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The 11 Best Subscription Platforms in 2022

The 11 Best Subscription Platforms in 2022

Offering customers the option to subscribe for your eCommerce company’s products or services is easily one of the best ways to dramatically increase their lifetime value to your business.

It’s no exaggeration to say that turning customers into subscribers could be one of the best decisions you make for the future of your business.

But if you don’t empower that decision with the right subscription platform, you’re unlikely to see any results, much less the kinds of massive revenue you want.

So, let’s look at the 11 best subscription platforms on the market in 2022.

The Best 11 Subscription Billing Platforms for eCommerce Companies

The good news is that there have never been more subscription platforms to choose from than there are in 2022.

If you’re looking to add one to your eCommerce website, you won’t have to look very far.

Of course, you only want to select the best possible subscription platform for you site, so let’s take a look at 11 that are in the running for that title.

1. Dominate: The Best Subscription Billing Platform (and It’s Free)

Let’s start with our personal favorite: Dominate.

We’re extremely proud of our entry into this crowded market and, so far, it looks like adding a subscription platform to our selection of eCommerce solutions was the right move.

Our subscription billing platform offers you the ability to boost your revenue with a user-friendly sign-up process that makes it easy for customers to become subscribers. This all leads to lower cart abandonment and better returns overall, but the benefits don’t stop there.

Our company partners with IWD Agency (a premier eCommerce marketing and development agency), Adobe, and PayPal, so a wealth of experience goes into creating our products.

The Dominate subscription platform was no exception.

Pros of Using the Dominate Subscription Platform

Let’s take a look at the features that have made our subscription platform so popular in such a short period of time.

Dominate Works with Any eCommerce Platform

With the ability to seamlessly integrate the subscription billing software into various eCommerce platforms, it’s as easy to use as it is robust.

Currently, this list of eCommerce platforms includes:

So, no matter what your eCommerce site is built on, you can use the best subscription platform on the market.

As a business that charges customers through recurring billing, you want to make it easy for them to subscribe and, well, do business with you. Dominate was designed with this kind of ease-of-use in mind, so you don’t have to worry about customers dropping out before their subscription signup is complete.

Start Accepting Subscription Payments in Just Minutes

You can install the Dominate plugin in literally minutes to start growing new revenue ASAP.

There are no tricky configurations because, again, we designed it to work with the most popular eCommerce platforms on the planet. We took care of those tricky configurations already.

For the same reason, you don’t need coding experience to install this subscription plugin.

Adding it to your site to accept recurring payments ASAP couldn’t be easier.

Cloud-Based Updates and Maintenance

And that’s not the only way we made Dominate as user-friendly as possible.

Because our subscription platform is cloud-based, you won’t need to budget for ongoing maintenance, updates, or fixes.

We take care of all of that.

And we take care of it from the cloud.

So, not only do you not need to worry about investing any money into getting the most out of Dominate. You won’t have to invest any time into that, either.

Just install it and we’ll take care of the rest – forever.

Dominate’s Subscription Plans Are 100% Customizable

It’s not just easy to set up the Dominate subscription platform, it’s easy to completely customize your subscription plan with Dominate, too.

Once you’ve got it set up, simply choose from one of four pricing models that best suit your business:

  • Fixed pricing
  • Quantity pricing
  • Volume pricing
  • Tiered pricing

You can also decide how often you want to bill your customers:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Annually

You can even do biweekly or quarterly – or any other flexible option that works best for your business. And while many companies bill their customers indefinitely (or until they end the subscription), you can decide to end the billing cycle on a specific date.

In fact, you can even start and stop and then restart a customer’s subscription plan as you see fit.

These are just a few examples of how customizable Dominate is. You can add as many subscription levels as you want, wait to start subscription plans at future dates, and a whole lot more.

Manage Everything Through PayPal Commerce’s Dashboard

Finally, once you have subscription plans set up the way you want them, sit back and effortlessly manage all of your eCommerce store’s subscription plans from the same dashboard you already use for your business PayPal account.

