Last updated on October 9th, 2023 at 11:21 am

Having automatic monthly payments coming into your eCommerce website will make your life SO much easier.

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WooCommerce is by far one of the best ecommerce solutions available on the web today. It also doesn’t hurt that the base package is free. But anyone who runs an online web store knows that sales can very wildly from month to month. With WooCommerce Subscriptions however, you can start building a base income for your store by selling subscriptions that automatically renew and bill your customers.

What Subscriptions Can I Sell?

For a lot of businesses that have built a sales model focused on single transactions, this is a shift in paradigm. But when you really think about it, just about everything you might sell now could be offered with a subscription package of some sort.

In my business, I sell a variety of subscriptions – from website maintenance plans to article-writing services. But even if you aren’t providing an ongoing service, you can still turn your products into subscription purchases.

Let’s say you have a clothing company and you sell t-shirts. Maybe your average t-shirt is sells for $20 online. You could create a subscription plan where customers get a discount by buying a $19/month subscription where you automatically ship them a new t-shirt every month.

One of my clients is an HVAC contractor, he sells subscriptions where clients pay a monthly rate and they get 2 annual checkups along with repair discounts.

WooCommerce Subscriptions

Why WooCommerce Subscriptions?

WooCommerce Subscriptions costs $199 (as of the publishing of this article), and it’s well worth it. But there are plenty of other free options out there for generating subscription payments so why use WooCommerce? Well, this is one case where you truly get what you pay for.

Billing Schedules

While you can create recurring billing requests directly through processors such as PayPal and Square, the scheduling options are very limited. WooCommerce Subscriptions gives you access to various scheduling options. You can sell subscriptions that bill monthly, weekly, yearly, or even daily.

Lots of Payment Gateways

I use PayPal as my primary payment processor but I have a few clients who absolutely hate PayPal. So I also offer Square as another payment method. In fact, WooCommerce integrates with 25 different payment gateways allowing your customers to use the payment method that suits them best. In addition to PayPal and Square, they also support Stripe, Amazon Pay and a bunch of other ones I’ve never even heard of.

Extensive Documentation

WooCommerce Subscriptions has an amazing documentation library that clearly details, in non-technical terms, how to set up and configure the extension. Not only is the documentation extensive and clear, it’s also kept up to date so it matches the latest version of the plugin. If you ever had the frustration of trying to find your way around PayPal’s FAQ after they changed their website layout, you know how critical it is to have current documentation available.

Top Notch Support

Even with incredible documentation, it’s only a matter of time before you have a question or an issue. WooCommerce has incredible support, especially for their premium extensions. And I can say from experience that WooCommerce’s support staff is one of the best I’ve dealt with when it comes to WordPress products.

Female Operator in Call Center

Alternatives to WooCommerce Subscriptions

Ok, so you know by now that you need to add subscription products to your website, but you’re not ready to drop the $199 to do it? Well if you’re looking to dip your toe into the subscription arena without a huge investment, you can send recurring invoices right from PayPal or Square.

There’s also a WordPress plugin that lets you build PayPal subscription buttons you can embed on your site with a shortcode. These options will get the job done, but you’ll be missing a lot of features you’d enjoy from WooCommerce Subscriptions.

Final Thoughts

Having a subscription model on your website can help smooth out the slow months of sales and give you a solid baseline income month after month. Whether you accomplish it with a free solution from your payment gateway or with WooCommerce Subscriptions, you’ll be glad you did. If you’re ready to look at the premium option, you can get it here.

Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover bands, Liquifaction and Minority Report.

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