setup WooCommerce subscription

Offering subscription based products and services on your eCommerce store leverages you to transform your one time visitors into lifetime customers. You can setup WooCommerce subscription for getting recurring bills, maintaining consistent cash flow, profit forecasting, customer satisfaction, increasing churn rate, etc.

WooCommerce doesn’t provide the functionality of enabling recurring payments by default. This is where a WooCommerce subscription comes into play.

Today, the Subscription business model is booming. According to 70% of business leaders, subscription business models will be key to their prospects in the upcoming years.

Tein Tzou (Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Zuora) has mentioned this in his book…

“Subscriptions are the only business model that is entirely based on the happiness of your customers. Think about it—when your customers are happy, then they’re using more of your service, and telling their friends, and you’re growing.”

“According to a report by Zion Market Group, the global subscription and billing management market was valued at USD 3.8 billion in 2018. It is expected to reach USD 10.5 billion by 2025, at a rate of 15.5% between 2019 and 2025.”

If you are subscription based products and services provider, then it becomes significant that you must have an efficient plugin on your WooCommerce store which can make your business path easier and smoother.

In this blog, we will discuss how you can easily setup WooCommerce subscription on your store with the help of extension- Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro. Also, we will briefly go through with setting it up, its extensive features, and much more!

So, let us dive in!

Are You Confused About Setting up an Online Store With WooCommerce?

Read about the necessities you may require while building your online store with WooCommerce….

Table of Contents

Let’s get on with it.

Why Should You Setup Subscriptions on Your WooCommerce Store?

It is important to setup WooCommerce subscription. Let us see why?

Subscription business models have been implemented by the sellers of tangible products and virtual goods alike.

But it is slightly difficult in the case of tangible products. Due to their dependency on physical distribution. It has been severely affected by the pandemic.

No such hurdle comes for the digital distribution of goods and services. You can provide a seamless experience to your customers easily.

By providing quality content and maintaining high level services, they have created such huge subscriber bases. These millions of loyal subscribers keep on paying monthly. This monthly recurring revenue keeps the business running.

The same goes for SaaS businesses. They too rely on subscription models for the sale of their software programs. The subscription model lowers customer acquisition costs and increases customer retention. In fact, the subscription economy has grown more than 350% over the last 7.5 years.

Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro Plugin

Setup WooCommerce subscription on your store with the help of the Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin. Offer simple as well as variable subscription options and sell both physical and digital products on your eCommerce store.

woocommerce subscription

Manage your customer’s subscription plan efficiently and get recurring revenue. Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro come with extensive features convenient for both admins and customers.

  • Create WooCommerce Variable Subscription Product
  • Offer Free Trial and Set Recurring Frequency on Subscription Based Products and Services to Your Customers
  • WooCommerce Payment Gateway Compatible
  • Allow Customers to Select Subscriptions Expiry Date
  • One Time Subscription
  • Accept Manual Payments
  • Automatic Retrying for Failed Payments
  • Set Number of Failed Attempts for WooCommerce Recurring Payments
  • Automated WooCommerce Subscription Cancellation
  • Offer Subscriptions Coupons
  • Handle WooCommerce Subscriptions Proration
  • Pause WooCommerce Subscription Plans
  • Get Entire Subscriptions Plan Information
  • Customers Can Cancel Subscriptions
  • Notifications and Reminders Emails for Subscription Related Actions
  • API of Course for Details on Mobile App
  • Offer Multiple Quantities on Subscriptions
  • Enable Logs
  • Active WooCommerce Subscription Export Function
  • Configure More WooCommerce Subscription Services
  • WooCommerce Upgrade Subscriptions/Downgrade Plans
  • Enable/Disable Subscriptions
  • Subscriptions Start Date and Expiration Date by User or Admin
  • Change Button Text- Place Order Text, Add To Cart Text

And Much More!

You can also checkout this video to get detailed information about how you can create your own subscription website with the help of this plugin.

In this manner, you can provide subscription plans in a flexible manner to your customers and setup WooCommerce Subscription with this plugin.

I understand if you are skeptical because our plugin promises a lot. We have a free version called Subscriptions for WooCommerce plugin that you can use to take the test run.

Dear readers, now we are on the technical part of this article. Here, you will learn the ways to create subscription products and services for your store.

How to Setup WooCommerce Subscription on Your Store?

You may revolve around WooCommerce Subscriptions! Setup WooCommerce subscription very easily with the Subscriptions for the WooCommerce Pro plugin. This eCommerce plugin is available in both free and paid versions. Make sure to follow each step carefully. So, let us understand from the basics.

