We’re all probably subscribed to something or somebody. Maybe it’s a YouTube channel you love or a makeup subscription box. Either way, there are two things that are common in all subscriptions: repeated benefits for the customer and loyalty for the seller. This makes subscriptions a win-win situation for everybody involved. If this intrigues you, all you need to do is install a great subscription plugin for your WooCommerce site. This article is a list of 5 amazing subscription plugins that you should consider.
TL;DR: SUMO Subscriptions is the best plugin if you want to start selling subscriptions. It’s easy to install, simple to manage, and designed for any type of product. But no matter which plugin you choose, we recommend you backup your website with BlogVault first. It’s the guarantee you need that you won’t lose the work you’ve put in so far.
Subscriptions are a great way to help both you and your customers. Take, for instance, big ticket services. One-time payments can be a barrier to entry, and subscriptions allow customers to gain access for a considerably smaller, regular fee. Subscriptions also incentivise businesses to continue improving the product or service, and provide customer support.
While subscriptions are amazing, WooCommerce doesn’t have the functionality to accept recurring payments built in. This is where subscription plugins come to play. We’ve put together a helpful list of subscription plugins that will help you offer a new type of payment to your customers.
Best WooCommerce subscription plugins
We’ve scoured the internet and picked the top 5 subscription plugins that work with WooCommerce. They are the most popular and promise great value for money. So, all you need to consider is what you’re looking for in a subscription plugin. With that in mind, let’s dive into our list.
Sumo Subscriptions by Fantastic Plugins is one of the top solutions for WooCommerce sites. It handles recurring payments and supports automatic and manual renewals. Much like WooCommerce Subscriptions, it also allows you to sync when you accept payments. Additionally, you can customise every aspect of the subscriptions you provide, like length of subscription, cost, renewal patterns, or if you want to offer free trials. Sumo Subscriptions is definitely jam packed with all the features you need.
- Automatic and manual renewals
- Simple, variable, or group subscriptions
- Customisable subscriptions
- Synchronized payments
- Compatible with PayPal and Stripe
- Multiple subscriptions in one order
- Supports free trial and paid trials
- Self-managed customer accounts
Price: Two plans that start at $49
|Great support team||Limited customisability on forms|
|Fully compatible with WordPress and WooCommerce|
There is a long list of features packed into this one plugin. While Subscriptions for Woocommerce has popular features like enabling you to sync your subscriptions and email notifications, they also offer multilingual support. This means that you can reach out to a wider audience. The WebToffee team has also become very popular for their amazing support team. So, even if you run into an issue, they will be more than happy to help you out quickly.
- Simple and variable subscriptions
- Compatible with popular payment gateways
- Sync subscriptions
- Email notifications for customers
- Free trial or free signup functionality
- Custom subscription intervals
- Discounts on subscriptions
- Multilingual support
Price: Three plans that start at $89
|Quick response support team||Doesn’t have an intuitive interface|
|Fully compatible with WordPress and WooCommerce|
YITH has an ecosystem of plugins that are all compatible with each other and designed for WooCommerce like YITH Stripe and YITH Memberships. They’re all powerful tools to empower business owners to control every aspect of an ecommerce store. Their WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, for example, enables you to customise the subscriptions you offer, from signup to cancellation or suspension. It offers everything you need to encourage growth and nurture a customer base.
- Customise subscriptions
- Self-managed customer profiles
- Email notifications
- Free trial period functionality
- Coupons for customers
- Signup fee can be added
- Handle failed subscriptions
- Cancel or suspend subscriptions
- Sync payments
Price: Free version and a pro version at $234.99
|Intuitive dashboard||Very limited free version|
|Customisable with Gutenberg|
Unlike the other plugins on this list, WP Full Stripe is a payment solution that also allows you to accept recurring payments. The plugin is built with Stripe API keys so you can rest assured that your customers are safe and secure. It also helps you manage refunds more easily than the others on this list. It also comes with other Stripe benefits like being valid in 39 countries and offers about 100 currencies. So, you can now grow your business on a global scale.
- Manage customer info
- Manage refunds and payments
- Experience management
- Custom appearance of subscription functionality
- Accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club
Price: Four plans that start at $49
|Integrates with Stripe API||Has to be managed on WordPress and Stripe|
|Manage refunds easily|
WooCommerce Subscription is a premium plugin that allows recurring payments on products or services. It also allows you to sync your subscription plans, making it great for businesses, like gyms, for example, that want to only accept payments on the first of every month. It provides detailed reports so you can track all your subscriptions. Your customers also get autonomy over their account. WooCommerce Subscriptions makes it easy to sell subscriptions for any type of product or service, with utmost ease.
- Flexible billing schedules
- Compatible with digital or physical products
- Manual renewals for customers
- Synchronized payments
- Automatic rebilling for customers
- Self-managed customer accounts
- Renewal notifications
- Detailed reporting
|Integrates with any WooCommerce payment gateway||Slow customer support|
|Integrates with third party plugins||Needs add ons to customize subscription plans|
What to look for in a WooCommerce subscription plugin?
