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The Definitive Guide To WooCommerce Subscriptions in 2024

Starting a subscription business on WooCommerce? Here's a detailed guide on how to setup WooCommerce subscriptions, pros, cons, third-party extensions and more.


Last updated on January 2, 2024

Have you ever LOVED a product so much, that you’d be willing to pay for it regularly? Well, that’s the power of demand. When a product itself is excellent, it results in extreme customer satisfaction. And these satisfied customers help you build a loyal community around the product. Marketing strategies can go a long way to create and maintain this community which is why ‘Subscription models’ are making a statement in the world of the internet.

And if you have a subscription-based business or thinking of starting a WooCommerce Subscription business, then you definitely need to read this blog.

What is a subscription model?

A subscription model is a business model that charges a recurring fee to the customer on a monthly/yearly basis in return for products and services. Companies like Amazon Prime, GoPro, Adobe, and Netflix have seen extravagant success in this business model
And following in their footsteps, various eCommerce shops, publishers, softwares, product-based companies and various other sites have invested a huge sum to create the perfect subscription plan for their customers.

How does a subscription model work?

Customer > Finds value in product/satisfaction > Becomes a member by signing up for subscription > Consumer uses goods/services regularly > Continued sales

This model allows you to craft plans that would entice customers in becoming a member with your business in order to reap long-term benefits, discounts and complimentary services. In-fact members expect exceptional services in return for their money. They are ready to pay extra if it can bring them value.

Therefore, as long as a customer can see value in your company, they will willingly invest in it. You can capitalize on this relationship and earn fixed revenue every month.

Types of subscription models that you can find around

Are you in the midst of figuring out how a subscription model can be made better? Then here are some examples that you can take inspiration from. I will be explaining them briefly but if you want a detailed version then comment below!

1. The membership model

One of the most common models out there, a Members Model allows you to build a community of people as part of your empire. Yes, this is the classic “Members Only” club.

2. The engagement model

Do you have a business that is only active seasonally or during a certain time? Then you will definitely need to find ways to keep your audiences engaged throughout the year with various events, contests and giveaways. The Engagement model focuses on providing members with extra perks.

3. The subscribers model

You may have noticed that a lot of content creators offers free content like publishing, OTT and news. Free content is great, but it won’t earn revenue. Hence, these content creators have ‘Subscribers only’ subscription model to view reserved content. For Example, Patreon, Scribd and Canva.

4. The subscription box model

A lot of online sellers and ecommerce companies are harping on this business model. It allows customers to sign up for monthly goodies from a company. Companies like Biotique, Boxycharm and various other makeup and skincare lines opt only for this model.

With innovative businesses booming in the market, many startups are up-ing their game and coming up with their own subscription model based on the nature of the product/service.

So why is a subscription business so good?

Subscription models have a lot of benefits. To sum them up:

  • They are a great source of capitalization
  • They attract more customers
  • Creates customer loyalty
  • Builds brand image and brand awareness
  • Your business’ growth can be exponential over a short period of time
  • Recurring billing offers predictable and fixed revenue
  • Billing increases the returns on customer acquisition costs
  • Earn more through cross-selling and up-selling

Therefore, due to the many benefits, various businesses support subscriptions like Shopify, WoCommerce, ProfitWell and many more. But in this article, we will be specifically covering WooCommerce Subscription as it is one of the most used tools for a subscription business.

What is WooCommerce subscription?

WooCommerce subscription is a plugin that you can use to create and manage products for recurring payments on your WooCommerce store. You can create various subscriptions for your products or services along with other perks like adding sign-ups, WooCommerce recurring payments, yearly billing model, free trials and even expirations. What’s more? It provides you with performance reports, insights and data for you to view and make marketing decisions on.

Well, WooCommerce Subscription is not the only plugin that allows you to set up subscriptions on your WooCommerce store. The WooCommerce marketplace has multiple such plugins. Take a look at some of the top WooCommerce Subscription plugins here.

Why use WooCommerce subscriptions?

  • It has multiple billing schedules for your convenience
  • Integrate multiple payment gateways for recurring and automated payments
  • Provides you with automatic invoices, bills and manual renewal payments
  • Basic reports allow you to keep a track of your sales, activity and performance
  • Let subscribers self-handle upgrading or downgrading the plan
  • Lets you send notifications and automated emails to subscribers

How to setup WooCommerce subscriptions in WordPress?

Setting up WooCommerce Subscription to your website is fairly easy.

Step 1: Download the plugin from the official WooCommerce Subscription website
Step 2: Login to your WordPress dashboard
Step 3: Go To Appearance > Plugins > Add New
Step 4: Upload the downloaded WooCommerce Subscription zip file there
Step 5: Install and activate

Click here for an in-depth guide

Problems faced by store owners that use WooCommerce subscriptions

There’s a lot you can do with WooCommerce subscriptions. However, there’s a limit to its prowess. Here’s a list of other problems:

  • Does not allow extensive customization
  • Free trials can be implemented easily but low price trials can’t
  • Integration with other tools can prove to be difficult at times
  • Data and analytics aren’t detailed

That’s where you need a little support

In order to get detailed reports, we always recommend our clients to opt for a WooCommerce subscription plugin that reads your site’s activities and converts them into insightful data.

For example, a Woocommerce report will tell you the number of sales a subscriber is bringing you. But it won’t tell you how many times a particular subscriber has visited your site or clicked on a particular page for a duration. This data can help you understand your subscriber’s interest and you can then send them relevant marketing emails and targeted social media posts.

Inorder to get this insightful data, you need to resort to a third-party reporting plugin for your WooCommerce subscription business.

Here are some key metrics you need for your WooCommerce subscription business:

  • Free trial counts
  • Conversion rates
  • Paid subscriber count
  • Total Revenue
  • Total Cancellations
  • Day-wise summary
  • Allows you to export data to CVSL or Excel
  • Pictorial graphs of the data for comprehension
  • Returning users etc.
  • MRR, ARR, ARPU, churn and other SaaS metrics

Now that you know the right metrics you need inorder to analyze and grow your WooCommerce subscription business, you need to choose the right plugin/tool that provides you all of these metrics.

Here are the top 3 reporting plugins/tools for WooCommerce Subscriptions:

  • Putler
  • Metorik
  • ChartMogul
  • Read an in-depth article highlighting the pros, cons, pricing and features on each of the above tools (+ a few more alternatives)

    Choose what’s best for you

    Well, if we were to tell you that at Putler, we have thoroughly studied subscription models and have created Putler based on all the gaps and opportunities that we could find, then would you believe us? Of course not! Hence, we have crafted a live demo version of Putler for you to view and experience the tool.

    You can easily connect Putler to your WooCommerce Subscriptions site and obtain detailed reports including the above mentioned as well as more: Churn rate, MRR, LTV, ARR, top products, holiday insights, sales figures, sales predictions, audience reports, paid churn rate, user churn rate, upgrades, trials, refunds, downgrades etc. Phew!


    If you are running a subscription based business, then WooCommerce Subscription is what you need. And if you want to make the most of WooCommerce Subscriptions then you can definitely rely on Putler. It is a simple and easy to use tool that even new business owners can manage.

    Make the most of your business. Success is sure to follow.

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