Subscriptions on Shopify: The Brands That are Doing Them Well

  • Technology
  • October 28, 2021
  • by Eve Rouse

Where would we be without subscriptions? This clever way of ensuring recurring purchases means that brands have financial stability and consumers never run out of their favourite products. Here are some brands we think have the subscription thing nailed on Shopify Plus.

This Works

A subscription from our client and skincare brand, This Works, makes it super simple for customers to keep their bathroom cabinet stocked up with their favourite products. 

The easy-to-manage account system means customers are in control of their product amounts, schedule and delivery, and can cancel anytime after the first two shipments. Plus, they’ll get at least 15% off all subscription orders — an effective way to upsell the subscription vs. buying products as a one-off.

Read about how we replatformed This Works from Magento to Shopify Plus.

Dry Farm Wines

Pure, natural wines from our client, Dry Farm Wines, are organic, low in sugar and alcohol, and contain no additives. 

Their subscription allows consumers to choose their wine colour, box size and how often they’d like to enjoy it. Then, Dry Farm Wines will curate each new box from hundreds of wine labels, grapes and regions before shipping them to the customer. It’s like providing people with their own sommelier, and what wine lover wouldn’t want that?

Sakara Life

100% plant-based, ready-to-eat meal company, Sakara, shows it’s not just tangible products that can be offered on subscription - digital products can be too. Sakara Life is a free email or SMS subscription that delivers nutrition tips, healthy recipes, program updates, menu sneak-peeks and inspiration for living life to the fullest. 

Of course, much of this wellness journey inspo is subtly underpinned by Sakara products, allowing them to softly cross-sell without sounding ‘pushy’. Another way they achieve this is by offering $25 off selected Sakara products on first purchase, as a thank-you for signing up.

Neal’s Yard Dairy

Delivering 3 surprise cheeses through the door each month, it’s Neal’s Yard Dairy. Their subscription delivers on the artisanal feel we’ve come to expect from Neal’s Yard, featuring a hub with delicious details on each cheese, plus videos and a virtual tasting.

By making this hub accessible even without a subscription, Neal’s Yard Dairy can use beautiful imagery and interesting content to persuade visitors that a subscription is well worth their money. It’d make a lovely gift too, and shoppers can choose between monthly or 3 / 6 months pre-paid options.

Bulletproof

Coffee is always the answer, right? And by subscribing to Bulletproof Coffee, customers save 10% whilst ensuring they never run out of the good stuff — it’s a win-win.

But, what about those who are reluctant to subscribe to a coffee they’ve never tried? Bulletproof have thought about this too, making it clear on the product page that people can purchase the coffee as a one-off rather than needing to subscribe straight away. 

Why not follow in their footsteps and give your shoppers product discovery options without subscription ties?

Heights

A supplement subscription from Heights ensures that brains across the world are getting the nutrients they need. With a 4.9* rating on Trustpilot, and a glowing testimonial from Stephen Fry showcased on their homepage, website visitors can feel pretty confident that the Smart Supplement works wonders. But, if they’re not completely satisfied once they’ve taken the plunge, Heights offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

They offer increased discounts the longer that customers subscribe, too, which is a fantastic way of incentivising longer-term subscriptions. Plus, UK shipping is always free — a simple yet effective way of increasing those conversion rates. 

Keen to discover more ways on how to bump CRO? Head to our article.

Sons 

Tailored treatment plans for common men’s health problems are covered with a subscription from Sons, whether customers are looking to tackle hair loss or improve the health of their gut, brain or immune system. 

By offering a free online health consultation, Sons also help with product selection to ensure that customers are getting the best product or plan for them. This gives a bespoke, personal feel to the shopping experience and reassures customers that their health is in good hands.

Like Heights, they offer increased discounts the longer customers subscribe.

Union Coffee Club

Another brand who’s helping customers to find the best subscription plan for them is Union Coffee Club. Whether searching for coffee that’s bold, bright or bespoke, or want to discover something new, Union Coffee Club has coffee lovers covered. 

By asking shoppers to make some simple selections (such as grind type, e.g. whole bean or cafetiere), they’ve made it easy for customers to be matched to their perfect coffee.

Huel

Just like their products, Huel’s handy subscription saves customers time and money (10% off the normal price) whilst providing all the nutrients they need. 

By enabling customers to pause deliveries, as well as choose flavours, quantity and delivery, they’ve ensured their subscription is flexible enough to fit with any lifestyle, thus removing a barrier to purchase. Like Bulletproof, they’ve also made it easy to purchase either as a one-off or to subscribe.