Note: Subscriptions for the WooCommerce Pro plugin will only function, if you have installed the Subscription for WooCommerce plugin.

Get the Setup File of Our Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro Plugin


Automatic installation is the easiest option as WordPress handles the file transfers itself. To get your purchased plugin, follow these steps:

  1. After completing your plugin purchase, Go to My Account.
  2. From My Account, Go to the “Download” section. [Here, you can easily find all your purchased WP Swings plugins]
  3. Click on the “Download” button present across your purchased plugin to download it.
  4. Now, Login to your WordPress Dashboard.
  5. From the sidebar, click on Plugins.
  6. Click on Add New.
  7. Click the Choose File button. Choose your downloaded plugin’s .zip file. Then, click on Install.
  8. Now, click on the Activate button.
  9. You’re all set to use the Subscriptions for the WooCommerce plugin.

Go to the General Settings and click on the Enable Subscriptions checkbox. In order to create simple and variable subscription products.

Now, you are ready to use the plugin and setup WooCommerce Subscription. Let’s explore and configure various settings of Subscriptions for WooCommerce Plugin.

1. Enabling WooCommerce Subscriptions

Are you still thinking- How to add a subscription product in WooCommerce?

If you are going to create a simple subscription product, first you need Enable Subscriptions from General Settings of the Subscriptions for WooCommerce plugin.

For doing so, follow the steps given below:

  • Go to Plugins > Installed Plugins > Subscriptions for WooCommerce > General Settings
  • From General Settings- “Enable/Disable Subscription.”
  • Finally, check the box. Then, Save Settings.

Now, you can begin creating your subscription product.

2. Easily Create Simple Subscription Products

Now you may be thinking- How to create a subscription product in WooCommerce?

So, let us understand it.

It doesn’t matter which plugin you use. The process of creating a subscription product is manual. We can make it easier. Here’s how:

  • Go to “Products” and click on “Add New”.
  • Enter the product name. Select “Simple Subscription” from the product data drop-down list.

setup simple subscription product

You can set the subscription price of your product and its payment cycle. For example, if my subscription product is green tea. Then, I can set a monthly subscription period for 10 dollars.

You can set the “Expiry Date” on your subscription and decide its signup fees.

setup subscription expiry

Offer a free trial period for subscription products. Trial periods are common for virtual products like software programs, plugins, etc. Also, you can set free trial frequency for days, months, weeks, or years at your convenience.

Add a product image by clicking on the “Set Product Image”. After setting up the product image, click on “Publish” to post your subscription product.

3. Effective Management of Subscription Plans

Simple product subscription creation is easier as compared to its management and marketing. Our subscription plugin takes care of the former. So, you can focus on the latter. Subscriptions for WooCommerce plugin provides a Subscription Table tab to monitor the subscription plans.

subscription details

The table presents the following information:

  • Order
  • Subscription Status (active, canceled, or expired)
  • Subscription Product Name
  • Recurring Amount
  • User Name
  • Next Recurring Payment Date

Here, you can view and download active subscriptions plans. Search any subscription plan in the Search Bar through Subscription ID as well as Parent Order ID. Delete or cancel subscription plans. View subscription renewal orders.

4. Allowing Effortless Subscription Cancellation

As a store owner, I’m sure you would love your customers to keep renewing their subscriptions. But customers don’t share the same sentiment.

They may come across cheaper subscription providers and don’t have the money to sustain their subscription plans. There may be several reasons for their cancellation.

Follow these steps to enable subscription cancellation:

  • Go to Dashboard>WP Swings>Subscriptions for WooCommerce>General Settings>Allow Customers to Cancel Subscription.
  • Select the checkbox- ‘Allow Customers To Cancel Subscriptions’.

cancel subscription

With this plugin, customers can easily cancel their subscription plans whenever they want.

5. Customize Add to Cart Button and Place Order Text

You can edit and update the “Add-to-Cart” button text according to your choice. Place Order text can also be customized.

6. Create Variable Subscription Products

Variable subscription products are a bit complicated to create. There can be multiple variations of a product. Based on attributes such as color, height, weight, etc. So, let’s see how to setup variable subscription products:

  • Go to Products>Add New.
  • Select Variable Product from the Product Data.
  • Go to Attributes and click “Add” to add new attributes.


