6 Ways to Do Subscriptions with WooCommerce

While WooCommerce is a great way to sell physical products on a one-time basis, it can also be a good place to sell subscriptions. There’s an extension for almost anything, including subscriptions. The Subscription extension allows you to manage subscriptions for a variety of products and services easily.

What are the different ways to do subscriptions with WooCommerce? WooCommerce can use payment gateways, like PayPal, to automatically charge recurring payments. However, the most common way to deal with subscriptions is to use a plugin or extension. That way, WooCommerce can easily charge recurring payments for subscriptions. Popular plugins include:

  • WooCommerce Subscriptions
  • WooCommerce Memberships
  • YITH WooCommerce Subscription
  • Sumo Subscriptions

Choosing the best way to do subscriptions with your WooCommerce store can be difficult. There are a lot of plugins and extensions out there, and it can be hard to compare them. The good news is that there’s a right method for every store, so you just have to find it.

Why Do Subscriptions with WooCommerce

Whether you have a thriving WooCommerce store or are looking to start a subscription business, WooCommerce is a great place to manage your new venture. Subscriptions are a great way to get recurring business from customers for your products and services. If you have an existing WooCommerce store, you can add subscriptions to diversify your offerings.

You can offer subscriptions for a variety of products and services, so odds are there’s at least one thing you can sell in the form of a subscription. While there are other eCommerce platforms you can use to manage your subscription business, WooCommerce is flexible and easy to use. The platform lets you sell just about anything you want.

With WooCommerce, you can sell subscriptions and one-time orders from the same place. You can easily track orders and payments, and you can use the features of WooCommerce to print labels and manage the status of orders. When you add subscriptions to your shop, you can encourage customers to buy from you again and again.

The new option can help you retain customers and acquire new ones. You don’t have to always look for new customers or offer new products for your current customers. The only thing you have to worry about is creating something new for each new subscription period.

What to Sell with a Subscription

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WooCommerce allows you to sell physical and digital products as one-time orders. With a few changes to the order system, you can sell those same products in the form of a subscription. You can also sell certain services as subscriptions, and that includes both current and new services that you may want to offer.

  • While publications are a common subscription, the world of subscription businesses is changing. Magazines and newsletters are far from the only things you can sell as subscriptions.
  • Beauty subscription boxes have become more common in recent years, and they can include anything from makeup to skincare products.
  • You may have also seen some fashion subscription boxes, and that can be a great option for online clothing boutiques wanting to grow their business.
  • If you sell perfumes or fragrances, you can also turn those into a subscription. Send a different scent to a subscription customer each month so that they always have something new.
  • There’s also a growing market for food subscription boxes. You can send pre-packaged meals that your customers only have to cook, but the prep is already done.
  • Membership subscriptions are another great idea for online businesses. If you want to provide digital products or services to your audience on a recurring basis, a membership is worth considering.

This list just covers some popular options for subscriptions, so you don’t have to stick to these ideas. If you sell another product or service, you can find a way to turn it into a subscription. However, these ideas can help you turn your dreams of operating a subscription into a reality.

How to Do Subscriptions in WooCommerce

Once you decide you want to set up subscriptions in WooCommerce, you have to figure out how you want to go about it. There are different plugins and extensions you can use to make the process easier, and you can also do it all yourself with the right payment tools and a bit of coding knowledge. Setting up a subscription in WooCommerce can get expensive, so you want to choose the right tool for your store.

The exact subscriptions you want to offer can help you determine what plugin or extension you should use. If you’re not sure what you want to sell, you can also explore the different options for offering subscriptions. That can then help you decide what products or services will work best for you.

Whether you want to sell a traditional subscription, like magazines, or a newer product, you can use WooCommerce to do it. The right plugin or extension can simplify everything from processing payments to tracking orders. Check out these popular options for selling and managing subscriptions with WooCommerce.

Option 1: WooCommerce Subscriptions

The WooCommerce Subscriptions extension lets you manage subscriptions right in your WooCommerce dashboard. You don’t need to worry about comparing different plugins or tools to find one that’s compatible with your current store. Using the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension will guarantee that everything works together so that you can run your store.

  • Use WooCommerce Subscriptions to sell products and services with recurring payments.
  • Collect payments with PayPal, Stripe, Square, and other payment gateways.
  • You can offer manual renewals or charge renewals automatically to your subscribers. If you use manual renewals, the customer will receive an email reminding them to renew their subscription.
  • First, you will need to add subscription products to your store. They will become subscriptions when customers purchase the product.
  • There are tons of other features available for managing payments and setting up the structure for subscriptions.

If you want to keep everything simple and compatible within your WooCommerce store, the Subscriptions extension is a great option. You can set it up to work with an existing store, or you can build your store with just subscriptions. It does cost money to license the extension, and you can choose a license for one or multiple websites.

However, you don’t have to worry about a lack of compatibility between the different parts of your store. You also can work entirely within the WooCommerce platform. If you want to learn more about WooCommerce Subscriptions, click here.

Option 2: WooCommerce Memberships

Another easy option for setting up subscriptions is the WooCommerce Memberships extension. This is a great choice if you want to sell memberships as part of your business. Memberships can be for an online course or program or an in-person program if you have a physical location.

The Memberships extension isn’t quite as broad as the one for subscriptions. However, it does have some great features that are perfect for some subscription-based businesses. This extension lets you restrict access to certain content on your site.

Over time, you can schedule content to go out for access. That can be helpful if you don’t want to release all of your content at once. It also works well when you need to create content for future months.

You can create content just for members of your subscription, and you can also create different memberships. Another option for your subscriptions is to restrict products. If you want your shop to be exclusive, you can require a membership to access the products in your store.

