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How to sell products by subscription

Nowadays, attracting new users is becoming more and more expensive. It’s not unusual for the cost of gaining a new customer to be higher than the profit from their first order. It would be great to secure a way of receiving more than one order from a new customer. Selling by subscription model is one of the possible ways to achieve this, and I want to point out that it is a great way! Do you need proof? Because I have it...

Let me show you the top 10 recurring subscription box services in 2019:

  1. Try The World - ingredients, drinks and snacks from around the world.
  2. Freedom Japanese Market - a selection of Japenese sweets and snacks.
  3. Club W - this subscription box allows you to discover new wines based on your personal taste.
  4. NicelyNoted - curated stationary, including greeting cards and stamps.
  5. FabFitFun - a selection of beauty, fitness, wellness, and home products.
  6. Blue Apron - meal ingredients and recipes that allow you to make your home menu more diverse.
  7. Birchbox - a personalised selection of makeup, hair products, skincare, and fragrance samples.
  8. MistoBox - discover new, personalised fresh-roasted coffee.
  9. Barkbox - a selection of dog products, including innovative toys, bags of treats, and chews. Graze - nutritious snacks tailored to your taste.

Can you see the variety of cases that work successfully? Maybe one is similar to the products that you sell online!

The first step toward success is to have an idea. The next step... implement it.

In Wise company, we often get requests from clients about ready-made solutions that allow implementing subscription models into their Magento shops. We decided to collect the results of our research here; let’s see which extension is the best option for your business.

Subscriptions and Recurring Payments extensions for Magento 2

Advanced Subscription Products for Magento 2 from AheadWorks ($399)

This is an extension from the famous vendor AheadWorks. This extension has the following features:

  • Ability to simultaneously add subscription products and one-time purchases into your shopping cart;
  • Subscriptions scheduled for the same day are combined into single orders;
  • An advanced system of email alerts on upcoming, successful, and failed subscription billings;
  • Support of Simple, Downloadable, Virtual, and Configurable Magento product types;
  • Support for payment processing by Braintree & PayPal payment systems;
  • Multistore support.

Official page

Recurring Payments & Subscription for Magento 2 from Webkul ($99)

This extension covers all basic needs for adding subscription products to your online shop. It’s the cheapest option from the paid extensions that we found. Please pay attention, this extension does not allow you to put two products with different subscription types into your cart. The popup window with subscription details is not a good solution for the user interface in terms of user experience. Webkul provides a demo of the shop with the installed extension that allows you to check how expansion works yourself.

Official page

Subscriptions and Recurring Payments from Magenest ($249)

This extension looks attractive in terms of price-performance ratio. $249 is the average price for Magento extensions with complex functionality. Additionally to PayPal integration, the extension has an implementation of the recurring payments via Authorize.net and Stripe payment gateways. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the extension has the functionality of offering a trial subscription to the customer with a small fee and short trial period. The official page includes a video that demonstrates possible configurations of the module. Viewing the video before testing a Demo site is recommended, as the demo site has many outdated test products that don’t demonstrate how the module works.

Official page

Subscribe Now for Magento 2 from MageDelight ($699)

Aside from the price, a distinctive feature of the MageDelight extension is the supported Cash on Delivery payment method. The extension allows subscription products and one-time products to be bought together, it has good UI/UX for the front-end and admin area but the price is higher than what you might expect for these services. It will be a good purchase if you are buying Subscribe Now extension together with eWallet extension from the same vendor. This way, you are able to save $180 - essentially purchasing the eWallet extension for free.

Official page

Recurring and Subscription Payments M2 from Milople ($264)

The extension from Milople vendor has a full set of the common functions of subscription modules that we have previously listed. It is worth mentioning that this extension allows you to purchase multiple subscription products with different terms in a single order. This extension has its own original implementation of the UI (User Interface) for the product card.

View of the subscription options in Recurring and Subscription Payments extensions from Milople vendor
View of the subscription options on the Product Page

This solution looks much better than pop-ups. There is one drawback - the form pulls data from the server every time you change subscription options. On their demo server, it is noticeably slow.

Official page

Stripe Subscriptions from Cryozonic (FREE)

Since May 1, 2019 Stripe offers modules that were developed by Cryozonic for free. This set of modules allows implementing a subscription model of the payments on the base of the Stripe payment gateway. In other words, it’s officially supported integration for Magento from Stripe. In relation to the other extensions, this option is a really good starting point if you plan to use Stripe as the main payment gateway. Stripe has good documentation and it’s easy enough to extend basic logic by additional features that you need for your shop.

Official page

Subscriptions & Recurring Payments for Magento 2 from Amasty (In Development)

Amasty still works under their own solution for subscriptions. Judging by the description on the official site, the extension will implement all the features in demand that are already implemented in the extensions of other vendors. We can expect the implementation of user-friendly interfaces in the admin area of the shop, as is usually done by the Amasty development team and high-quality source code of the extension, which makes it easy to expand.

Official page

Adaptive Subscriptions for Magento 2 from Paradox Labs ($699)

Another high-end extension with the full range of standard features. A distinctive feature is the statement of the developers that the extension is fully ready for use in PWA (Progressive Web Application) on the base of Magento 2.3. The extension fully supports GraphQL and REST APIs. If you are planning to create a PWA for your store or develop a mobile application, the price of this extension is more than justified. Check our previous blog post to see what PWA can give you for boosting your sales. This extension has very advanced options for scheduling subscription bills.

Official page

As you can see, there is a good opportunity to choose a ready-made module that best suits your sales option through a subscription. Perhaps the ready-made module does not implement all the options that you want to offer your customers. In this case, you should ask for the development of custom functionality that will expand the capabilities of the module. It is possible to contact the developers of the extension that you like, or Magento development experts.

In our development team, you will find experts who implement the necessary new functions for your online shop while respecting the best practice in Magento development. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about developing new features for your Magento online shop, integration with third-party services or migrations from other platforms to Magento.

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