Starting a subscription business is an increasingly popular option for both first-time and seasoned entrepreneurs looking to start a company with long-term potential. Successfully implementing the subscription business model requires focusing on maximizing recurring revenue and customer lifetime value — and the platform you choose to start your subscription business certainly plays into that.

Unlike a traditional business that focuses on one-time purchases, the needs of both physical and digital subscription businesses are completely different. They include:

  • The ability to set up automatic recurring payments
  • The ability to configure recurring billing
  • Widgets and checkouts optimized for mobile
  • Subscription management tools
  • A way to forecast inventory
  • Automated customer notifications
  • Support for multiple payment tiers and referral programs

An optimal subscription management platform will include all of these and more from day one, right out the box. This is because as you grow, your needs will also get more complex. You also can’t afford to miss a beat when opportunity strikes. Ensuring you always have access the most tools possible at your disposal, from marketing automation to the ability to offer international shipping, makes sure you’re able to seize opportunities right at the moment they arrive.

If you don’t choose an all-in-one platform with everything built in, you’ll likely need to use a separate tool like BigCommerce and a range of third-party plugins from their App Store. Here’s what this means for you, and a breakdown of the main plugins you may encounter.

A BigCommerce subscription app is a third-party tool that can be installed and configured as part of an existing BigCommerce setup to provide features related to running a subscription business.

🔥 Why do plugins exist?
It’s important to note that the existence of these apps is because BigCommerce does not offer the core functionality needed to run a subscription model by default. This means BigCommerce users will often need to rely on these apps if they want to keep using the platform to sell subscriptions and take recurring payments.

There’s a huge range of different subscription apps and plugins out there, some providing more functionality than others. In any case, if you’re looking to use BigCommerce apps to enable recurring payments (or any other platform with a plugin-heavy ecosystem), it’s important to take into account the following 3 points:

  1. Subscription apps for BigCommerce aren’t developed by BigCommerce themselves. Third-party BigCommerce apps and BigCommerce itself will be developed at different paces, and may not always work together with 100% stability. An all-in-one platform, on the other hand, will ensure bugs, errors and server downtime are at a minimum.
  2. The topic of subscription management is complex and nuanced. Each BigCommerce subscription app takes a different approach. Using multiple at once may result in additional confusion if features overlap in the wrong way. Focusing your experience with a single-platform solution is often a more efficient choice, no matter your use case.
  3. Subscription apps aren’t cheap. Data suggests that running a subscription business with a plugin-heavy tech stack is over 6 times more expensive on average than with an all-in-one subscription program.

There’s over a dozen subscription apps on the BigCommerce App Store, but which ones are contenders for the best BigCommerce subscription app? To save you the time, here’s our list of 5 of the most popular.

While Subbly isn’t officially on BigCommerce’s app store, you can easily integrate its checkout functionality can be easily integrated into any BigCommerce setup. This gives you access to all the powerful features of the Subbly checkout, from upsells to coupon codes (configured via Subbly), right there on your page. To learn more about embedding Subbly into your BigCommerce site, check out our guide.

Key features

  • Embeddable checkout available on all plan tiers
  • Multiple payment gateways supported
  • Customizable branding and visuals
  • 14 day free trial

Pricing details

  • Starting at $14/month

Recharge Subscriptions for BigCommerce allows you to reduce churn using flexible subscription management tools, accurately measure your performance to optimize your business, drive sustainable growth and acquire customers to strengthen your recurring revenue streams.

Key features:

  • Unified checkout and secure, self-serve customer portal
  • Integrations with Avlara, Loyalty Lion, ShipperHQ, Klaviyo, and more
  • Checkout integration that supports Stripe,, and Braintree by PayPal
  • Automation and workflows
  • Visual and theme customization options
  • Built-in analytics
  • API access and SDK


  • Single price: $99/month + transaction fee of $1.25 + 19¢

Bold Subscriptions is another BigCommerce subscription app that allows customers to power physical subscription and digital membership models to build recurring revenue and maximize customer lifetime value. To extend functionality even further past the default offering, Bold Subscriptions has numerous powerful integrations, including over >2000 through Zapier.

Key features:

  • Self-service, secure customer portal
  • Email templates and marketing automation
  • Custom cancelation flows
  • Analytics and reports
  • Access to a robust API


  • $49.99/month + 1% transaction fee

Rebillia is an enterprise subscription management platform for BigCommerce. It allows you to set up automated recurring orders and payments, and securely check out and save subscribers’ payment details, while remaining completely under-the-radar as a fully embedded integration.

Key features:

  • Subscription and membership functionality
  • PCI-DSS Level 1 Service Provider
  • GDPR compliance
  • Compatible with BigCommerce Multi Storefront
  • API access


  • Rebillia’s pricing is not publicly available. Potential users need to get in touch for a custom quote.

PayWhirl Subscriptions is a recurring payment processing app for BigCommerce built on cloud-based, scalable infrastructure. The app makes it easy to create and manage different products and payment plans, send invoices, and allow customers to manage their own subscriptions without any input from the merchant.

Key features:

  • Supports subscriptions, build-a-box products, pre-orders, and more
  • Secure customer area
  • Automated billing and dunning management
  • No coding required to set up
  • Embeddable widgets


  • Starter: $0/month + 3% transaction fee
  • Business Pro: $49/month + 2% transaction fee
  • Business Plus: $149/month + 1% transaction fee
  • Business Ultimate: $249/month + 0.5% transaction fee Subscriptions allows users to unlock the benefit of recurring revenue by helping them launch and manage unique subscription programs. Subscriptions can be enabled on all or some products, while automated workflows and churn management tools help maximize customer retention.

Key features:

  • Turnkey solution
  • Guided onboarding and setup
  • Flexible subscription models
  • Ongoing updates and feature development
  • Subscription analytics


  • Starting at $99/month + 1.25% transaction fee

That’s a wrap for our list of the best BigCommerce subscription apps on the market.

🔥 Pro tip
No matter what kind of subscription model you’re running, the right software is crucial to grow efficiently and manage your customer subscriptions effectively over time. While plugins are popular, you need to make sure you’re aware of the risks you’ll encounter that you wouldn’t with a unified, subscription-first solution.

Even if you don’t use BigCommerce, it’s the same for Shopify subscription apps, Magento subscription apps, Webflow recurring payments solutions, and WordPress subscription or membership plugins too!

Check out BigCommerce’s App Store yourself to have a look — but there’s nothing on the market yet that can match the feature set of Subbly’s all-in-one platform. Here’s what our customers have to say!

“Subbly really is built subscription first. Whereas you would need a lot of plugins and third-party apps to get started on other platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, on Subbly, it’s all built right in. It really ends up saving you money because you don’t have to pay for a lot of apps.” – Charmaine Merriweather, Founder of HUES Book Box

“I highly recommend you signup, because from subs, upsells, to email automations and reporting, there is no system out there that does it better than Subbly. Oh, and the customer service is the best I have ever experienced. Period.” – Alex Fleck, Founder of The Keeper Box

“I didn’t know I would want all these features until I got started – I wish I would have known as it would’ve been so much easier to start with Subbly or migrate sooner before my subscriber numbers got any higher.” — Karen Sidell, Founder of Tot’s Playtime Box

Try Subbly yourself today – the first 14 days are on us!

By Zaki Gulamani
Editor-In-Chief at Subbly