If you’re finding it tedious and expensive to offer subscriptions through your online store, that’s because it is. Platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce all lack built-in subscription functionality, instead requiring merchants to install costly third-party plugins (from $199 per year for WooCommerce Subscriptions to $300 per month for Recharge’s Shopify app), and manage yet another dashboard. Prodigy Commerce believes that something as essential as offering subscriptions for your products or services deserves a natively built-in feature, and you shouldn’t have to pay extra for it.
Keep reading to learn all about Prodigy Subscriptions. We compare it to WooCommerce’s Subscriptions plugin and explain the most important features for the WordPress community to create an unlimited number of conditions (interval periods, durations, and discounts) for each subscription plan.
A Comparison: Prodigy Commerce Subscriptions vs WooCommerce Subscriptions
|Price||Free||$199 per year|
|Integration||Natively built into Prodigy Commerce||Requires a third-party plugin|
|Unlimited plans, conditions, and interval periods||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple subscription durations||Yes||Yes|
|Flexible subscription discounts||Yes||Yes|
|Subscription management by merchant and subscriber||Yes||Yes|
|Automated subscriber and merchant emails||Yes||Yes|
|Backend subscription filtering||Yes||Yes|
|Add existing products or services to existing subscription plans||Yes||Requires the “All Products for WooCommerce Subscriptions” (APfS) plugin for $79 per year|
|One-time purchase option||Yes||Requires APfS plugin|
|Add subscription products and one-time purchase products to the same cart||Yes||Yes|
|Subscriber can upgrade / downgrade||No||Yes|
|Subscriber can receive free trials and introductory offers||No||Yes|
Subscription Features That Come with Prodigy Commerce
Not only is Prodigy Subscriptions free, but Prodigy’s entire eCommerce platform for WordPress is as well! Compare that to the $199 per year WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin (plus $79 per year for APfS if needed) and it’s clear why Prodigy Subscriptions stands out. But it’s really the simple, powerful, highly customizable features that make Prodigy Subscriptions desirable for all online store owners.
Here’s what to expect:
Unlimited Subscription Plans, Conditions, and Interval Periods
The foundation of Prodigy Subscriptions is what’s called “Subscription Plans.” Store owners can create an endless number of subscription plans, and each plan can include an unlimited number of conditions for elements like:
- Interval periods
When making a subscription plan, you’re prompted to set an interval and period for each condition based on what you’d like to provide your customers. Here are some examples:
- Every day
- Every week
- Every month
- Every year
- Every 12 days
- Every 2 weeks
- Every 3 months
- Every 2 years
The options are endless because of the full control over intervals and periods!
Subscribe and Save Discount Settings
Each condition you create for a subscription plan also has a setting to add a discount.
Two discount options are available:
- Fixed amount
What’s more, is that Prodigy automatically displays the discount as an appealing offer on the frontend, explaining to customers that it’s beneficial to “Subscribe and Save.”
It’s even easy to add increasing discounts for each time period, like if you want to try to convince customers to sign up for more frequent subscription deliveries with an increased price cut.
Automated (and Fully Customizable) Subscription Emails
With Prodigy Commerce, all subscribers and store owners receive automated emails for things like:
- Subscription activations
- Expired subscriptions
- Cancelled subscriptions
- Pending subscriptions
Prodigy sends the notifications automatically, with preset content that’s suitable for all online stores. Merchants can customize the content of these messages, see previews on the dashboard, and send test emails.
Merchant and Customer Subscription Management
Prodigy offers subscription management for both subscribers and store owners. These settings are accessible for customers by logging into their account on your store, or by clicking through the View Subscription button inside confirmation emails.
While customers can only change the shipping method, edit their shipping address, change their payment method, and cancel or reactivate their subscriptions, merchants have full control over each customer’s subscription conditions from the Prodigy dashboard, with options to adjust:
- Next Run Date
If a customer wants to skip an installment or change the billing date to a particular day of the month, the store owner can edit the Next Run Date to accomplish this.
In addition to being able to edit each condition of a customer’s subscription, store owners have granular control over each subscription from the Prodigy dashboard, with options to:
- Edit the price or quantity
- Add a discount
- Change the shipping method
- Edit the shipping address
- Change the payment method
If a customer requests cancellation of their subscription, store owners can try to retain their business by offering and applying a discount (percentage or fixed amount).
In fact, the Overview section for a customer’s subscription lets merchants quickly edit the price, discount, and shipping rate.
Finally, store owners can cancel and activate subscriptions right from the Prodigy dashboard.
Instantly Add Subscriptions to Current Product Pages (Add To Multiple Products, Too)
One benefit of running subscriptions with Prodigy is that you don’t need to make new product pages every time you want to create a new subscription. You simply attach previously created products to the subscription plan.
