Selling Subscriptions on WooCommerce
WOONINJAS Selling subscriptions on WooCommerce

Selling Subscriptions on WooCommerce

If you own an eCommerce store, selling subscriptions is a great tactic for increasing sales and maintaining those sales month after month. 

By simply adding subscriptions, the customers who become subscribers will have a much higher lifetime value than the average shopper. This is because subscribers generate a recurring payment without you having to spend the money and time to find new customers. 

Utilizing WooCommerce subscription plugins will make selling subscriptions easier. In this article, we’ll go over the benefits of selling WooCommerce subscriptions, and give you an overview of the different plugin options you can use to set them up.

What are Subscriptions?

Subscriptions are a recurring payments for physical or digital products and a great way to earn automatic and guaranteed income month after month. You’ll send your customers their monthly product or give them access to digital goods as long as they continue their payment.

Building a WooCommerce subscriptions system has many benefits and allows you to create the following, 

  • A flood of loyal customers that’s excited for their products to be delivered automatically each and every month. 
  • You have the ability to set lower prices for expensive products and services allowing more customers to purchase these products which increases your revenue.
  • You can offer trial periods to your customers allowing them to test your products. Trying before you buy has the potential of increasing sales by 56%.
  • Recurring revenue for your company. 

The subscription-based popular business model has become increasingly more popular because it helps you to maintain longer customer relationships along with recurring revenue. But that’s not all.

Benefits of Adding Subscriptions to Your Store

You’ll Attract More Customers

With subscriptions, you’ll be able to provide customers with a more convenient and easy way to get their favorite products or services. They will be able to get products without ordering and have access to promos, and updates automatically which ultimately attracts more customers to your store.

Increases Your Potential Growth Exponentially

When you build a customer base of subscription users you add recurring income to your store. This reduces the cost of advertising and maintains a constant flow of income.

Gives You More Power Over Your Business

Recurring income helps you to better predict your revenue. This gives you more power over your business and potential expansion.  Unlike with a one-time payment model you no longer have to attract and then convert customers to maintain sales. When you have subscribers you are guaranteed monthly payments. You put the work up-front to attract them and gain them as a customer. 

Now you’re able to better predict your revenue each month which helps you to make informed decisions about your business decisions and its future growth. 

While the length of time that the customers remain subscribed will vary, subscription-based businesses are able to maintain ongoing relationships to create many life- long customers.  This greatly reduces the customer turnover rate and is a critical reason why they are more valuable than the average customer. 

Increases Cross-Selling and Up-Selling

When your customers subscribe to your website it helps to build trust with them. They know the quality of your products and the services you provide. This makes cross-selling and up-selling easier. You already have an established relationship and trust so they are much more receptive to your suggestions.

Easy to Offer a Proof of Concept

Offering trial periods is often impossible under most one-time payment systems. But with many of the subscription plugins for WooCommerce, you’ll find that this is a feature. Whether it’s a free trial or discounted trial price this is one of the best methods to entice clients to subscribe. But at the least, you were able to build your email list to remain in contact with them through email newsletters and/or promotions which can lead to a sign-up later.

How to sell subscriptions with WooCommerce

There are a few different types of subscriptions that you can incorporate into your eCommerce website regardless if you are selling a service, providing a streaming service, SaaS product or selling physical products. You have a variety of subscriptions that you can create – subscription boxes, upgraded services, premium packages, and more.

Here are some that you begin utilizing in your store:

Fixed usage subscription

A fixed usage subscription model is a set price for a fixed number of goods or services over a specific amount of time. The most common example of this would be magazine subscriptions. You get a fixed number of magazines for a specified number of times – weeks or months.

You can incorporate this method into your t-shirt store, with a t-shirt of the month or product of the month. 

Unlimited usage subscription

The unlimited usage subscription model offers a set price for unlimited access to a good or service. 

The usage can be personal – for example, a gym membership which gives the member unlimited access to gym facilities – or transferrable, such as a phone contract subscription which offers unlimited calls and texts to an entire family across several devices.


This model lets your customer purchase your products or services with a subscription for however long they would like. This is one of the most popular options because there are no long-term commitments. They are able to cancel their subscription at any time. 

Some of the most common examples of this are ‘beauty boxes. The customer pays a monthly fee and will receive a box of beauty products each month. 

Freemium model

This is a popular option for digital products. And is most commonly used by websites and cloud service providers. This type of subscription offers free content up front, and you pay for premium features.

A good example of this is music streaming services. They offer freemium subscriptions that allow you to stream music online, and if you pay monthly you’ll have additional features such as saving playlists.

Marketing your subscriptions is easy and can fit into any type of store’s email marketing campaign.  However, in order to sell subscriptions with WooCommerce, you’ll need to install one of the subscription plugins. There are plenty to choose from

At WooNinjas, we help you get set up your WooCommerce site with a variety of subscription solutions. Just give us a call and book your WooCommerce consultation.

