Recurring Monthly Payment Solutions

fungtutor
Tourist
11 0 3

I am selling a smart IoT hardware device. Shopify works great for the initial hardware sale.

 

I want to add a monthly subscription to charge for the a premium service of the device itself. For example, the user can save the 10 days of data on the cloud. The free model does not provide this service.

 

What's the best solution for this kind of subscription based model? I wish Shopify has this as one of its basic payment services.

Replies 32 (32)
Visely-Team
Shopify Partner
1843 210 464

There are a bunch of apps that support that on the Shopify App store, have a search for "subscription".

Sergiu Svinarciuc | CTO @ visely.io
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Dallas
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
915 61 189

Hi, there.

 

Dallas here from the Social Care Team. I am more than happy to help you out, great question.

 

If you are looking to allow recurring payments, you're right; you won't be able to do that automatically with Shopify. Instead, you will want to get an app for that. There are a few recurring payments apps that you can choose from that will give you the ability to charge your customers per month.

 

One of my favorites is Bold Subscriptions. Not only do they have the option for recurring payments but they also all you to sell subscriptions on single products OR entire cart, they have Inventory Forecasting so you can see how much inventory you need to fill orders in upcoming weeks/months, and your customers also can add products to existing subscriptions if you want them to.

 

Some other ones to choose from are:

I hope these give you ideas on places to start! If you have any more questions, please let us know!


Cheers,
Dallas

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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joegold100
New Member
1 0 0

Hi Dallas,

 

I have a client with a similar request as the original poster of this thread. My client would like to add an option to purchase a monthly support plan with a physical product that is in Shopify.

 

I checked all of the apps that you recommended. They all seem to allow you to turn the purchase of a product into a monthly subscription, but they don't allow you to offer a subscription product as an option with the purchase of a physical product.  Essentially, the only way I can see this working is that the physical product, along with shipping and sales tax, would need to be one charge. Then the monthly subscription plan would need to be a second charge. Both charges would need to occur with the same checkout. Or, after checkout of the physical product is completed, the customer would be forced into a secondary checkout to complete the sign-up and purchase of the subscription plan.

 

I'm leaning towards telling the client this can't be achieved with Shopify and that he needs to use a different e-commerce platform. However, if you or anyone one else has a possible solution that we can use to make this work, please advise.

 

Thank you!

 

Joe Gold 
Business Consulting Director
OCCO - Online Consulting Company

fungtutor
Tourist
11 0 3

This "single physical product + recurring subscription" seems to be a common request for many kind of IoT product. I really hope that Shopify can implement this feature as soon as possible. It's a huge market!

 


@joegold100 wrote:

Hi Dallas,

 

I have a client with a similar request as the original poster of this thread. My client would like to add an option to purchase a monthly support plan with a physical product that is in Shopify.

 

I checked all of the apps that you recommended. They all seem to allow you to turn the purchase of a product into a monthly subscription, but they don't allow you to offer a subscription product as an option with the purchase of a physical product.  Essentially, the only way I can see this working is that the physical product, along with shipping and sales tax, would need to be one charge. Then the monthly subscription plan would need to be a second charge. Both charges would need to occur with the same checkout. Or, after checkout of the physical product is completed, the customer would be forced into a secondary checkout to complete the sign-up and purchase of the subscription plan.

 

I'm leaning towards telling the client this can't be achieved with Shopify and that he needs to use a different e-commerce platform. However, if you or anyone one else has a possible solution that we can use to make this work, please advise.

 

Thank you!

 

Joe Gold 
Business Consulting Director
OCCO - Online Consulting Company


 

Dallas
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
915 61 189

Hello, @fungtutor & @joegold100.

 

It is great to hear your feedback on the features that you would find helpful on the Shopify Platform. I can definitely send a request up to our team to let them know of your suggestion. I can't promise that it will become a feature, but it will at least make them aware. Then they can think of this for any possibilities in the future. 

 

Another option in the meantime would be to talk with our Shopify Experts. They are very proficient in their knowledge of coding and even app creation. It may be worth reaching out to one of them to see if they will be able to work to get something like this built for you. I think for now that would be your best option.

