Shopify and Recurring Subscriptions

We have been setting up a new ecommerce site. One main feature of the site is a recurring subscription. While this seems like it should be easy to find many good solutions for recurring subscriptions. After looking around it appears that credit card subscriptions are not as common as you would think.

Steven Johnson
by | Posted: December 20, 2013 | Updated: April 1, 2014
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Like many we are big fans of Shopify. Sadly we have not found any good solutions to sell recurring subscriptions  in our shopify store. This post is a collection of notes and ideas about finding the best solution.

We have looked and looked for a good solution to sell recurring subscriptions in our shopify store. Every solution we have found involves one checkout for regular items and a second checkout for recurring subscriptions.

In regards to usability this is a huge hassle for customers.  When you are making a purchase, who want to have to go to different checkouts for different items. They now see two charges on their card. It is just not good all around.


For true recurring subscriptions I would have one checkout for normal products and a second checkout for subscriptions. The subscription checkout could either be through a chargify bridge or paypal.

I think Volution has an all in one solution to handle products and subscriptions in the same checkout.



Are you listening Shopify?

I feel like their are quite a few people who would like a solution to this issue. Just not sure if their are enough for shopify to pay attention. Shopify it would be so awesome if your core platform could handle recurring subscriptions.

If you would like to add recurring subsriptions to your shopify store post in the comments. If we get enough people maybe they will pay attention. If not maybe it makes sense why they have not added this feature.


Shopify and Chargify

First Chargify is expensive and I get that. I know everyone has to make money to stay in business. Just wish they were a little more affordable for stores getting started out. I would not mind paying as much if I could and the subsription products to my standard shopify checkout.


When I connect chargify to my store customers can add a subscription and the store that will direct the customer to either the chargify or recurhub checkout and not the standard shopify checkout.


I have done some research on Chargify and they are pricy $129/month for 500 customers then going to $459/month for the most/unlimited. In addition as I was reading through their forums, it appears the customer and order data is actually stored with Chargify. This last piece causes concern as it ads another place where customer data is stored. 


Shopify and Paypal Subscriptions

Paypal subscriptions are pretty easy to set up but they are limited in functionality. It is not easy to transition a customer from one subscription to the next.


Shopify and Recurhub

This solution is less expensive but very new and still in or just coming out of beta. 


Posts and other information


Our Current Solution

It is not pretty and I am not very proud of this work around but it works. Being able to sell product is really the most important thing. The more products we can sell the more options we will have in the future. You interested in buying a premium coffee we would love to sell you some.

We are using standard shopify product with different variation for the subscription length: 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6months, 1 year.

This is not ideal but it is the only way to have a single checkout. We are just starting out and do not have many customers right now so if a better solution arises in 6 months or so I can move to that solution.


Other Alternatives

Volusion -- I think volusions hosted solution can handle this task

Magento Go -- Still looking into this one not sure if they can handle it.




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