Best WooCommerce Subscription Plugins

When choosing the right subscription-based plugin for your WooCommerce store, there are some features that you’ll want to look for to ensure easy integration, and optimal performance and will meet all of your needs. For example, it should,

  1. Support your current payment gateway.
  2. Be able to manage product subscriptions with the ability for customers to upgrade. It needs to have the exact features you need to effectively promote your products/services.
  3. Have automatic email notifications for subscriptions that are set to expire.
  4. Offers both automatic and manual billing.
  5. Have the option to stop, pause, cancel, or suspend subscriptions based on specified terms.
  6. Be able to log payments with the dashboard.

We’ve created a list of subscription plugins for WooCommerce. These plugins will help you to quickly and easily begin selling subscription-based products or services in your store. They all offer a recurring payment option that allows you to collect subscriptions for all types of products downloadable, virtual, and physical products. 

WooCommerce Subscriptions by WooCommerce

woocommerce subscriptions plugin

WooCommerce subscriptions by WooCommerce is a paid extension that will basically add a new payment method to your Woo store. While there are many free extensions that you can choose from, this plugin streamlines the process. You can easily set up and manage a WooCommerce subscription offer.

With the WooCommerce Subscription plugin, you’ll be able to automatically create invoices, easily set up drip content, create periodic billing schedules, front-end subscription management, and set up multiple subscriptions at the same time, and much more.

Features of WooCommerce Subscriptions

  • You can create multiple subscriptions for products and services
  • Entice potential customers with trial periods
  • Allow subscribers the option to manage their own plans
  • Create expiry dates for subscriptions
  • The ability to create and manage subscription products
  • WooCommerce Subscription is a feature-rich plugin that supports over 25 payment gateways for automatic recurring payments and manual renewal payments.
  • With the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, you can set different billing periods to renew subscriptions daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.

WebToffee Subscriptions for WooCommerce

wocommerce subscriptions plugin by webtoffee

Webtoffee’s Subscriptions for WooCommerce plugin helps you to quickly and easily set up and manage your subscriptions for your WooCommerce store. You’ll be able to set up recurring payments and billing with ease.  

This paid plugin offers a free trial. This allows you to test out all of its features before purchasing. You’ll discover just how simple it is to create subscriptions and discover the amount of control you have over setting the price, length, interval, and other variables that are related to your subscription products or services.

Features of WebToffee are:

  • Setting up variable subscriptions for both physical products and digital products.
  • You can create multiple billing schedules.
  • Free trial, signup fee, and recurring subscription discount coupon.
  • Automatically send email notifications.
  • Synchronize the dates of the subscription products to a specific day of the month.
  • Supports all major payment gateways including PayPal and Stripe.


The Subscriptio WooCommerce extension allows you to add recurring payments to WooCommerce. It gives you the ability to sell products such as magazine subscriptions, online memberships, e-learning packages, and basically any type of physical or digital product.

This plugin comes with functionalities like multiple billing, flexible billing cycles, and automatic renewals. It also comes with variable product subscription support.

Once you install this plugin, it will delineate the flow of subscription processing.

The features of Subscriptio are:

  • It creates subscription lists and subscription management tools for your customers.
  • It sells online memberships with recurring charges.
  • It configures your subscription trial period.
  • It is fully compatible with PayPal and Stripe.
  • It allows customers to have multiple subscriptions, and there is no limit on quantity.
  • It makes the subscriptions available for intangible as well as tangible products.
  • It sends regular reminders for payments to subscribers.

YITH WooCommerce Subscriptions Plugin

YITH WooCommerce subscriptions

YITH WooCommerce Subscription offers a complete solution when it comes to selling products or services, and managing recurring payments with a subscription plan. Monitor your income growth month by month, weekly or annually. 

What makes YITH stand out is how you are able to access training courses, the ability to read a magazine, and unlimited access to archives. But it supports more than digital products. You can sell memberships to your gym, consulting or coaching services, or sell products such as video games, apparel, and so much more.

The features of YITH are:

  • Create subscription plans for multiple products
  • Choose the recurring payment type that’s best for your business model – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
  • Create an end time for the subscription 
  • Create variations for your subscriptions plans
  • Users pay subscriptions using PayPal
  • Users can manage their information on the “My Account” page
  • Customizable button labels.  

SUMO Subscriptions

sumo subcsriptions

SUMO Subscriptions is one of the most comprehensive WooCommerce subscription plugins. You’re able to create and sell subscription products in your existing WooCommerce shop. With SUMO Subscriptions you can create recurring payments with automatic renewals with PayPal and Stripe. 

You have full control with variable subscriptions and grouped product subscriptions on your WooCommerce store. Allow your customers to choose their subscription duration and the frequency of renewals.

