Top eCommerce tools for subscription management
There’s something very soothing about a subscription. We can set up a payment plan and sit back, safe in the knowledge that each month, we can get anything from toilet paper, entertainment, coffee, and even New York bagels delivered automatically right to our homes.
After a record year of new eCommerce subscription services entering the market with the US reporting 41% growth in 2020, it’s clear that the subscription boom is here to stay (and so is our monthly toilet roll delivery — what a relief).
But to have real staying power, subscription services are going to have to up their game when it comes to their tech stack. So what are the best subscription management platforms out there — and what do eCommerce stores need to bear in mind when scaling their services to meet demand?
In this post, we’ll walk you through our top 10 subscription management software picks — some of them are even free!
Blueprint for SMS messaging
The average US consumer spends $273 a month on subscription services, meaning there’s a rising demand for more flexible, transparent subscription management that doesn’t place the burden on the customer.
Subscription customers can also message their favourite merchants one-to-one to resolve CX issues or provide feedback.
Price: From £127 per year.
Why people love it: Brands love that Blueprint allows them to have informal, on-to-one conversations with their audience and help them deliver flexible subscription management at scale.
Shopify for subscription business website hosting
With easy-to-build storefronts that are hosted directly on its servers, Shopify helps eCommerce business owners and subscription services get up and running quickly, without any technical know-how needed.
It also offers a range of customizable apps to make the checkout and subscription process seamless for the customer. It also offers round-the-clock support and multichannel integrations. Check out our guide for the best Shopify apps to use when building your brand.
Price: From $29 per month, plus additional costs depending on your subscription app.
Why people love it: Shopify fans love its intuitive interface, customizability and ease of management.
Mailchimp for automated email marketing
Mailchimp’s automated email marketing feature is the perfect addition to any omnichannel marketing strategy, offering big functionality without the spend.
For subscription businesses, it allows you to create targeted emails that send when triggered by specific dates, events, or activity. You can also identify and target different segments of your audience — such as your best customers or inactive subscribers — ultimately driving customer loyalty and boosting revenue.
Price: From free. Paid packages start from $9.99 per month.
Why people love it: Mailchimp gives users powerful insight into their customer behavior and buying habits across their email marketing channel.
Recurly for automated billing
With customers including BarkBox and Twitch, Recurly is a market leader in recurring billing software.
Flexibility is one of its standout features, and it offers a range of billing models including fixed and hybrid, making it particularly useful for businesses selling single products alongside recurring subscriptions. It also supports over 140 currencies, and it is backed by powerful analytics, meaning business owners can proactively identify where churn is happening.
Price: From $149 per month, plus 0.9% of revenue.
Why people love it: Recurly fans love the choice of billing models available, and also praise its powerful analytics.
ProfitWell for KPI tracking
ProfitWell is a free subscription management software that pulls data from your payment processor and creates insight-driven reports that help you oversee your growth, new customer MRR, churn, and industry benchmarking.
You can also segment your data and drill down into the different segments of your customer base to proactively identify segments at risk of churn before they cancel.
Price: From free. Paid upgrades available.
Why people love it: Profitwell customers report that the tool offers great support and saves them the headache of calculating their KPIs manually. Plus, it’s free — what’s not to love about that?
Hotjar for storefront user experience and optimization
According to a 2016 report by Forrester, your site’s user experience has the power to boost conversion rates up to 400% — and this is why product experience tools are growing in popularity.
Hotjar lets you get under the hood of your store’s website, delivering insights on visitor metrics, website heatmaps, and user behavior. It also integrates seamlessly with Shopify, making it easy to see where you can plug any leaks in your sales funnel occurring as a result of your UX.
Price: From free. Paid packages from $39 per month.
Why people love it: It’s easy to install and integrate with your eCommerce platform with minimal code needed, and users love how intuitive the heatmap feature is.
Gorgias for customer support
Gorgias is a great subscription management app to add to your tech stack if you want to level up your customer support.
The help desk is billed as an all-in-one customer support solution, offering a multichannel experience across social media, website pages and more, and it integrates directly with Shopify.
For subscription service businesses, it integrates with recurring billing apps to help you manage services, refund orders and add loyalty points, as well as offering a smart live chat feature for website users.
Price: From $50 per month.
Why people love it: Many eCommerce businesses consider Gorgias an essential customer support tool. They particularly love the ability to tag interactions by category as well as combine support tickets.
Wisepops for SMS and marketing subscriptions
Optimizing your SMS and email marketing strategy relies on enticing people to opt-in. Wisepops is a conversion and data capture tool that creates promotional popup campaigns for mobile and desktop pages to boost subscription rates.
The tool also offers exit popups and popup surveys, as well as detailed analytics to track conversions and click-through rates in real time. Check out our guides for more on how to collect numbers for SMS marketing, SMS marketing regulations in the UK and SMS marketing regulations in the US.
Price: From €49 per month.
Why people love it: Customers say that it’s easy to use Wisepops and launch new popup campaigns — they also cite success with opt-in rates, too.
Sprout Social for community management
Building long-term customer loyalty means making your customers feel invested in your brand beyond just a transactional relationship. That’s why Sprout Social should be an important part of your customer loyalty and engagement strategy toolkit.
Sprout Social is a full-service social media management tool that helps you schedule posts, respond and connect with your community across your social media platforms. It also has a social listening tool to help you discover what your customers are saying about your brand.
Price: From $89 per month.
Why people love it: Sprout Social customers consistently rate the tool for its easy-to-navigate workflows and UI.
Churn Buster for failed payments
Involuntary churn can account for as much as 40% of a company’s total churn.
Churn Buster is a failed payment recovery platform that helps eCommerce subscription business owners recoup lost earnings and retain customers) via automated messaging, SMS nudges and email bounce alerts. The platform also offers smart analytics to help you track failed payments over time.
Price: From $59 per month.
Why people love it: Customers love that the tool sends customers a pre-authenticated link to update their payment details, hassle-free.
Did we miss any of your favourites?
Ultimately, the tech stack you pick will depend on the specific service you provide, the size of your business, and how you interact with your customers and audience. There are so many brilliant subscription management platforms out there — and we’re sure this list has only scratched the surface.
If you’re in the market for an effective new subscription management tool, why not sign up for a demo with Blueprint and see how you can enable your subscribers to flexibility edit or skip their subscription orders via SMS & WhatsApp.