Welcome to a battle between two eCommerce solutions made specifically for businesses selling physical products through a subscription model. Subbly and Bold are perhaps the best at putting control in the hands of merchants and their end customers.
Both Subbly and Bold offer a variety of different features making it possible for you to create the business that you imagined in the first place. But... they are still different, especially when it comes to price and complexity.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that Subbly is a full-featured, standalone eCommerce platform, whereas Bold is a subscription plugin that can be integrated with other platforms.
Subscription-first™ businesses deserve a subscription-first™ platform
Get the help you need from our excellent support staff.
Automate marketing, management and operations with no code using complex business models.
Collect information from your customers, and even allow them to pick their products and configure their subscription.
Since 2014, Subbly has only had one goal: to become the #1 solution for building a subscription business. While other platforms have tried to solve this problem through integrating with larger, more established eCommerce players, anyone can bring their idea to life with Subbly alone - without the need for (or cost of) any other platform, and without writing a single line of code (although Subbly has integrations too - click here for more info)
With Subbly, you don’t need to be a designer or a coder, or hire freelancers to help you get set up - a simple and complete solution is only a few clicks away for a fraction of the price.
Last but not least, Subbly’s customer support is second to none. We take great pride in our hands-on approach to store set up and provide ongoing education around Subbly’s features that helps you build a better subscription business. Don’t just take our word for it, read what our customers have to say HERE!
Subbly - is a team of real people who have been with us from the very beginning [...]
Being a standalone eCommerce solution, Subbly doesn’t integrate seamlessly into other eCommerce platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce. This means that if you’re already using either of these and simply want to add subscription options as a feature, Subbly may not be a perfect fit, although integrating Subbly with Shopify is still possible.
The all-in-one solution also means Subbly is only integrated with a handful of payment processors. Although this isn’t a problem for many merchants who use (or are willing to use) Stripe, some merchants may want to use specific gateways, or offer their customers different payment options such as ACH. We are constantly expanding our payment integrations to ensure every business owner is able to use the payment gateways they want.
Lastly, Subbly’s features were not originally developed for membership-based businesses, such as gyms or premium content providers, although it is entirely possible (and there are many examples). The good news is that Subbly will be expanding to include digital membership features in 2022.
Bold Commerce is known as one of the most frequently used solutions for anyone already running a Shopify eCommerce store, with Bold Subscriptions a natural option for customers wanting to sell subscription products. Integrating Bold Subscriptions with your Shopify store enables you to offer all of your products on a recurring basis - with no coding skills required.
Bold doesn’t just integrate with Shopify - they also integrate with BigCommerce and offer a public API for tech-savvy entrepreneurs looking to build their own solutions. Speaking of integrations, Bold works with 20+ payment processors, giving merchants and customers plenty of options.
The list of in-house developed apps and integrations Bold has to offer is quite extensive. Outside of the rather simple Bold Subscriptions app, you can also install other apps to obtain further functionalities necessary for growing and managing your business.
Last but not least, the Bold team takes great pride in their exceptional customer service, which is available 24/7.
The primary drawback of using Bold is that they do not offer a complete solution for someone starting from scratch. If you’re still in the idea stage or you’re an existing business without a website and online subscription store, you may not want to choose Bold. If you do decide to use Bold, you will have to first build your website using another platform, then install Bold Subscription as well as other apps, complicating your setup.
Bold, being only a plugin itself, can lead to "plugin soup" which can ultimately increase the cost and lead to many different failure points due to the amount of separate services involved.
Because using Bold requires you to also use other platforms, it’s more complicated and more expensive, even for the most basic tier. A growing (or large) business will likely require more paid apps and integrations, and thus more expensive plans. While it may not sound like much to begin with, it can run up quickly over time as your business grows and gets more complex. This also doesn’t include Bold's flat 1% transaction fee, as well as the varying processor transaction fees.
Starting to sound expensive? Your monthly price using Bold can easily skyrocket, while Subbly includes all these features and more all in one fee.
Subbly and Bold offer merchants the most amount of flexibility and customization when starting, running, and managing a subscription business.
The main difference is that Subbly is an all-in-one solution which offers a more complete set of features for much less, while still allowing integrations if desired. Bold, on the other hand, is a tool that integrates with established eCommerce partners like Shopify and BigCommerce, forcing you to buy and use multiple platforms.
The final choice really depends on a couple of factors: price point, ease of use and setup, depth of available integrations, and your use case.
Don’t take our word for it. Check other users' experiences with Subbly HERE, and with Bold HERE.