CDLP

Next on our list is our client, and Swedish design house, CDLP. The fashion industry isn’t the most common category we see subscriptions utilized in, but CDLP are killing it — and we’re sure this will catch on.

A CDLP subscription allows shoppers to build a wardrobe of essentials with zero fuss. Supplying men’s socks, underwear and t-shirts with climate compensated delivery every 3 months, this is the perfect way to ensure customers always have fresh basics, at 30% less.

As the need for more convenient shopping continues, will more fashion brands set up subscriptions too? One thing’s for sure: we’re excited to find out!

Wild

Sustainable and natural deodorant company, Wild, post aluminium-free, compostable refills through subscribers’ letterboxes. With reusable cases in a variety of colours and refills in scents such as Orange Zest, they’ve managed to make deodorant — dare we say — fun! 

For an extra £2, the reusable case can be personalised with up to 8 letters. Given the ton of research, such as Deloitte's recent piece finding that “more than 50% of consumers express an interest in purchasing personalised products or services”, this is both a nice idea and a smart move, and certainly makes the subscription more giftable.

Get inspired from our listicle of other socially-conscious brands, here.

Bol

Bol’s Box Builder allows customers to select any combination of 6 Bol shakes and soups either as a one-off or on subscription (which saves 10%). Customers can order as many boxes of as many different combinations as they want, which, like Huel’s subscription, gives shoppers flexibility whilst saving them time and money.

The clever design of the box builder makes it really clear for shoppers to see what’s in their box so far, and how many slots they have left (see below).

Heinz

We’re willing to bet there’s not a single home in the UK without at least one Heinz product in the fridge or kitchen cupboards. Be it students, new parents or those who enjoy Beanz with chips and Tomato Ketchup on a bacon butty, there’s a bundle for everyone. Customers simply select the one to fit their lifestyle and get it on subscription!

A particularly nice feature of Heinz’ offering is that subscribers can swap bundles whenever they like. Backlog of Beanz? Switch the next delivery out for Soups. Going on a health kick? Replace the normal order with ‘The No Added Sugar Bundle’. Heinz has really thought about how their subscription fits into their consumers’ lifestyle (and cupboards).

Conclusion

Many people are time-poor and often overwhelmed with a seemingly endless task list, which is just one reason that subscriptions are more popular than ever. They're a genius way to automate the purchase of both essentials and luxuries alike, meaning there’s one less recurring job on the to-do list. Plus, it’s nice to get something through the post that isn’t another bill!

Whether by allowing consumers to choose type, amount, frequency and delivery of the product, to providing quizzes to ensure the customer is matched with their ideal product, the brands above have succeeded in providing their customers a service that feels tailor-made to them. Plus, by giving either flat discounts or monthly discounts for longer-term subscriptions, customers are made to feel that their loyalty is being rewarded.

Want to get in on the action? Take a look at how to implement subscriptions on Shopify Plus here, or get in touch.


Authors

Eve Rouse

Eve joined us in 2019 and has been distilling our team's technical knowledge into digestable content ever since. Aside from writing, Eve's also interested in comms, R&B music, EQ and human behavior.


Recommended reading

13 May 2021

Technology

How to Implement Subscriptions on Shopify Plus


29 September 2021

Technology

The Brands Using Tech to Make E-Commerce More Socially-Conscious


Popular articles

27 April 2022

Technology

Trending in E-commerce: Voice Search


20 April 2022

Design

Optimizing Images for Your Shopify Plus Store


13 April 2022

Design

Optimizing Your Site Search on Shopify Plus


07 April 2022

International

Brands Selling Internationally on Shopify


20 July 2020

Technology

How to Sell Internationally with Shopify


02 November 2020

Technology

Migrating from Magento to Shopify Plus


19 October 2021

Headless

Headless Commerce Using Shopify Plus


25 September 2020

Technology

Why Shopify Plus?


02 March 2020

Design

Biggest Brands on Shopify


22 April 2020

Strategy

35 Ways to Improve Your E‑Commerce Conversion Rate


01 March 2019

Technology

Shopify Plus: Multi-Store vs Multi-Currency


07 April 2022

International

Brands Selling Internationally on Shopify


09 October 2019

Strategy

CCPA and Shopify: What it is and How it Affects my Store


14 August 2020

Strategy

Everything you Need to Know About ADA and Shopify


21 July 2019

Design

101 Best Shopify Stores for Design Inspiration


Be the first to hear about what’s hot in e‑commerce and Shopify Plus. Straight to your inbox.

By providing your email, you agree for us to contact you via email with e‑commerce advice. Your data is stored securely and we never pass it on to third parties.