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Shopify Subscriptions APIs & it's Powerful impact


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Shopify Subscription APIs- do they really create any impact on existing subscription apps?

Imagine this - It is morning. Someone far away in Ville Marie in central Montreal is getting ready for the office. In between shuffling to and fro, he finds he has run out of shaving cream. Next to his house, however, his neighbor is just receiving a wonderful box of essential consumables delivered right to his mailbox- and he is up and going without any worries.

It is the magic of the subscription box that keeps recurring whenever customers want and what they want. Had that guy subscribed to a weekly or monthly subscription box of a shaving kit, a great head start he could enjoy.

Subscriptions Overview

Convenience and comfort are the driving force behind the success of subscription business models. All the Shopify merchants are aware of it. What is more important is that even the intense global economy debacle has little to no impact on the subscription growth. The subscription market has been quite stable and resilient.

According to Zoura, the subscription-based revenue is continuing to grow at a rate of 9.5% in the first quarter of 2020.

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According to Zoura, the subscription-based revenue is continuing to grow at a rate of 9.5% in the first quarter of 2020.

Subscriptions & One-time Products Upsells

One-time products were in early alpha a year ago and thank you to all the developers who dived straight into the endpoints of the API. Now, the endpoints for API products and one-time products are usually available to all!

Not only did it move from the beta programme, but it is accessible across the board to Standard and Pro merchants.

The possibilities are endless with one-time APIs for goods. The revenue opportunities using one-time products such as through email, SMS, customer support tools, upsell and cross-sell applications can be useful!

One time Products API

Shopify - Services_includesIncrease revenue

Shopify - Services_includesChurn migration

Shopify - Services_includesCustomer loyalty

In order to create an answer to purchase, Postscript has used the one-time product API to allow customers to quickly add a one-time product to their next shipment.

For instance, when an upcoming charge web hook is activated, if they want to add a certain product in their next shipment, they will send an sms to the customer, all the customer has to do is type 'yes' and it will be added.

Another example is a common marketing technique in which an image or a GIF is used and it says "treat yourself."

The message states:" Hey John, we're about to give you your September glam package! Would you like to put just three bucks into the honey face mask to treat yourself? Well , the customer just says, 'yes,' and it gets added and you lift your average order by three bucks.

As a smart strategy for churn reduction and consumer engagement, we've also seen merchants use the API endpoints.

For instance, on the fourth delivery, one merchant saw a major uptick in their churn.

So what they did was: send an email asking clients to pick their one-time free gift on the fourth delivery, and their churn metrics were immediately improved.

And, since it gets them over the hump of the fourth delivery, consumers want to stay on for extra deliveries because it is often used for customer loyalty.

Another set of APIs that have had enormous potential are the New! Bulk Subscription APIs.

Shopify - Services_includesBulk Subscriptions API

Shopify - Services_includesCreate, update, delete

Shopify - Services_includesManage bundles of subscriptions

Shopify - Services_includes100+% performance gains

The Bulk subscription API helps you to handle a single request for several subscriptions. Today, as a single package, you can easily handle multiple subscriptions, whether the subscription deal consists of multiple products as a package, or whether the consumer has multiple subscriptions for different products at the same time.

Instead of independently handling each subscription, you can handle it as a package of products with a single app.

A quick example is when you change the next charge date for several subscriptions with a single order.

Subscriptions and eCommerce platforms

However, eCommerce platforms generally do not have the architecture to allow subscription models in the checkout process and they require looking for third-party subscription API services. Until now, Shopify Plus subscriptions have had a similar drawback. And they have been heavily dependent upon third-party subscriptions API services, including ReCharge, Bold, Chargebee among others. Now onwards, as a merchant, you can easily leverage the subscription model for your Shopify stores without the need for third-party support. Shopify moves beyond its default feature and enables subscription experiences for merchants with the Shopify Subscription APIs and Product Subscription App Extension.

Notes :

The full-fledged subscription functionality cannot be leveraged through Shopify Subscription APIs as long as they are in beta. Once free from beta, merchants can have flexibility to develop customized solutions as per their needs. Till then, merchants need third-party subscription support for extended functionalities.

The New Architecture- What New Features Does Shopify Bring to Merchants?

With Shopify rolling out its Subscription APIs and Product Subscription App Extension, developers like HulkApps can build apps to be integrated with Shopify Checkout, giving all merchants the frictionless way to sell subscription products right from the checkout. So, there will be no moving forth and back for merchants as well as the partners for multiple checkouts. This new feature is flexible enough from the perspective of customers too, increasing chances to grow monthly recurring revenues.

In the new architecture, we can experience some similar functionalities as offered by ReCharge, Bold, and Chargebee, and many other recurring billing and subscription management apps.

As of now, Shopify gives out three different subscription APIs and tooling that include,

Shopify - Services_includesThe Selling Plan API

Shopify - Services_includesThe Subscription Contract API

Shopify - Services_includesThe Customer Payment Method API

Using all of these three new Subscription APIs, you can find great ways to add some desired functionality to your subscription business and feature new selling techniques.

Shopify merchants who have already built their subscription model using ReCharge, and any other subscription apps, especially new emerging merchants looking to embrace the subscription plans, how do they get Shopify Subscription API to their advantage? If not, does it make sense to tinker with third-party Subscription APIs? Let’s see what impact it may have on ReCharge, Bold subscriptions shopify, and Chargebee.

Shopify Subscription API minimizing pains of running subscriptions

To get subscriptions to work with your Shopify store, you can now build your subscription model in the checkout.