 

If you have any more questions, however, please do let me know! 

Best,

Dallas

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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tlemmons
New Member
1 0 2

I have a similar need.  Did you ever figure out a way to do this?  I would prefer to build the subscription payments into my own website server backend and therefore I don't think I can really cannot use the third party store apps.  I would like to be able to do this just like paypal or amazon payments work.  Is that possible?

SL_UAE
Tourist
3 0 1

Hi Dallas,

Why hasn't Shopify responded to this request; it's been asked for, for years! 

I am struggling to find a payment gateway provider / app combination that works in UAE. If I don't find a solution ASAP, I'll be moving my site to another e-commerce provider that does offer this. 

pnap
Excursionist
11 0 9

I'm also looking for a recurring payments solution that works with Shopify Payments rather than have to use a separate payment gateway.   I thought Shopify were going to be offering this feature soon but it would be good to know if that is true and when?

Mttau
New Member
1 0 0
Hi sir. Did you find a solution? I have the same requirements. Physical product plus a monthly subscription plan
GGav
Tourist
6 0 3

Hi Dallas,

 

Hope it's alright I'm opening an old post.

 

I'm in a somewhat similar situation and having a hard time finding a solution.

 

I'm in the process of setting up my first shop, and I need to set it up in a leasing sort of payment way. It's a product that customers can "subscribe" to by paying each month. They only get the initial product - there are no recurring shipments, only payment for as long as they hold onto the product. 

 

I'm a bit overwhelmed with the apps I've tried so far, and can't seem to find a proper solution. 

Any help is appreciated.

 

Kind regards

Gavin

Dallas
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
915 61 189

Hey, Gavin! 

 

I would love to help you. In order for me to not throw resources in your face that you have already seen or tried and don't feel like they have worked, are you able to give me a bit of a summary for what you have tried so far? 

 

I look forward to working with you further. 

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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GGav
Tourist
6 0 3

Hey Dallas,

 

Thanks for the quick reply!

I've tried using these plugins so far:

- Recurring orders & subscription box by Bold.

- ReCharge recurring billing and subscriptions.

- PayWhirl

 

I've been in contact with ReCharge and PayWhirls customer support, and both are telling me that Shopifys internal structure doesn't work with the way I need it to, and that's also why the big plugins don't allow for it.

 

I'm also not entirely sure where to look since this is my first time setting up a store. I haven't tried anything further than that, except panic emailing to customer service of different plugins to see if their plugin can help, and post on forums. 

 

To recap, I need to come up with a way that'll allow this system to work somehow:

 

The customer subscribes to a camera, they get the camera upon their first payment, they'll keep paying a monthly subscription fee until they return the camera.

 

Please let me know if there's anything else I can do.

 

Thanks again!

 

Edit: I'm going to try PayWhirl and see if I can get this to work through their plug-in, but I'm open to trying anything. Cheers. 🙂

Dallas
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
915 61 189

Hey there! 

 

That is a bit of a tricky one and to be honest, I am not really sure we have an app that is meant for exactly what you're needing. However, I have done some digging for you! 

 

I found an app that has the ability for recurring invoices. This means that you would be able to bill your customers repeatedly, which is what you need by the sounds of it. The app is called Recurring Order & Subscription.  Have you tried to see if that one will work or not? 

 

I am going to do some more digging on this to see if I can find anything else next week when all of Shopify is back in the office. I want to see if I can find a working option for you in an app form because it is easier to add to your store and use it right away. However, if you would like someone to build a custom app with exactly the features that you need you could reach out to the Shopify Experts! They're very talented when it comes to building brilliant apps from the ground up. With that said, I still can't promise they will be able to get this built for you, but as a last resort, it might be worth an option. 

 

If I find out more information about this I will let you know, but please let me know how that app works for you. 