  • After updating the Attributes, go to Variations.
  • Click on the “Add variation” drop-down. Select “create from all attributes” and click Add.
  • Click on the menu button to change subscription settings for variable products.
  • Tick the subscription checkbox for enabling subscriptions on variable products. The variable products will now be available for subscriptions. In this manner, you can create WooCommerce variable subscription.


You can enter several important details about your variable product subscription. Such as sales price, subscription expiry interval, free trial interval, subscriptions per interval, and much more.

The best thing is that you can configure different subscription settings for different variations.

7. Flexible and Fair Subscription Pricing

The biggest concern your users have is not getting a fair subscription rate on subscribing to a product on an irregular billing period. Being fair to your customers will earn you their respect and loyalty.

Keeping this in mind, we have provided prorated billing for variable product subscriptions in our plugin.

There are three options for proration:

  • Charge Prorated Amount for Subscription
  • Do Not Charge Prorated Amount
  • Charge Prorated Amount for Subscription Even Free Trial

So, these are the ways to setup WooCommerce Subscription through the Subscriptions for WooCommerce plugin. In order to expand your subscription business and provide value to your customers.

Hey! Are you Looking to Selling Subscriptions Online on Your WooCommerce Store?

Know the benefits of selling WooCommerce subscriptions, step by step process that you must follow for it, and much more!

Advanced Features of Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro Plugin

We have cleared our basics till now. Now, it’s time to scale up.

Easily setup WooCommerce subscription with Subscriptions for the WooCommerce Pro plugin. It has the best features that offer several benefits over the average WooCommerce subscription plugins.

One Time Subscription

With the help of the Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin, the admin can enable subscription prices for the one time purchase of simple as well as variable products. They are free to choose the price according to their choice for the one-time purchase of subscription products.

one time subscription

Subscription Renewal Order Refund

The customer’s renewal order will be refunded via the payment method they have used to place their renewal WooCommerce orders.

For instance, if a customer has used a WooCommerce Eway Gateway method to place its renewal order. In such a case, the order will be refunded through WooCommerce Eway Gateway method.

Advanced settings introduce the features that will drive your subscription plan to the next level.

renewal order refund

1.  Allow Customers to Select Subscription Expiry Date

Our plugin provides customer-centric subscriptions. Using the advanced setting, you can allow your customers to select the expiry date of their selected subscriptions. For this, admin can provide expiry interval date options of weeks, months, and years.

2. Enable Automatic Retry Subscription on Failed Attempts

If any subscription renewal order fails due to some error then it will automatically retry for a certain time. Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin enables the admin to set automatic retrials for their subscription payments.

3. Allow Number of Failed Subscription Payment Attempts

You can decide how many failed subscription renewal attempts are allowed. After the attempts are exhausted, the subscription will be canceled.

4. Allow Customers to Pause Subscriptions

As a merchant, you have to provide absolute flexibility to customers. Be empathic towards their issues.

Customers might not be able to always continue their subscriptions. For reasons, you might never know. In this situation, outright dismissing them is rude and harmful to your business.

With the Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin, you can allow your customers to pause their subscriptions for a certain period.

5. Let Customers Restart Their Subscriptions

You can also allow your customers/subscribers to restart their subscriptions whenever they want. This adds another level of convenience to your subscription model.

6. Manual Payment for Subscriptions

Additionally, you can provide customers with a manual payment option for subscriptions. Send the payment link via email to accept manual payments from customers.

7. Subscription Expiry Reminder email

It’s common to forget passwords, important dates, and subscription renewals. So, we rely on reminders to jog the memory.

With WooCommerce subscriptions, you can send an email to remind your customers about the expiration of their subscriptions.

8. Schedule Subscription Expiry email

As a WooCommerce store owner, you will have control over your subscription models. You can set the number of days after which the reminder email for subscription expiry will be sent to subscribers/customers.

9. Upgrade/Downgrade Variable Subscriptions

Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin offers the option of upgrading or downgrading subscriptions. So that they can easily manage their subscription plans.

Hence, customers will be able to upgrade and downgrade their variable subscription plans.

Also, the admin can stop customers from downgrading their subscription plans.

10. Upgrade/Downgrade Button Customization

Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin offers a small customization option for the upgrade/downgrade button. It allows you to customize the button text.

11. Accept Prorate Sign-up Fee on Upgrade/Downgrade Variable Subscription

Variable subscription signup on a non-standard billing period can create problems for fair pricing. But, Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin accepts prorate billing for variable products subscriptions. It charges on the fair billing amount.

12. Accept Prorate Price on Upgrade/Downgrade Variable Subscription

Accept prorate price when your subscribers/customers upgrade or downgrade the variable subscription plans.