All in all, Dominate offers a lot that other similar platforms don’t, at a price that’s literally impossible to beat (free!). However, because we’re dedicated to providing a fair overview, let’s walk you through 10 other popular subscription platforms.

2. Chargebee: The Best Choice for High-Growth Companies

Chargebee is a recurring billing and subscriptions management software that’s very much geared towards high-growth companies.

The platform enables businesses to streamline their billing process, automate recurring payments, and manage their subscription plans as most other platforms do.

However, where Chargebee is different is in the way that it integrates into your already-existing tech stack. The flexible nature of the software means that most high-growth businesses can often just plug Chargebee into their tech stack to expand without missing a beat.

Pros of Using Chargebee

As I just mentioned, Chargebee is a particularly attractive option for high-growth companies that are scaling quickly. The platform provides a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to set up and use for those newer to subscription billing software. 

It also offers a wide range of features that businesses can use to manage their subscriptions, such as managing users, setting up payment plans, and tracking subscription usage. 

In addition, Chargebee offers a number of integrations with popular business applications, such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, and Xero. This makes it easy for businesses to start using Chargebee in their existing workflow. 

And, for businesses interested in focusing on customer service, Chargebee does seem to offer a few perks. 

Their customization features allow you to do things like create customizable customer portals and scale your product catalog to offer a more personalized checkout experience.

However, the platform isn’t without its drawbacks.

Cons of Using Chargebee

Chargebee also has a few drawbacks that should be considered before signing up for an account.

First of all, Chargebee charges a monthly fee for its services. So, unlike Dominate, the platform isn’t free. This fee can add up over time, and it may not be worth it for small businesses or businesses with a limited number of subscribers. 

What’s that cost? The basic plan is free only until you hit your first $100,000 in revenue and then it goes up to between $99 and $549 per month.

Additionally, Chargebee requires businesses to have a merchant account in order to accept credit card payments. This can be an extra cost that some businesses may not be able to afford.

3. Cratejoy: The Best Choice for Monthly Subscription Box Businesses

On the customer-facing side, Cratejoy is a subscription box marketplace. This means that business owners with a subscription box business model can sell on that marketplace. If they do, they have access to Cratejoy’s subscription billing software.

Because the platform is designed specifically for this business model, Cratejoy offers a variety of features to help businesses automate and scale their operations. Count on customer management tools, order fulfillment, shipping integrations, and marketing and analytics tools. 

Pros of Using Cratejoy

Cratejoy is a subscription billing service that has a lot to offer businesses in this niche. One of the main benefits of using Cratejoy is that it makes it easy to set up recurring billing, which, after all, is the point of subscription boxes. 

All in all, Cratejoy can help you automate your billing process. This means that you can bill your customers on a monthly basis without having to manually send invoices or process payments. 

In addition, Cratejoy offers a variety of features that can help you grow your business.

For example, you can use Cratejoy's marketing tools to reach new customers and promote your products. You can also take advantage of Cratejoy's data analytics to track your subscriber growth and engagement.

Cons of Using Cratejoy

There are, of course, a few potential cons to using Cratejoy as your eCommerce billing platform of choice.

First, because Cratejoy is geared specifically toward subscription boxes, it may not be the best fit for businesses selling other types of subscription services, such as those geared around digital products. 

In fact, it’s not possible to use the platform’s billing services unless you’re signed up as a subscription box merchant.

Additionally, there have been some reports of poor customer service and issues with getting timely support, so it's worth doing your research beforehand. 

4. Recurly: Best for Revenue Optimization

Recurly brings a lot of functionality to the table as a subscription management platform. While Recurly is often compared to Stripe for its capabilities as a payment processor, its ability to effectively manage subscriptions is one of the most important factors that separate the two.

