Subbly vs. Shopify

This visual comparison gives a good overview of where Subbly and Shopify stand in relation to each other. Explore Subbly for free and experience the difference yourself, or keep reading for the full breakdown.
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On this page, we’re pitting Subbly against one of the grandfathers of the ecommerce world, the Goliath to Subbly’s David — Shopify. As one of the earliest entrants to the ecommerce game, Shopify has definitely had a head start, at least in terms of time, but there’s one thing that it does fundamentally differently from Subbly, which is what we’re about to explore.
 
Both platforms, of course, enable you to create a fully-functioning subscription business, whether you want to create a digital membership or a subscription box, but their approaches to this are the polar opposites of each other.

That one fundamental difference is their approach to plugins: while Subbly is an all-in-one subscription-first commerce platform that can do everything from website design, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement without the need for plugins, Shopify’s plugin-heavy ecosystem means you may be in for a more complex, more expensive ride.
 
Look at the diagram above again. For Shopify to improve its performance in any of the areas where it scores weakly, a third-party plugin is almost always required

Subbly vs. Shopify

A subscription-first business deserves a subscription-first™ platform

Ready to say goodbye
to Plugin Soup?

Pros

Customizable checkouts & subscriptions

Collect information from your customers, allow them to pick their products, and even to customize their subscriptions

Automate your
business

Automate marketing, management and operations, and run complex business models with no code

World-class human
support, available 24/7

Get the help you need from our excellent support team

From day one, Subbly’s main goal has been to become the world’s leading platform for entrepreneurs looking to enter the subscription game.

While people have been doing this for decades before, hacking together other platforms, plugins, and third-party systems, Subbly was the only one to enable entrepreneurs to do everything all in one place.
 
Not only does Subbly not require the use of third-party platforms, it also doesn’t require any coding to use. This means that you can get your subscription business up and running in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost without a hint of technical knowledge. That being said, if you do want to integrate third-party apps, it’s certainly possible.
 
Finally, Subbly’s customer’s world-class support team sets them apart from lots of the other major players in the space, offering 24/7 advice and guidance to help you in the rare event that things get a bit complex.

Here's what our customers think:

"It was easy to migrate to Subbly from a WordPress site, powered by Shopify and Bold, and it’s been great so far — our MRR is already up 13%. I’m also grateful to the team for helping me with the process — I had always heard that Subbly has the best help center and they were right."
Jill Lodato
Founder, Kids Baking Club

Ready to switch?

We make it super easy to migrate your subscription business to Subbly.

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Cons

Although its all-in-one nature has lots of benefits, it is worth noting that Subbly can’t integrate with every single other platform out there — although it does integrate with Shopify, should you desire to do so. On the whole though, this means that anyone wanting to use Subbly to simply add subscription features to their existing tech stack should make sure to ensure compatibility first.

This holds true for Subbly’s compatibility with payment gateways, too, which aren’t as numerous as those supported by Shopify. However, this number is set to increase over the years to come, in line with requests from the thousands of users who rely on Subbly to run their subscription businesses.

Finally, as Subbly’s core purpose is to run subscription businesses (not that it’s impossible to sell one-time products or integrate other kinds of business models), it is a more focused product than Shopify, which can be adapted to a wide variety of use cases going beyond subscription and transactional business models.

Pros

If you’ve heard of ecommerce, you’ve heard of Shopify, and for good reason too. Founded in 2006, Shopify is almost as old as ecommerce itself, and has definitely withstood the test of time, attracting millions of users over the years who see it as the standard choice for any ecommerce venture, regardless of the alternatives.

Integrating with other popular platforms and plugin ecosystems like Bold and BigCommerce — on top of a point-of-sale (POS) system for retail establishments — Shopify’s users aren’t spoiled for choice when it comes to options, even if subscriptions aren’t a standard feature.

Its age also lends itself well to another advantage — a huge amount of educational content that’s been created over the years, that enables new owners to get started quickly, or at least be sure they’re headed in the right direction. YouTube tutorials and online guides aren’t as personal as Subbly’s 24/7 human support team, but they’re definitely a useful way to get started with ecommerce.

Cons

However, while Shopify is known for the scale of what it can do — and its associated ecosystem of plugins/POS systems — this can also be a disadvantage from time to time.

Indeed, there is definitely something to be said about too much choice, when you know what you want from the beginning and don’t need to explore so many options at the initial stage. It’s not just about this complexity either, it’s also about Plugin Soup.

While Shopify has some nifty features out-of-the-box, expanding its capabilities is largely based on the time, effort, and patience you have for third-party plugins, which can easily become problematic when haphazardly thrown together over time. While an all-in-one platform evolves all its features concurrently, a plugin ecosystem-based system with a core platform (like Shopify) opens up the door to creating an unstable foundation for the long term.

TL;DR

Both Subbly and Shopify offer a huge amount of flexibility and customization options, catering for new entrepreneurs and serial founders alike.

As we said: the core difference is that Subbly is an all-in-one platform that doesn’t need any plugins or third-party integrations to ensure functionality for subscription business users, while Shopify offers a smaller set of core features, but a huge library of plugins which can be an advantage for the most hardcore of power users.

However, the choice is up to you! Check other users’ experiences with Subbly 

here

, and with Shopify 

here!

Which to choose?

If you want an all-in-one solution to run your subscription business without the use of third-party software.
If access to 24/7 human customer support is a major deal for you.
If you’re happy to wait for additional functionality, assured that it’ll be stable and fully integrated when it launches.
If you’re not 100% sure you want to start a subscription-first business and are open to other options.
If you’re a real power user that’s okay with the idea of Plugin Soup.
If you’re looking for something with POS functionality.

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