If you’re researching subscription platforms and tools, you’re probably aware of Recharge. The reason is simple: Recharge was built specifically for merchants who use Shopify.
A lot of people choose Recharge because it’s one of the first results that shows up on the Shopify app store, and doesn’t take long to install. So why are an increasing number of users looking for an alternative? Here’s what you should know before deciding between adding Recharge to a Shopify store and Subbly’s all-in-one solution.
First of all, let’s state the obvious: Subbly is built as an all-in-one platform with subscription at its core. In contrast, Recharge is an app that enables existing Shopify stores to sell subscriptions. This means that opting for Recharge means you’ll be tied into Shopify and everything that comes with it, driving the spotlight away from subscriptions and opening you up to some realities that could come back to haunt you in the future.
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Subbly is an all-in-one solution enabling merchants not just to build their websites, but to manage and grow their subscription businesses (PLUS offer one-time purchases), without the need for any additional software, for an affordable price.
This is in contrast to Recharge, which requires merchants to both pay for and use Shopify.
Subbly brings all that functionality under one roof, believing that subscription is not just a feature, but a distinct business model.
Why should your business sell one-time purchases primarily, and subscription as an “option”, when subscription revenue is more predictable, easier to forecast, and makes your business more valuable? The way we see it...
Previously, merchants would pay around half of what they'd pay for Recharge and Shopify with way more features available out-the-box. With the increasing price of Recharge, however, the difference continues to become starker and starker.
You don’t need any technical skills to get started with Subbly. Setup could take as little as a few minutes, or a few hours if you’ve got a particularly complex model. In any case, our industry-leading support team is always available to help, providing real-time, helpful, human advice.
Although app stores of the platforms that you can use Recharge with enable businesses to do just about anything, Subbly’s features are specifically built for subscription, with no third-party apps or plugins required.
For example, setting completely
standard Subbly features, unmatched even on Shopify.
We make it super easy to migrate your subscription business to Subbly.
This may seem counterintuitive for merchants who are currently used to relying on a mix of platforms and plugins to manage their business, although some functionality can be mimicked through our Zapier integration. However, our feature development roadmap is prioritized based on user feedback, with each new release replacing functions that would have initially required third-party apps.
We suggest checking out our
to keep up with the new features we've added.
In addition, it’s important to note that Subbly was originally designed for physical products and is currently not a natural solution for digital subscriptions or service models. Yet despite this, a growing number of digital subscription and service-based businesses have found success with Subbly anyway, and with this in mind we’re growing our capacity to support these models with new features every day.
Lastly, it’s true that Subbly does not currently have a purpose-built app for the likes of Shopify or BigCommerce. This is due to the fact that we’ve been passionate about building an all-in-one solution that wouldn’t rely on third-party integrations to keep things simple. A lack of any direct integration can be seen as a con, (especially in comparison with Recharge, which is a plugin and not an ecommerce platform itself) but there still is a way of integrating Subbly with other alternative commerce solutions. See
for more info.
Recharge is a good option for merchants who are looking for an instant fix to sell subscriptions without any coding and are happy to shoulder the additional cost.
It has all the basic features you need to get started, and works perfectly well for physical products or digital/membership/service-based products.
Through the established Recharge-Shopify integration, merchants can easily add a subscription option to any existing SKU in Shopify. Recharge’s database also syncs with Shopify to automatically update product availability based on inventory levels.
The complexity may not be obvious in the short term, but can become apparent as your business starts scaling – alongside the additional cost. Any merchant seriously considering Recharge (as a subscription app for Shopify) should note the following:
Needless to say, the combination of features which you would get out-the-box on Subbly will often require a full stack of third-party plugins and add-ons, which will not be as reliable as one single platform.
In a sense, you can think of Subbly as both Shopify and Recharge combined (for a smaller price tag).
Recharge offers a tight integration with Shopify, but is much more expensive than Subbly which has many more relevant out-of-the box features in lower pricing plans.