However, what separates Recurly from so many other subscription billing processors is its Revenue Optimization Engine. According to Recurly, this engine:

“…takes a highly tailored approach to each invoice, using statistical models and machine learning to improve collections -- increasing our customers’ monthly revenue by an average of 9%.”

That’s quite the differentiator.

Pros of Using Recurly

The biggest benefit of using Recurly is an obvious one. We just covered it: their Revenue Optimization Engine. Who wouldn’t want their revenue to go up by 9% while adding to their list of subscribers at the same time?

And the machine-learning component of Recurly’s platform will also go a long way toward reducing customer churn, an especially annoying problem for any company trying to build a successful income stream from subscriptions.

Their month-to-month non-committal contracts are easy to love, too. There’s little risk involved with using Recurly when you can always move on next month if it turns out not be a good fit.

Cons of Using Recurly

While Recurly’s benefits may make it seem like a no-brainer, there are two major drawbacks worth mentioning.

First, while not having to worry about a prolonged contract is great, you’ll still need to spend $249/month on their core plan. This will cover your first $40k a month for a year. While $249 isn’t a huge investment, you’ll probably need to budget for at least 4-6 months to give your subscription plan enough time to work (or realize why it isn’t).

You can lower that monthly rate to $199, but then you’ll need to pay upfront, which means foregoing the benefits of having “no contract.” This route covers your first $500k in revenue.

After that, there are two more plans. Their Professional package is designed for companies making $1-25 million a year, while “Elite” is for businesses bringing in even more.

Unfortunately, Recurly doesn’t provide pricing for those packages on their website.

On top of that, some users have reported that its interface isn’t exactly user-friendly. So, if you’ve never had to configure a third-party platform for your eCommerce site before, you might run into a similar problem.

And unless you sign up for the Professional or Elite tier, you won’t have access to phone support. If you have questions, you’ll just need to wait for a customer service rep to process your ticket.

This could definitely make your learning curve significantly steeper. And if that’s the case, you’ll need to spend more money on the extra months it takes to finally master the ins and outs of this subscription platform (or realize it’s not for you). 

5. Paddle: Best for Software & Digital Downloads

Paddle is a software company that helps subscription businesses automate their recurring billing, payments, and customer management.

However, they primarily cater specifically to payments, tax, and subscription solutions for SaaS businesses.

Similar to Unleak, there is a strong focus on helping software companies reduce churn by recovering failed payments.

Likewise, companies that operate globally benefit from Paddle’s software as they make it easy to charge and remit sales tax globally.

Pros of Using Paddle

Perhaps one of the biggest pros of using Paddle as your subscription platform is that it's incredibly user-friendly, both for you and your customers. 

Setting up recurring payments is a breeze, and customers can easily update their payment information or cancel their subscription whenever they want. 

Perhaps most importantly, Paddle handles all of the complex financial stuff for you, so you can focus on running your business. And because Paddle integrates with major eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, it's easy to get started.

Cons of Using Paddle

There are a few cons to using the Paddle subscription billing platform.

One is that it can be difficult to set up for first-time users. Because the platform is so robust, you might find it difficult to navigate or, more commonly, that there are tons of features you simply don’t need.

Additionally, it can be more expensive than other options if you have a lot of subscriptions to manage. While their pay-as-you-go model is interesting and helpful for super small businesses, it can get costly for larger companies.

However, if you have the budget and the time required to learn its ropes, Paddle may be worth considering.

6. Younium: Best for B2B Subscription Businesses

Younium subscription billing is a service that helps businesses automatically bill their customers on a recurring basis. Their product focuses on providing solutions that cater to three main areas:

  • Finance
  • Management
  • Sales

Younium subscription billing is designed to save businesses time and money by automating the billing process, similar to others on this list. However, it’s a little bit more geared toward B2B subscriptions and those who use them. 

And, similar to others on this list, the service integrates with popular payment processors, such as Stripe and PayPal, and can be used with any type of business. If you’re a B2B business, Younium subscription billing is a flexible, easy-to-use solution.