Prodigy automatically adds the option for customers to subscribe on the frontend product page.
You can also attach multiple products to each subscription plan, cutting out the need to make a new subscription for each item. For instance, you might want to add a “Monthly Subscribe” option to 50 products. With Prodigy, you only need to create one subscription plan, which is super efficient, especially when setting up subscriptions for large stores.
Turn On/Off One-time Purchases
Some subscriptions shouldn’t have a one-time purchase option; monthly subscription boxes are a great example. However, you may simply want to give customers the choice to “Subscribe and Save” on your current product catalog. If that’s the case, Prodigy lets you still allow for one-time purchases.
Multiple Subscription Durations
How long does a subscription plan last? That’s up to the store owner to decide!
Pick between these duration choices:
- Valid until cancelled: The subscription continues charging the customer until they cancel it.
- Ends after (number of charges): You’re prompted to specify a number of charges before the subscription cancels.
Custom Searching and Filtering
As purchases accumulate, you’re left with a long list of subscriptions to manage. Instead of forcing you to scroll through them all, Prodigy gives you several filters and search tools to find subscriptions when you need to make changes.
You can filter to show:
- All subscriptions
- Payment failed subscriptions
- Active subscriptions
There are also filters for:
- Subscription Status
- Created date range
- Next Run date range
Finally, the subscription list offers a search bar to type in any keyword to locate subscriptions in a few seconds.
How to Add and Manage Subscriptions in Prodigy
To activate subscriptions in Prodigy, go to Apps > Subscriptions.
Click the Activate button. After that, all subscription features are available, so you can create, sell, and manage subscriptions with no other configuration.
A new Subscriptions menu item shows up in the Prodigy dashboard. Click on that to create a new subscription plan.
The All Subscriptions page lists all current customer subscriptions. Use the Subscription Plans option to add a new subscription plan.
Click on the Create Plan button.
This is where you will specify the details of the subscription plan. To begin, type in a name for the subscription plan, then mark whether you’d like to allow one-time purchases for the product(s) that will be offered via this subscription plan.
Go to the Conditions section to add an unlimited number of conditions to the subscription plan:
- Set the Interval: 1, 2, 3, or any number you want
- Set the Period: Day, Week, Month, or Year
- Choose the Duration: “Valid Until Cancelled,” or “Ends After X Charges”
You can also set a discount to entice customers to sign up for a subscription instead of a one-time purchase and even set escalating discounts to encourage greater frequency. Feel free to add as many conditions to a subscription plan as needed (like giving options for customers to receive a product every month, every 3 months, or every 6 months).
Go to the Products section to assign products to this subscription plan. You can either browse the catalog or type in keywords to locate items. The products get added to a list as you add them to the subscription plan.
Once everything looks right, click on the Create button.
Each subscription plan shows in the Subscription Plans list.
How Do Subscriptions Work on the Frontend?
With products attached to a subscription plan, those particular product pages now appear differently on the frontend of your store. Like all templates on the WordPress frontend, they can be customized using template overrides and custom CSS to achieve the exact look that you desire.
A Subscription option is now available for the customer to select. If you allowed “one-time purchase” as well, customers can choose between the “One-time order” and the “Subscription” buttons.
The product pages for subscriptions also reveal the subscription period, or how often they can expect to receive a delivery.
Additional settings display distinct elements on the frontend:
- Prodigy announces any configured discounts for when customers subscribe.
- Multiple periods show up if you have more than one activated.
- The “one-time order” option disappears if you remove that setting in the Subscriptions module.
Customers also get a summary of their subscription when looking at the cart. They see:
- The subscription period
- The duration
- Their next billing date
In order to help store owners increase average order value (AOV), both subscription products and one-time purchase products can be added to the same cart.
Managing Subscriptions After the Purchase
A customer must purchase a subscription for a store owner to manage it. These subscriptions get placed into the All Subscriptions list with information like:
- Subscription Number
- Date Created
- Next Run Date
- Total Price
Click on any subscription in that list to view its complete details. Click the Edit button to modify subscription details, or use the Ellipsis (…) button to reveal a CancelSubscription option.
View the complete Subscriptions documentation here for more information on configuring and managing subscriptions in Prodigy.
Get Started with Prodigy Commerce’s Free, Natively Built-in Functionality to Create Subscriptions for Products or Services
Create a free account today to experience Prodigy’s revolutionary, entirely free eCommerce platform built specifically for the WordPress community. You can learn more about the platform here. Feel free to contact the Prodigy team by phone, email, or start a chat if you have any questions.