13. Start Subscription From the Certain Date of the Month

Flexible subscription settings are good for you and your customers. Additionally, you can allow your customers to select the subscription plan start date.

14. Prorate Amount for Certain Date of Month Subscription

The proration is applied to allow customers to pay for their subscriptions. Based on the period of use and duration of their subscription. Using our plugin, you can apply the following three types of proration to your subscription plans:

A. Charge Prorated Amount for Subscription

The purpose of this option is to prorate the initial payment. If the start of the subscription plan and payment submission day is separated by several days. Then, you can accept or reject payment for the remaining days.

B. Do Not Charge Prorated Amount

Customers will not be charged a prorated amount if this option is selected. You will not be allowed to accept payments for the subscription plan remaining days.

C. Charge Prorated Amount for Subscription Even Free Trial

The subscription plan will be charged at a prorated rate if you choose this option. It will also cover the cost of the free trial.

15. Allow Customers to Add Multiple Subscriptions to Cart

According to a report by Deloitte, the average US household has nine paid subscriptions spread across videos, music, and gaming. So, it’s clear that people opt for more than one subscription.

With the help of this plugin, admin can allow customers to add multiple subscriptions to their cart. In this manner, you can increase the recurring revenue even more. It will help you to maximize your profit.

16. Allow Shipping Cost on Subscription Products

You can impose a tax on physical products subscriptions and services. Such as subscriptions boxes for wines, soaps, tools, etc.

17. Sell Subscriptions Coupons

Using our plugin, generate unique WooCommerce subscription coupons for subscription-based items. They are valid on all WooCommerce subscription products. There are four types of discount coupons:

A. Initial Sign up Fee Discount

This type of coupon is only valid for those WooCommerce subscription products that include a signup fee.

B. Initial Sign up Fee Percentage Discount

You can provide percentage discounts to customers on the WooCommerce subscription sign-up fees.

C. Recurring And Subscription Product Discount

This discount coupon provides a fixed discount for both subscription products and renewal orders.

D. Recurring And Product Percent Discount

Customers can redeem this coupon to get a percentage discount for both subscription products and renewal orders.

18. WooCommerce Subscriptions Table

Subscription products and services require effective monitoring. Our plugin maintains the record of all existing subscriptions plans details in a tabular format. You can oversee the following details:

  • Order
  • Status of the subscription (active, canceled, or expired)
  • Subscription-based product name
  • Recurring amount
  • User name
  • Next recurring payment date.

Now, it doesn’t just simply monitor the details. It also allows you to make the following changes:

A. Delete or Cancel Subscription Plans

Hover over the subscriptions plan and a cancel option will appear. Click on it to cancel the subscription plan.

B. Filter the Subscriptions Table

The long lists are usually hard to sort. We have put the feature to filter the subscriptions table by order id from the search bar.

C. Export Active Subscription Plans

Export all active subscription plan details in a CSV file (Subscription ID, Parent Order ID, Status, Product Name, Recurring Amount, User Name, Next Payment Date, Subscription Expiry Date).

D. View Subscriptions Renewal Order

Order renewal ensures recurring payment for your subscriptions. You can see all recurring orders for any subscription.

So, these are the amazing features of Subscriptions for WooCommerce plugin. There are several more that I didn’t mention here. You can read the full feature list in the section below. Compare the freemium and premium versions of our WooCommerce subscription plugin.

19. Ability To Take Renewal Subscription Payment From Certain Date

Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin enables eCommerce store owners to take the renewal payments on a specific date. In this manner, subscription payments will be automatically deducted on this day after every subscription interval.

20. Send Recurring Payment Reminders

Send emails to your customers to inform them that you are going to deduct the payment.

21. Offer Subscriptions Membership

Store owners will be able to sell subscription products and services through membership subscriptions.

Hence, Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro offers extraordinary functionalities which helps you to setup WooCommerce Subscription.

Get the 360 degree Concept of Subscription Model and Membership Model!

Read about their advantages, factors you should consider while choosing the business model, etc.

Comparison Between Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro and WooCommerce Subscriptions

Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro

WooCommerce Subscriptions

With our Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin, admin can create exclusive coupons for their customers so that they can avail discounts. Such coupons may be signup coupons, recurring coupons with fixed or percentage value. WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin does not possess such a subscriptions coupon feature.
You don’t have to buy a separate add-on for getting a one-time subscriptions feature. For getting a one-time subscriptions feature, you will have to use a separate add-on for it.
For leveraging the benefits of this plugin, you will have to purchase it at one time. You have to pay yearly charges, for leveraging the benefits of WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.
Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro plugin costs $99. WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin costs $199.