Pros of Using Younium

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it makes it easier to manage your finances outside of simply managing your subscriptions. 

With Younium, you can keep track of your income and expenses in one place, making it simpler to budget and plan for the future growth of your business. This includes access to reporting insights such as rule-based revenue recognition, rich transaction dates, and more.

Younium also offers a number of features designed to help you grow your business. For example, it includes tools for marketing and customer retention, as well as analytics that can help you understand your business's performance. 

Cons of Using Younium

Yonium is quite complex, and this makes it a bit of a difficult solution for small B2B businesses to implement. If you’re looking for a simple plugin that can integrate with your payment processor like Dominate, this just isn’t it.

For example, understanding Younium’s approach to price management, sales channels, redundancy, and flexibility might be more trouble than it’s worth if you’re just trying to manage your subscription billing and increase your revenue. 

7. WooCommerce Subscriptions: Best for WooCommerce Users

If you run a WooCommerce store, then you’ve likely heard of WooCommerce Subscriptions. It’s the billing software by the same platform that allows you to easily set up recurring payments for your WooCommerce store.

Simply install the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, set up your subscription products in WooCommerce, and start selling (or continue selling what you already were). However, those not using WooCommerce obviously can’t take advantage of this subscription platform.

Pros of WooCommerce Subscriptions

Some pros of WooCommerce Subscriptions include automatic payments and recurring orders. This can be a great way to ensure that customers always have the products they need, and it can also help to boost sales by making it easy for customers to sign up for recurring orders.

Basically, if you currently run a regular WooCommerce store and are looking to set up simple recurring orders, this is an easy way to do that.

Additionally, WooCommerce Subscriptions offer a wide range of customization options, so you can tailor your subscription service to meet the specific needs of your business.

Cons of WooCommerce Subscriptions

The biggest con of WooCommerce Subscriptions is that it’s specific to just one platform. While other solutions such as Dominate integrate seamlessly with various platforms, you have to be a WooCommerce user to take advantage of WooCommerce Subscriptions.

And when it comes down to it, even if you’re planning on installing a plugin to a WooCommerce store, there are other (much better) options out there that are more comprehensive and cheaper (or even completely free).

8. Podia: Best for Selling Online Courses & Webinars

Podia is an online platform that allows you to build websites and sell courses. Most people who use the platform sell online courses and webinars, meaning that they cater a lot to people looking to earn recurring revenue from subscription billing models.

The big draw of Podia is that they allow you to easily integrate that platform with third-party apps such as Mailchimp, Hotjar, and even Stripe and PayPal. This means that you’re able to easily get paid without any additional transaction fees.

In this context, Podia isn’t necessarily a subscription billing software as much as it is a platform that allows you to set up recurring billing on the website you create through them.

Pros of Using Podia

If you already have a website on Podia, then it might make sense to go ahead and use their subscription billing options. With Podia, you can easily manage your subscriptions and payments, as well as access detailed reports on your customers' activity. 

This makes it easy to keep track of your customers' behavior and preferences and ensure that they're happy with their purchases, whether it’s your webinars, courses, or anything else. 

In addition, there are reports that Podia's customer service team is highly responsive and always available to help with any questions or issues you may have.

Cons of Using Podia

When you accept subscription payments via Podia, you’ll do so through either Stripe or PayPal, which means that you’re restricted to the options they give you. 

Unfortunately, that often leaves room for little to no customization. 

For example, because Podia doesn’t have proprietary software that they use to allow you to customize the branding of your checkout page, you’re not going to get much else out of the platform except the ability to set up recurring billing and automatic payments.

The consequences could include a drop in customer loyalty and an overall increase in customer churn rates.

9. Pabbly Subscriptions: Best for Affiliate Sales

With Pabbly Subscriptions, you can easily add or remove features from your plans, set up billing and payments, track subscribers, and send automated emails. 

However, outside of those standard features, the platform offers premium perks such as timescale pricing, bump offers, and EU VAT calculations.