The features of SUMO Subscriptions are:

  • Offers both free and paid trials.
  • Built-in recurring payments with PayPal and Stripe subscriptions.
  • Automatic subscription renewal with the SUMO Reward Points Payment Gateway with SUMO Reward Points Plugin.
  • Multiple payment reminder email options.
  • Ability to keep a master log of all the transactions in your store.
  • Allows customers to choose subscription duration and renewal cycle.
  • Works seamlessly with all WooCommerce themes.
  • Automatic subscription renewal with multiple payment gateways.

WP Simple Pay Subscription

wp simple pay

WP Simple Pay Subscription allows you to accept both one-time payments and recurring payments without having to use any codes. You can choose to create installment plans, initial setup fees or trial periods and payment will need to be done through your Stripe account. Through your Stripe account, you’ll be able to accept payment from some of the most popular payment options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, ACH debit, and iDEAL.

You can easily link your products or services to WP Simple Pay Pro so you can get started building your subscription business. There are plenty of options to use custom fields for forms and gather all that data.

Features of WP Simple Pay are:

  • Simple payment collection for options for services, single products, and even donations.
  • Secure payment processing and data storage through Stripe’s servers.
  • Supports Secure Customer Authentication (SCA).
  • Optimized for mobile.
  • Easy-to-use drag and drop builder to create customizable payment forms.
  • Users have the ability to pay what they want by entering an amount.
  • Accepts non-card payments.

Choosing A Solution For WooCommerce Subscriptions

Defining your goals early in the process will allow you to better determine which features and plugins will help you to accomplish your goals. When you define your goals it helps you to discover which subscription business model will help you to provide your customers with a great experience while generating the recurring revenue that you desire. 

Do you already have billing and subscriber management software in place? Does it have the ability to grow and expand with your subscription business? It is crucial to have the right software that will help you handle complex processes. 

Understanding what your customers want so that you can build your subscriptions based on their needs and wants will help with various aspects of your subscription business. It allows you to maximize monetization and retention, and create products that beat out your competition and gain more customers. 

Adding Subscriptions to WooCommerce

One of the most important aspects of adding subscriptions to your business is having the right strategy and tools. Once you choose the WooCommerce subscription plugin for your store and develop the right strategy to manage your subscriptions and add the right subscription plugin

Install a Subscription Plugin To Your Store

After reviewing the different subscription plugin options, choose the one that is best for your business model.

  1. To get started, you’ll need to download your subscription plugin.
  2. Then, on your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins and click “Add new”. Upload the .zip file and click “Install now”.
  3. And then, activate the plugin and go into the plugin settings.

Create Your Subscription Products
The products you choose often depend on the type of subscriptions that you offer. If you choose product boxes you’ll want to choose between five and 10 items. That’s a good number of products to offer a good value for the money. How you add the products to the subscription plugin depends on the plugin. 

Determine The Subscription Frequency for Subscription-based products

You’ll need to set the recurring frequency for the customer. You can set the recurring payments of these subscription-based products or services within the admin area or have your customer choose. You can set it to monthly, weekly, or yearly. 

Subscription Plan Expiry Choice

You can choose an expiration date or allow the customer to cancel at any time. This is up to you. It’s important to determine the subscription frequency plan. 

How Will You Charge For Subscription-based Products 

Setting the price for your subscription is important. There are a variety of models that you can choose from Fixed / flat-rate pricing model, Tiered pricing model, Per unit/user model, and Usage model. The one that you choose often times depends on the type of product or service you are offering.  

A good way to set your prices is Cost-plus pricing, Competitor-based pricing, and Value-based pricing.

Offer Free Trial To Get New Subscription Users

Providing free trials to the subscription users gives users the push to sign up for your subscription-based products or services. Allowing them access to the product gives them the opportunity to see how the product/services work. It also helps to build trust with your company and gain them as new monthly subscription users once the free trial is over. 

Both User and Admin Can Stop WooCommerce Subscription Option

There is a flexibility of ending the subscription by the admin or the user anytime. Both can stop subscriptions of products or services in easy steps. Thus, also halting future recurring payments.

Complete Subscription Reports for Admin

Identifying important aspects of your subscription is crucial to the success of your efforts. Having access to a subscription plan report module is essential to building a good marketing strategy and making changes that can potentially maintain your subscribers for longer.  Some important details would include active and inactive subscribers, following the recurring payment dates, WooCommerce subscription expiration dates, and the frequency of recurring payments.

Final Thoughts

If your business is looking to increase your revenue and maintain a steady flow of predictable income you should consider adding subscriptions. Whether it’s with product-of-the-month clubs, weekly service subscriptions or even yearly billing packages adding this additional stream of revenue will add many benefits to your business and customers.

Any business can greatly benefit from the