships

These apps are a great way to set up subscriptions, and membership billing for your store. If you sell products that customers would typically need more than once, you can consider providing a subscription option (like Harry’s razors, or magazines, etc.). The subscription option can have a discount which rewards customers to be repeat buyers.

You can also use these apps to charge for membership on your store. Your membership can bring many benefits, including discounted products, early order options for new products, or an exclusive membership access to your store.

Recurring payments not only create benefits for your customers, but you also get predictable cash flow for your business. In addition, customers sign up for an ongoing relationship with your store and brand, which builds long-term customer loyalty. This also brings up the lifetime value of a customer, which is a key metric for businesses.

Recurring payments: ReCharge

The Recurring Billing | Subscriptions by ReCharge app allows you to set up subscription products and manage the entire process. The app is mobile-ready, and integrates with Shopify orders. This means that any time a subscription order goes through the app, it is added to your Shopify orders list like any other order. This helps keeping track of all your orders in one place.

The app can be used to provide a discount for a subscription product, or set up multiple subscription options for the same product. For example, you can charge customers a lower price for longer-duration subscriptions, similar to magazines or box-of-the-month services.

box of month recurring payments

Box-of-the-month options example (Source)

The app processes subscription products and one-time orders in the same cart. Subscription customers also have the ability to log in to their account and change subscription details like shipping address, subscription type, payment method, etc.

You can also edit and customize notification emails within the app to alert customers of a successful payment, declined payment method, and more. Take a look at a full list of features of the ReCharge app.

Here’s a video from ReCharge that gives a brief walkthrough of a subscription product, and a box-of-the-month subscription options:

Examples: The ReCharge app is used by 5 Hour Energy and Beekman 1802. More examples are available on the ReCharge website.

Recurring payments: Bold

The Recurring Orders | Subscription & Recurring Payments for Shopify! app by Bold also allows you to manage your entire subscription process. The app also integrates with Shopify orders, and creates a customer account area for subscription changes from customers.

In addition to creating recurring product subscription, the app allows you to create a recurring cart. This means that all items in a cart can be made recurring, all at once. This is useful for things like groceries, household goods, wholesale products, etc. Take a look at their demo store that showcases this feature.

Here’s a video by Bold giving an overview of the app and some of its features:

Death Wish Coffee and Craveyon Wines. More examples are available on their app page.

Recurring payments: PayWhirl

The Paywhirl Recurring Payments, Billing and Subscriptions app integrates with Shopify orders. You create the subscription products and structure on the PayWhirl portal, and copy-paste the widgets into your Shopify store. The app also has a robust set of features to enable multiple subscription options.

One thing to note is that, unlike ReCharge and Bold, PayWhirl does not charge an extra fee on recurring orders. Take a look at the PayWhirl demo area to see how the app works.

Here’s a quick overview of PayWhirl:

Examples: The PayWhirl app is used by Farm to People and Budda Box. More examples on their app page.

Recurring payments: Summary

Each of these Shopify apps lets you charge customers on an ongoing basis. This is essential for subscription products, and memberships. for a product as you get them to lock in. This can create predictable ongoing cash flow to help grow your business.

In addition, you can provide discounts to customers who sign up for recurring payments. This can create a positive customer experience as customers get rewarded for the ongoing relationship with your store and brand.

Here’s a quick comparison to consider for getting started with any of the three apps:

Apps ReCharge Bold PayWhirl
Monthly cost $19.99 $19.99 Free – $49
Free trial 30 days 90 days 14 days
Free setup help Yes Yes Yes
Recurring orders fee Yes – 1% Yes – 1% No

Do you use one of these apps? What do you like the most about it? Please tell us in the comments below.

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