We’ve only talked about a handful of subscription plugins for your WooCommerce site. But there is a larger market for you to pursue. So, what do you need to look for in a subscription plugin? Here are our considerations:
- Products: What do you want to sell? Do you want to sell a subscription for downloadable Game of Thrones art? Are snackboxes more your jam? Maybe you want to start a platform that exclusively streams romantic comedies. Whatever your product or service is, make sure the subscription plugin is compatible. WooCommerce Subscriptions helps you provide any type of subscription for almost any type of product or service.
- Custom billing cycles: You want to be able to control when you accept payments, the length of a typical billing cycle, and when it expires. Maybe you want to sync all your subscriptions so they’re identical. Unfortunately, not all subscription plugins will offer that level of flexibility. SUMO Subscriptions is amazing on this front.
- Profile management: While it’s important that you have control of your subscriptions, it’s equally necessary for your customers to be able to renew, cancel, or pause their subscriptions at will. They should also be able to do it all with ease. All the plugins on this list have this feature.
- Email notifications: You want to be able to remind customers that they need to renew their subscription or let them know if a payment fails. Being able to automate that process can significantly reduce the amount of work on your end.
- Payment gateway integration: Depending on who you’re selling to and what kind of currency they use, you may want to do your research on what payment gateways are most suitable. We have an article about payment gateways for WooCommerce that you can check out. Additionally, we recommend you make sure that the plugin you use is compatible with the payment gateway you want.
Why should you sell subscriptions?
Subscriptions can be a great tool to build a community of repeat customers. But it may be different from what you’re used to. So, here are some benefits that you should consider if you’re on the fence:
- Steady payments: Seeing steady income flowing into your business on a regular basis is a great indicator of the health of your business. You can get through each month knowing approximately how much to expect at the end of it. It is also a good metric to use to plan for business growth.
- Manage inventory: Along the same lines as the previous point, it’s easier to estimate how much inventory you need in a month, once you’ve been through a few cycles. You can reduce the chances of having a large surplus and buy just what you need.
- Nurture relationships: Subscriptions not only remind your customers about your company on a recurring basis but builds trust in your brand. They know what to expect and are more likely to come back for more.
- Reduced churn rate: Churn rate refers to the rate at which a business loses customers at a certain period of time. Subscriptions plans reduce the churn rate because it ensures a stable number of customers over a specific period of time.
- Lower acquisition costs: When you build a community of loyal customers, you also reduce the cost it takes to acquire new customers.
- Added LTV: LTV or Lifetime value refers to the value that your customer gets from engaging with your business. Subscription based models offer great value to customers and therefore have a higher LTV than a single transaction business model.
Recommendations for site management
You may have figured out what you want to sell and how. But, there is so much more that goes into managing your WooCommerce site. Here are some things we recommend:
- BlogVault: Nothing worse than waking up to a crashed site and being unable to retrieve everything you lost, especially with an ecommerce store. BlogVault provides real-time backups for your store, saving your data as changes happen on your site..
- MalCare: Your WooCommerce site has sensitive data about your customers that you want to protect from hackers. A security plugin like MalCare helps you do just that. Scan and clear any malware in just a few clicks, and protect your site and customers with an advanced WordPress firewall.
- Google Analytics: While your subscription plugin will help you track your subscriptions, you may want to track your traffic. Where is it coming from? What is it drawn to? The Google Analytics plugin is a great solution. We have an article on integrating the plugin into your site and an alternative that you can check out.
- Page builder plugin: Page builders are a powerful tool in the world of site design and Elementor is a popular plugin to try. We have a tutorial on using Elementor with a WooCommerce site and compared it with Gutenberg, WPBakery, Beaver Builder, and Divi.
SUMO Subscriptions is one of the top subscription plugins for a reason. It is easy to use, versatile, and compatible with everything. It gives both you and your customers the power to make changes to your subscriptions too. It offers everything you need to manage a subscription service.
- Can WooCommerce handle subscriptions?
Not on its own. You will need a subscription plugin like SUMO Subscriptions or WooCommerce Subscriptions to be able to accept recurring payments.
- What is the best WooCommerce subscription plugin?
WooCommerce Subscriptions is the best subscription plugin for your WooCommerce site. It makes creating and managing your subscriptions easy.
- How do I add a subscription to my WooCommerce site?
You need to install a subscription plugin like WooCommerce subscription to enable subscription features on your WooCommerce site.
- What is the difference between subscriptions and memberships?
The end goal in a membership is to be able to create a community with a shared interest. Subscriptions, on the other hand, are designed with the goal of recurring payments. So, you can have a one time payment for a membership but not a subscription. You have to offer a product on a regular basis with a subscription. You can get away with only offering discounts or having a newsletter in a membership.