Pros of Using Pabbly Subscriptions

If you need great tutorials on how to set up your subscription billing and would like the ability to support over 35 different payment gateways, Pabbly Subscriptions is worth checking out.

Ultimately, it’s a super comprehensive solution that’s ideal for large businesses.

The sheer number of offerings available when you use Pabbly Subscriptions makes it one of the best subscription platforms on the market. Features include the ability to set up pay-your-own price subscription models, offer offline subscriptions, and link to affiliate portals.

That last point is where the platform especially shines. The features seem to be designed to be more beneficial to a large affiliate website than any other type of business.

Cons of Using Pabbly Subscriptions

The biggest drawback of Pabbly Subscription is the price. Remember, we mentioned that this is for large companies. And a big reason for that is the price tag that comes with using this platform. 

With prices going up to as high as $219 per month, you need to be sure that you’re going to use all of the features available to you in order to justify the price.

10. Stripe Connect: Best for External Seller Payouts

Stripe Connect is a platform that allows businesses to accept payments from customers. It allows businesses to connect their Stripe account to a bank account or credit card, which allows them to receive payments from customers. 

Stripe Connect also allows businesses to set up recurring payments, so that they can automatically charge customers on a regular basis. In addition, it provides businesses with the ability to track their transactions and analytics, so that they can better understand their customers' spending habits. 

Pros of Using Stripe Connect

One of the biggest benefits of using Stripe Connect is the fact that the platform offers better security than many others because it’s such a global platform. 

Additionally, the platform includes features that minimize user error and increase signups. This, along with the ability to offer sign-up and checkout in 35+ countries in 14 languages, makes it great for those who rely on varied, global income from external seller payouts.

Cons of Using Stripe Connect

Despite Stripe being quite a large, well-known platform, one of the biggest drawbacks is that it can be difficult to set up. Unless you are familiar with coding, you may need to hire someone to help you set up your account so that it connects properly to your website.

And, expect Stripe to take a cut out of each transaction. This can range from anywhere between 4-7%.

Additionally, because Stripe is primarily a payment processor, its subscription billing features aren't that robust.

For example, similar to Podia, Stripe Connect simply allows you to accept subscription payments.

However, since the platform isn't specifically a subscription eCommerce software itself, there's not much else you can do in terms of customization. 

11. FastSpring: Best for Software-as-a-Service Platforms

FastSpring is an eCommerce platform that helps software companies sell their products online.

It's a turnkey solution that handles everything from payments to fulfillment, and it's used by some of the biggest names in SaaS, including

  • Adobe
  • Avast
  • Ahrefs
  • Autodesk

But its client list isn’t the only thing that recommends this subscription platform.

Pros of Using FastSpring

First of all, FastSpring is extremely easy to use, even if you're not a tech expert. Setting up your store and adding products is a breeze, and the platform's intuitive interface makes it simple to manage orders and track your sales. 

What's more, FastSpring offers 24/7 customer support, so you can always get help when you need it.

The fact that it supports over 23 currencies, 200 regions, and 21 languages doesn't hurt, either. This makes it one of the best subscription platforms for those who have customers all over the world. Its no-stress tax collection features ensure that you’ll always have an easy time handling that all-important aspect of your eCommerce business.

Cons of Using FastSpring

One of the biggest issues with FastSpring is that it can be expensive to use, particularly for small businesses. Their pricing model is complex in ways that will make it unattractive to many companies, especially as they have so many other subscription platforms to consider. And, of course, many of the cost far less – or are even free.

Choosing the Best Subscription Platform for Your eCommerce Business

Obviously, we’re a bit biased, but given everything that our eCommerce subscription platform brings to the table, we think Dominate is the obvious choice for your recurring payment needs.

And, again, it’s absolutely impossible to beat our price.

No matter how big your subscription list is – or how big you plan on growing it – our platform will be able to support your most ambitious goals.

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