Price comparison of Shopify recurring payment solutions
Shopify is a shopping cart system originally created to run a single snowboarding shop. Later others could also use it to set up their own online stores, and has since grown to handling multiple stores totalling over $8 billion in sales.
By default Shopify does not support recurring payments, but it can be extended to do that by using apps. In this article my aim is to make your life a bit easier by giving you a quick listing of all the major apps out there, along with their prices.
My motivation for searching for subscription apps is finding the perfect solution for my own business, Candy Japan. I use a homegrown system, because there wasn't really anything good available at the time I started the site. I'm always open to transitioning to a better solution, and want to keep up to date on the solutions available.
The base fee for the the Shopify ecommerce system is $29 / month. On top of this you need to pay credit card fees, which are 2.9% of revenue + $0.30 per sale if you use Shopify's own gateway. Using other gateways comes with extra costs.
There also exists an app called ReCharge, which is designed to be used both as a "subscribe & save" -type feature similar to Amazon or as the engine for subscription boxes. The introduction video on their app page is excellent, I recommend checking it out.
ReCharge is $19.99 / month + 1% per transaction for up to 500 subscribers, with a negotiable discount if you have a larger customer base. The first three months are free.
With ReCharge all recurring subscriptions appear as new orders within Shopify, with special new interfaces for managing them both for you and your customer. You can change the subscriptions and update credit cards etc. through the interface which ReCharge adds to your Shopify. It also sends notification emails (welcome email, charge failed and charge succeeded) to your customers automatically. ReCharge supports monthly and other frequencies.
ReCharge has also recently launched an API.
"With the ReCharge API, you can now solve your complex subscription needs. From tailoring your customer portal to creating custom workflows, you can now build off the ReCharge platform to fully customize your store."
One of the recurring payment apps is Chargify. By combining Shopify and Chargify, you have a system suitable for running a subscription box. They charge 1.2% of your revenue, with a minimum charge of $149 / month. There is an advanced plan as well, offering some extra features at a cost of 1.2% of revenue + $299.
Extra discounts apply if you have over $250k / month in sales.
Bold Recurring Orders and Subscriptions
$19.99 / month + 1% of recurring revenue. Free 3-month trial. If your subscription box really takes off, for very high volumes the percentage fee can be reduced. You can find Bold subscriptions in the Shopify app store or on their own homepage.
Another option for adding a subscription layer to Shopify is PayWhirl. It has three tiers, all with varying fixed and percentage fees.
In addition to these, there is now also a "free" plan which charges no monthly fees, but takes 3% of revenue.
I did the math for you.
If you process less than $4,900 per month, choose the "Free" plan. After that stick with the "Business Pro" plan until your revenue hits $10,000. Beyond that go for the "Business Plus" plan, until at $20,000 finally switch to "business ultimate".
Thanks for reading
Which solution did I pick for my own Japanese candy subscription box Candy Japan? None of the above! I went with a custom solution, because at the time I founded the site none of these existed. If you found this useful and happen to like candy, please do subscribe.