When you want to sell a membership-type or subscription, the WooCommerce Memberships extension is probably your best option. The extension starts at $149 for a single site, but you can pay more for multiple sites. If you want to learn more about this extension, this article has a good explanation.

Option 3: Sumo Subscriptions

Veering away from WooCommerce extensions, we have the Sumo Subscriptions plugin. This plugin works well with other Sumo plugins, so it can be a great choice if you’re a fan of Sumo products. It offers a few different features so you can customize it to meet your needs.

  • Offer simple, straightforward subscriptions to your customers. You can also create variable subscriptions and grouped product subscriptions.
  • Your customers can select the duration of renewals and how many renewals they want. There are also different payment gateways available to your customers.
  • You can offer automatic renewals with the Sumo Reward Points plugin. Manual renewals are also available through any WooCommerce payment gateway.
  • If you want, you can also offer free and paid trials of your subscriptions so that people don’t always have to commit to a subscription.
  • The plugin also offers many other features for making your subscriptions unique to your store.

While it’s nice to use WooCommerce extensions, sometimes a separate plugin can also be a good idea. If you use Sumo plugins for other parts of your shop, you can also use Sumo to manage subscriptions. You can set up subscriptions in whatever way works best for you and your customers.

The plugin works with multiple payment gateways, so customers can pay how they like. However, you will have to pay for the plugin, though it’s not as expensive as some options. Click here to learn more about the features and options available from Sumo Subscriptions.

Option 4: YITH WooCommerce Subscription

The YITH WooCommerce Subscription plugin is another option to consider for offering subscriptions on your WooCommerce site. If you have a YITH subscription, you will be able to access it along with all of the YITH plugins, which can be nice. The plugin itself has some great features to consider, even if you don’t already use YITH.

For one, you can offer variable products to your subscribers, so they can choose the option they want. Variations can include colors or sizes for different products. If your products vary in other ways, you can account for that, too.

This plugin also allows your customers to pause their subscription. That can help you retain customers who may not want to stay subscribed, but they will stay in your database. They can renew their subscription whenever they want.

You can also offer payment deferrals if your customers need to catch up on their payments. And if someone wants to try your subscription for free, you can offer a free trial. On the other hand, you can also have signup fees if you want to charge more when a new customer joins your subscription.

To get access to this plugin, you need to subscribe to YITH. However, you can use all of YITH’s plugins once you get a site license. If you want to know more about this plugin, click here.

Option 5: Subscriptio

Subscriptio is another option to look at when setting up subscriptions in your WooCommerce store. The extension works with WooCommerce to take payments so that you can offer recurring products or services. You can use it to offer both simple products and variable products.

  • This extension handles everything related to subscriptions automatically. That way, you can focus more on other parts of your business.
  • It supports Stripe and PayPal for taking payments, so your customers can choose how they want to pay.
  • You can set the billing cycle as well as the maximum length of subscriptions. It also allows you to charge a signup fee and free trials.
  • Your customers can manually cancel, pause, and renew subscriptions.
  • The subscription products function like non-subscription products. That means customers can buy a one-time product and a subscription at the same time.
  • You can sell subscriptions for both tangible products and intangible ones. With a separate extension, you can also offer memberships with recurring changes.

Using Subscriptio to offer subscriptions is a good option. It has many features that allow you to customize it to fit your needs. That way, you can offer the type of subscription that you want and that works best for your store.

Customers have a lot of control over how and when they have to pay. While it does cost money, it’s cheaper than other options and can be good if you’re on a budget. You can learn more about Subscriptio here.

Option 6: PayPal Gateway

If you don’t want to add another plugin or extension to your site, you can still offer subscriptions. Doing it manually will take a bit more of your time, but it can be worth it for some stores. You’ll have more control over operations, and you can stay in touch with your customers more.

The PayPal gateway has a recurring payment feature that can work well with WooCommerce. You can use it to collect payments automatically, but it doesn’t have as many other features as some plugins. One big difference is that you can’t offer variable products, so you’ll need to create different products for different sizes and colors.

But since PayPal is already a default gateway in WooCommerce, it doesn’t take much extra setup. However, you will need to use PayPal Pro or Virtual Terminal, and you’ll have to pay for any associated fees. You’ll also need to pay $10 per month for the feature.

Overall, PayPal can be a good option when getting started with subscriptions. It doesn’t have much of an upfront cost, and you can switch to something else as your subscription business grows. To learn more about how PayPal takes recurring payments, click here.

How to Choose the Best Method

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With all of the options out there, you can choose the best method for your business. Of course, all of the options can be overwhelming, but some factors can help you decide which options won’t work. That way, you can at least narrow your search for the right way to manage your subscription business.

  • If your business revolves around variable products, you should choose a plugin or extension that can handle those. Since PayPal can’t, you may want to avoid that option.
  • On the other hand, a small business with one or two subscriptions might work perfectly with the standard PayPal gateway.
  • Regardless of your store’s size, you may want to ensure that your subscription business will work with WooCommerce. In that case, a WooCommerce extension is worth considering.
  • Fans of Sumo products, though, should consider the Sumo Subscriptions plugin, which works with other plugins from the company.
  • And if you already use YITH, you can use their subscription plugin at no extra cost.

No two stores have the same needs. That means that if one plugin works for one store, it won’t necessarily be right for you. The good news is you have options.

Final Thoughts

If you want to offer subscriptions as part or all of your business, WooCommerce is a great tool. You can choose the right plugin or extension for you, and you’re not stuck with one or two options. Instead, you have a variety of great methods for offering subscriptions with WooCommerce.

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