WooCommerce Subscriptions Free Vs Pro

Let’s compare both the plugins- Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro and Subscription for WooCommerce. So that we can have better understanding. The latter is free and can be downloaded from WP Swings’s profile.

woocommerce subscriptions free vs pro

Obviously, the paid version offers more features. But the usability gained from going pro will revolutionize your subscription business. It is worth spending every time.

The Subscriptions industry has gone through tremendous growth in recent years. From startups to established- everyone is adopting the subscription model!

According to McKinsey & Company, the subscription eCommerce market has sped up more than 100% a year over the past few years.

If you precisely analyze, then you will be able to clearly view how the subscription model is accelerating. Spotify has become a giant music listening platform and replaced CD selves. Established brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron, Stitch Fix, and Walmart are providing subscription based services.

Several factors have led to the growth of subscription industries. Such as- technology advancement infrastructure, increase in the number of eCommerce businesses, influencer endorsements, and celebrity influence.

Some Insights

  • People are buying products and services online through subscriptions. They are attracted to it because subscription fees are more accessible than a big one-time expense. For instance- people are subscribing to online media services such as Netflix at a very high rate.

According to INSIDER INTELLIGENCE, there will be 617.4 million Netflix viewers worldwide, making up 7.9% of the total population.

netflix viewers

  • If we specifically talk about the gender ratio, the male shoppers are more likely to have three or more active subscriptions compared to women.

subscriptions data

  • There are three types of subscription model- Replenishment Subscriptions, Curation Subscriptions, and Access Subscriptions.
eCommerce subscription model

Source: Chargebee

Replenishment Subscriptions enable consumers to automate the purchase of goods items so that their time will not be wasted. The products need to be replaced such as razors, contact lenses etc. Curation Subscriptions tend to delight and surprise consumers by providing tailored experiences in categories such as beauty, food, etc. Access Subscriptions mainly focus on providing extra perks or lower prices to subscribers. Access subscribers have to pay monthly fees in order to get lower-prices or members-only perks, on categories like wine and apparel.

The image shows McKinsey analysis for various subscriptions:

replenishment subscriptions

Curation Subscriptions which accounts for 55% subscriptions of total subscriptions clearly shows that they are most desired by consumers.

  • Amongst the popular eCommerce subscriptions offerings, Amazon Subscribe & Save and Sephora Play are on the top. Many services charge low fees whereas many have higher fees structure that’s why they generate large revenues even with a small customer base.

eCommerce subscriptions

Examples of Successful Subscription-Based Businesses

birchbox: birchbox sells beauty products. Such as makeup, skincare, hair products, etc. in subscription boxes. They offer tangible products as a part of their subscription programs. They have monthly and yearly subscription plans.

successful subscription based businesses

Dollar Shave Club: This brand has been so successful. You will find tons of case studies on it. Dollar Shave Club made a mark in time through its subscription-based business model. Its customer-centric service resulted in high recurring revenue.

subscription based business

Cratejoy: Cratejoy collects all the subscription box companies in the market and obtains a commission from referral sales.

subscription box

Handy: Handy is an online two-sided marketplace that provides home-maintenance services, residential cleaning, etc. It has also partnered with Walmart. Walmart customers can add Handy’s installation services at checkout.


Fitbit: Fitbit is a consumer fitness and electronics company. It offers physical fitness monitors, wireless-enabled wearable devices, and activity trackers.

physical product

Fitbit Premium is a subscription service that provides coaching, guidance, and goals to its paid users for $79.99 per month.

So, these are some of the most famous subscriptions products. Notice that these products are used daily. Similarly, you can also create and setup WooCommerce subscription for common products. In order to build your subscriptions business.

Final Words

A successful subscription model ensures recurring revenue and generates huge amounts of profit. The recurring revenue generation makes the financial growth predictable. It helps you scale your business.

I have explained how to setup WooCommerce subscription through the Subscriptions for WooCommerce Pro Plugin. Additionally, the free version is also available to download.

In this article, I have also shown you how to create a simple product and variable subscription product. Follow these steps and enhance your subscription business.

Check out our blogs if you want to learn more about the best eCommerce practices.

About the Author: Shivangi Agnihotri

A content writer passionate of writing technical posts and expertized in converting thoughts into words. She is always keen to learn and grow.
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