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New and Noteworthy

Prepaid subscriptions, done right

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Jay Myers


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It’s a great time to be a subscriptions brand on Shopify. With the rising popularity of subscriptions among millennials and a growing increase in online streaming services, the global subscription ecommerce market is growing at a rapid pace. So much so, that it could reach over $450 billion by the year 2025, making it an exciting opportunity for existing and aspiring business owners.

If you’re a brand offering subscription services on Shopify, there might be more you could be doing to grow your business.

One way is by offering prepaid subscriptions. If this is something you’ve looked at introducing into your subscriptions model before, you already know that a lot of the solutions on the market today are clumsy and lack the flexibility your customers need.

For merchants on Bold Subscriptions for Shopify Checkout, you’re in luck! We’re excited to announce, for the very first time on Shopify, prepaid subscriptions done right.

So what do we mean by "right"? And how do you do prepaid subscriptions wrong?

First, some background on prepaid subscriptions, and why they’re a no-brainer for subscription brands.

What are prepaid subscriptions?

Simply put, prepaid subscriptions is a subscription model that allows your customers to pay for multiple orders upfront, while continuing to receive their product at a regular cadence.

What are the benefits of prepaid subscriptions?

Prepaid subscriptions provide countless benefits for both the merchant and the subscriber. For the subscriber, prepaid subscriptions offer the convenience and flexibility of paying for the subscription all at once, instead of on a recurring basis. This allows the subscriber to plan their own expenses and even save money, especially when offered at a tiered discount.

For merchants, prepaid subscriptions offer predictable revenue, advanced cash flow and increase customer loyalty. Neither you or your customers will have to worry about payment disruptions with prepaid subscriptions.

How are prepaid subscriptions done?

Other subscription apps on Shopify offer prepaid subscriptions by one of two ways:

Option 1: "Hacking it” by using duplicate products—which leads to downstream issues with order management systems, inventory, product feeds, etc.

Option 2: Using Shopify prepaid ‘fulfillments’ that work without creating duplicates (which is great), but makes all recurrences locked. Meaning you can't edit the address or the products, and you can't skip a month if you're away. Your prepaid subscription is locked the way you purchased it for the duration of the prepaid period. Many downstream systems also don’t know how to work with prepaid fulfillments instead of orders.

And on top of it all, these kinds of prepaid subscriptions just end—that's it. When the subscription ends, you lose the customer.

Neither of these options are ideal for business owners, and they don’t provide a good experience for subscribers either.

Introducing prepaid subscriptions, done right

For the last six months, we’ve been hard at work solving for a lot of these common challenges and building what we call prepaid subscriptions, done right. Launching today, this new feature is available for all brands on Bold Subscriptions for Shopify Checkout.

What to expect from prepaid subscriptions with Bold:

No duplicate products: Avoid issues with order management and inventory

No-mess fulfillments: No more workarounds with your OMS or fulfillment centers

Flexibility: Customers have full control over prepaid subscriptions. Change order dates and frequencies, pause or skip your subscription—you name it

Smart auto renewals: Brands can decide whether prepaid subscriptions auto-renew, become month-to-month or end

Embrace prepaid subscriptions with Bold

Take your subscriptions business to the next level with prepaid subscriptions from Bold Subscriptions for Shopify Checkout.

Get started

For an easy guide to getting set up, FAQs, troubleshooting and more, visit our Help Center.

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About the author
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Jay Myers


As one of Bold's co-founders, Jay is constantly looking at new ways to innovate in ecommerce.

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