What are WooCommerce Subscriptions and how to use them

WooCommerce subscriptions is a subscription-based model that allows to you provide subscriptions for a variety of things, be it physical products, services or even virtual goods. It focuses on repeat customers and this gives you a lot or recurring payments because the billing is done automatically. This enables you to earn more residual revenue that you can rely on.

How to use the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin

There is a great article, a long-form and Ultimate Guide on how to set up WooCommerce subscriptions, and various other options you can use, on the CollectiveRay website – but here we will summarize all of this, to show you all of the features and benefits you can get by implementing WooCommerce Subscriptions.

WooCommerce Subscriptions

In terms of setting up Subscriptions, you will need to have a subscription-based business, which can easily be set up using a free WordPress theme plus WooCommerce plugin. You will also need to open a couple of payment accounts that are compatible Subscriptions such as PayPal and Amazon pay.

In terms of using this automated subscription model profitably, you will need to focus on providing quality products or services. Subscriptions are meant to augment your subscription-based business by helping you collect recurrent payments. It leaves you with the task of focusing on the clients so that you retain them for as long as possible. This means that you must focus on providing quality goods or services while also taking in customer input so as to tailor these solutions for a more permanent client-provider relationship.

WooCommerce subscriptions features

This model contains a number of useful features that include:

1. Free trials

Nothing excites a customer more than the mention of the word “free”. Subscriptions enable you to provide free access to your services for a certain amount of time, or days, before billing the client. This feature might possibly help you attract new customers as they try out the quality of your products and/or services for the specified time.

2. Variable subscriptions

You can create different subscription packages, based on something like the quantity of the product or features of the service you provide, giving you and your clients flexibility. It can even allow clients to set up customized billing schedules, giving them more flexibility when they subscribe.

3. Subscription management

On your back end as the store manager, subscriptions give you a fully featured management portal that lets you change trial periods, cancel subscriptions, add items to the subscription package as well as increase subscription fees among many other things. This lets you manage the business as well as its income levels with ease.

4. Multiple subscriptions

The model also allows your customers to purchase different subscription services or products in the same transaction. This groups them together, enabling the customers to save some money as a result of reduced payment fees for the current and future renewals.

5. Subscription discounts

Discounts are a good way of appreciating your loyal customers. Subscriptions enable you to provide monthly discounts to such customers so as to maintain a healthy relationship with them.

6. Customer emailing

It is important to keep customers in the loop regarding anything you do, especially with their money. Subscriptions have a customer emailing feature that automatically notifies your customers whenever a renewal payment is successfully processed, the subscription is canceled or when it has expired.

What can it be used for?

This model can be used in a wide variety of businesses such as:

  1. An online training company or webinar that provides training services. Subscriptions can be used to provide trial periods for training (for instance 5 days), after which the clients will be charged automatically to access more hours of training.
  2. Online journals or newspapers that deliver the content daily or weekly, with automatic monthly billings on the clients.
  3. Storefronts that ship products such as coffee at fixed time periods to regular customers could use this model to collect the recurring payments. Recurring services such as web hosting can also use this because it helps them focus on improving their services as opposed to revenue collection.

These are just a few examples that show how WooCommerce subscriptions can be used. The good thing is that this model is very compatible with WooCommerce and all these examples can be created using the WooCommerce plugin. This basically gives you unlimited potential towards the growth of your business.


Although WC subscriptions provides more than 20 payment gateways, it might limit the total number of payment plans and the total number of subscription per single cart. Also, when migrating your website, some subscriptions might not carry over correctly and this might lead to some revenue loss if not identified and rectified immediately.


WooCommerce subscriptions is a fully premium WordPress extension and for this reason, some online store owners might be a bit skeptical about paying for the product. However, with the guide and features shown above, the benefits of using the extension should be clear enough. It is a very powerful business tool to grow your revenue stream over the long term.

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