The all-new Subscription APIs from Shopify gives you access to some of the great features you could find in ReCharge, Bold, and Chargebee. Perhaps, this has somehow put an impact on their popularity as merchants would move their subscriptions directly to the Shopify platform.

Similarities between Shopify Subscription APIs and other existing Subscriptions Apps

Being merchants, you know why Shopify had a restrictive functionality to allow subscriptions. By default, Shopify does not store payment information, making it difficult for customers to come back to store and place an order again. But, these new features have an ability to align with the emerging business needs to grow and scale through recurring ventures.

Building Subscriptions

From the ReCharge dashboard, you can add products and create your subscription plans- one-time products, quick orders, bundles, promo discounts, and many more. Just click on the Rulesets followed by the product, and your subscription plan is ready.

For Chargebee, merchants can have similar functionality to set up a product plan. All you need to do is just go to your Shopify interface, go to the product catalog, and then plans, and click plan. Your subscription plan is ready to go to Chargebee.
Bold has a similar way of implementing a subscription plan right into your Shopify store. Here, Bold requires Liquid code to integrate a subscription app with your store and work properly.

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In Shopify, you need to get hold of the Selling Plan API to set up your merchandising model. Using this API, you can build your plans, get more ways to manage product variants, and decide how you can manage subscriptions to be sold. To set up a more flexible UX, you can use a product subscription app extension that allows you to fetch products directly from the product page and build your product plan.

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Managing Subscriptions Contract

ReCharge gives us RESTful API and event-driven webhooks- the perfect combination to talk to each other when an event triggers. When any subscription activity takes place on your Shopify store, it captures data and sends it back to the backend that stores customer information.
Chargebee steps into the foot of ReCharge and enables subscription lifecycle management using the power of email notifications.
Bold uses webhooks to keep track of subscription events and notify its merchants.

As is with Shopify, the platform embraces the powerful Subscription Contract API that uses a webhook and unleashes the same functionality as other subscription apps and allows for storing customer data. This is a way your customers can choose to buy or subscribe to their desired products without putting order information again and again in the checkout process.

Automating Payment Method

Using the Shopify's Customer Payment Method API, you can give your customers time efficiency and a seamless shopping experience without the need to put in payment methods in the next purchase. Shopify showcases here a powerful technique to restore customer billing information with a ‘vault permission’’ feature that can be put to use once customers give their consent to it.

Every other subscription app applies the same credit/debit card vault, however, ReCharge seems to use a third-party credit card vault.

We can thereby say, Shopify has innovated its subscription architecture which is as powerful as other subscription apps, allowing you to optimize your business for customer lifetime value.

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Shopify Subscription API Features

With the ability to integrate subscription boxes, recurring orders, and payments with the Shopify checkout, merchants can have greater flexibility to sell recurring products. It is an added advantage for you that is powerful enough to keep selling your standard products. Some features can transform the Shopify checkout as you build your own Shopify Subscription app.

Customer Portal Control

As is with other subscription apps, you can also leverage awesome control on the customer portal. You can easily bring changes to your checkout theme that keeps the user preference and flexibility in mind, allowing them to add, suspend, or cancel their subscription right within their account.

Subscriptions Management

It is easy to build a tool that can help you with customer tracking. As you keep a tab on them, you can design your own subscription by adding, swapping, or changing a product price right into the admin.

Build Tested Offers

To be able to draw your customers’ attention and intrigue them to become your recurring subscription customers, you can create free trials of offers. This is an exciting way to know what your customers love and build a subscription model based on the findings. These features are quite outstanding that give merchants an excellent opportunity to develop their own Shopify subscription apps. They perfectly blend with the theme and checkout, and offer a cost-effective and efficient choice to make a move to the subscription model.

Subscriptions migration in the sight

ReCharge has been the most robust platform in the subscriptions industry. Chargebee and Bold and many others also have a strong stance.
Shopify Subscriptions apps can give a tough competition to these platforms. You can have enough good reasons to scale with Shopify subscription API. Some significant reasons could be,

Platform Compatibility

A subscription app that you build with a Shopify API can perfectly match the tone of your Shopify store since you can use Liquid drops and the GraphQL Storefront API. At times, you can plan your products easily, you don’t require much customization for the app.

Fast Turnaround time

Shopify developers already have knowledge working with Shopify tools. So, it is fast and easy to work with Shopify subscription API and develop an app. However, this is way harder with third-party apps asking for extensive skills around the architecture.


Yes, it is a cost-efficient solution because you have all the right tools and extensions to build your subscription app and implement that right into the checkout process. It helps you avoid paying for third-party apps.

Want to build your own Shopify Subscription Apps?

HulkApps can dramatically transform your experience in the subscription ecosystem. If you want to test how your subscription performs- if you customers like them or not, Shopify Subscription is a quick way to confirm these anticipations. Build your Shopify Subscription Apps with HulkApps, test your journey, and adjust to how your customers prefer it.

However, remember, subscription apps built with Shopify Subscription have restrictive functionalities and may not address what you are looking for.

With limitations to Shopify’s capabilities, merchants still need support from advanced subscription apps like Recharge recurring billing and subscriptions, Bold, and Chargebee. For mom-and-pop merchants, if they are looking for ways to reduce costs and feel content with limited Shopify subscription features, the Shopify subscription is a way to go and migration is an easy catch for them.

Shopify ReCharge Integration: How to get started with ReCharge Subscription?

Looking to get ReCharge integrated with your Shopify store? Take your subscription business to the next level with HulkApps ReCharge Shopify support. From setup to customization, Hulkapps offers a huge list of unimaginable ReCharge services. Connect with subscription experts in ReCharge at HulkApps.


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