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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GGav
Tourist
6 0 3

Hi again,

 

Yeah, it sure is 🙂

I tried some different apps, but I've gone back to the Bold one you're also suggesting. Currently, I'm having some issues with the app, where if I try to successfully checkout I get this error box :

 Capture.PNG

I also get the same error message if I try to check out from the cart. I've been in touch with Bold support, but even after their installation, I'm still getting the same issue. I don't suppose this is something that Shopify can help me with? 🙂

 

Thanks again

Gavin

martincrownover
Tourist
9 0 14

Is there a particular reason why there isn't a built-in solution for this?

 

This is such a common request for an online store, its omission seems practically deliberate.

 

 

Dallas
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
915 61 189

@GGav 

That is really odd. I can't say that I know why the app is doing that. Since I am general support, I'm not actually able to help with this since I know more about Shopify than Bold. I truly wish that I could help you, but the best option might be to re-contact Bold. Have you been in touch with them since the error started happening? 

 

@martincrownover 

We're always working to figure out what tools and options would best suit Shopify users. For that reason, it is very possible that this is something that will be available natively in the future. I am not aware of it currently, but that doesn't mean that we won't ever have that option available. 

 

What I can do is go ahead and make a merchant frustration form for you regarding this feature to send to our development team. Our team is constantly developing tools that can be used to better operate the Shopify platform. If you share your store URL I can put your store as one of the stores that would like that feature. If it is ever made you wouldn't personally be contacted and informed, but as a subscriber, you would be contacted via email to let you know this feature is or will be available. 

 

Do you want me to put your store URL down for this? 

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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GGav
Tourist
6 0 3

Yeah, we're still in touch, sadly we're in widely different timezones. Nothing to do about that. 🙂

 

Maybe you can help me with something else, how can I remove "Home page" or other default pages?

 

We're planning on linking to our Shopify products page from an already existing site, so I don't want the logo to click into the home page on Shopify. Alternatively, is it possible to change the linking from the logo button to our own page?

 

Edit:

I'm having a weird issue with Shopify, where the Bold plugin is working as intended in the "preview" version of the store, but not on the "customize" version. I'm not sure, how that works. 

martincrownover
Tourist
9 0 14

@Dallas

I don't run any stores myself, but I develop them, and I have a client who frequently asks me about things they want to add to their store. There are a lot of things that Shopify should offer natively, such as metafield editing, subscription-products/recurring billing, etc. - but for some reason, they don't.

 

I suspect Shopify doesn't want to step all over their "app" developers - but it really hurts the store-owner experience by forcing the use of "apps" for such basic things. This is compounded when it means sharing store/customer data with third parties, at a time when data privacy is a huge concern and laws are being enacted that could make data leaks (by shifty third-party "app" developers) financially devastating to store-owners.

 

Getting back to your question, I don't know if a merchant frustration form is appropriate here, because I am not a merchant. I'm definitely frustrated though, because every time I find another instance where basic/expected functionality isn't included, and Shopify's official position on the matter is to use an "app", I start to question why we went with this platform in the first place. These aren't niche needs - these are things that many people want. It just feels bad.

 

This original forum post is over a year old, and there are others concerning recurring billing that go back much farther. How is this not part of the base Shopify platform yet?

Dallas
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
915 61 189

@GGav 

 

Hey, so I asked the themes team if this is possible and they said that it should be able to be done. May I ask what theme you’re using? The next steps at this point will depend on the theme name.

 

If you go to your Store Admin and click on Online Store > Themes > Customize > Theme Settings then you still see the theme name on the bottom of the left-hand side. Can you copy what it says there?  It will look something like this:

 

2020-01-os8qg-w562e

 

@martincrownover 

 

Thank you so much for expressing all of your thoughts on this issue! I completely hear you and I really do understand the need and desire for a unified user experience. The only way for us to improve is from direct feedback from people like you who use/build/interact with the platform. Even if you’re not an actual store I can make a frustration request, that isn’t a problem. This will allow us to understand more about the needs of what is best for everyone so that we can figure out the best way to proceed in regards to enhancements to our platform. I have gone ahead and done that now. 

Dallas | Social Care @ Shopify
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