Many online businesses are increasingly looking to offer more subscription products because they bring in recurring payments and provide a long-term revenue stream. Though WooCommerce doesn't directly support recurring payments, online businesses can offer subscriptions using WooCommerce recurring payment plugins.
WooCommerce subscription plugins offer several recurring payment options that allow e-commerce stores to conveniently manage their subscription-based products and services. In addition to managing subscription payments, the best plugins can display subscription products in a user-friendly way.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at three plugins that are ideal for WooCommerce recurring payments:
- WooCommerce Subscriptions for creating products with recurring payment options, and;
- WooCommerce Product Table for displaying the subscription products in a quick order form where your customers can easily discover them and compare the options.
What are WooCommerce recurring payments?
The phrase 'WooCommerce recurring payments' refers to a payment model where customers are billed at regular intervals for a product or service. This feature is useful for e-commerce businesses that offer memberships, software licenses, or any other products or services that require periodic payments.
While you can handle recurring payments manually, that wastes time for both you and your customers. It's much better to install a WooCommerce recurring payments plugin which will take regular payments automatically.
Some examples of WooCommerce products and services that need recurring payments include:
- Magazine subscriptions: An online magazine can use WooCommerce Subscriptions to sell digital or physical magazine subscriptions. They can offer customers access to the latest issues at a recurring fee.
- Membership access: A website offering premium content, resources, or community features can utilize WooCommerce Subscriptions to sell membership plans. These membership plans grant subscribers access to exclusive material for a recurring fee.
- Software licenses: A software company can sell annual or monthly licenses for their software products. They can do this with WooCommerce Subscriptions managing the recurring payments and license renewal orders.
Think of the 'One-Time Purchase' and 'Subscribe and Save' options on Amazon. These let customers choose whether to buy a product as a one-off or a recurring subscription. With the right recurring payments plugin, you can do the same with WooCommerce.
Whether you're new to WooCommerce or looking to optimize your current recurring payment gateway setup, keep reading for all the information you need to get started and take your recurring revenue to the next level.
The best recurring payments plugin: WooCommerce subscriptions
WooCommerce Subscriptions is a premium plugin that simplifies the creation and management of products with recurring payments. It provides a convenient way for businesses to offer subscription-based products. You can use it to sell ongoing products such as memberships, or any other products that require regular payments from customers.
This plugin has everything you might need for taking WooCommerce recurring payments, including:
- Create simple subscription products, and variable subscription products with multiple options for customers to choose from.
- Subscription renewals happen automatically, without needing approval each time a payment is due to recur.
- Offer free trial periods, start date choices, a sign-up fee, coupons and discounts to help the marketing process.
- Customize the subscriptions to offer different billing periods, such as monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments.
- Good integration with various payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, Stripe, or PayPal.
- Detailed reports that allow tracking of important statistics. This includes recurring subscription revenue, payment details, subscription details and the number of active subscribers. You can report separately on each subscription status.
The only downside of WooCommerce Subscriptions is that it's better for creating recurring payment products than displaying them. That's not a problem because we'll improve how they are displayed using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin later in this tutorial.
How to set up WooCommerce recurring payments
Taking recurring payments with the WooCommerce Subscriptions add-on is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to set it up:
- Install and activate the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin: Start by installing WooCommerce Subscriptions on your WordPress website. Once activated, you'll have access to the subscription functionality.
- Configure subscription settings: Go to the WooCommerce settings in the WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Subscriptions tab. Here, you can configure various settings related to your subscriptions, such as the billing cycle, trial periods, and renewal options.
- Create a subscription product: In the WooCommerce product editor, you can create a new product or modify an existing one. Set the product type to 'Simple Subscription' or 'Variable Subscription' depending on your needs. (You can do this in the 'Product Data' section of the 'Edit Product' screen.)
- Set the subscription price and details: Specify the price for the subscription product and choose the billing interval, such as monthly or yearly. You can also provide additional details about the subscription, such as its features, benefits, or any limitations.
- Manage variable subscription options (optional): If you choose the Variable Subscription type, you can offer different variations of your product with varying prices or features. For example, you can create a subscription plan with different tiers, each offering a different level of service or access.
- Enable the subscription product: Once you've set up the necessary details, enable the subscription option for the product. This will allow customers to subscribe and make recurring WooCommerce payments for the product.
- Promote and sell your subscription product: Publish the product on your website and promote it to your audience. Customers will now be able to subscribe to the product and make recurring payments based on the billing cycle you've defined.
By using the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension, you can easily create subscription products, whether they are simple or variable. This enables you to offer a convenient WooCommerce recurring payment option to your customers. The effect is you can build long-term customer relationships and generate consistent revenue.
Quick order forms for subscription products
Now you know how to create WooCommerce recurring payment products. However, WooCommerce Subscriptions will display the products in exactly the same way as any other product in your store. This may not be ideal, as if you have more than a few products then customers prefer to see all the options in one place in a quick subscription order form.
That's where WooCommerce Product Table comes in. This plugin is a valuable tool for online businesses looking to enhance the way their subscription products are displayed. It provides a convenient and user-friendly table layout for subscription products, or any other type of product. The result is a simple and efficient single-product-page shopping experience for consumers.
By providing all the essential information in one place, businesses can make it easier for customers to make informed purchasing decisions on all the subscription-based products on offer.
What else can it do?
The easy-to-use table display allows customers to sort and filter WooCommerce recurring payments products based on their preferences. They can arrange the table by price, popularity, or any other criteria. This allows them to find subscriptions that meet their specific requirements quickly. Additionally, the search functionality within the table makes it even more convenient for customers to find specific recurring payment products without the hassle of navigating through multiple pages.
You can customize and configure the table display according to your specific needs. For example, you can choose which information to show about your recurring payments products. Show or hide columns such as images, descriptions, prices, stock availability, and other relevant information.
Of course, the product table is fully responsive and mobile-friendly. Customers are guaranteed the same intuitive table layout on various devices including smartphones and tablets. This improved accessibility of e-commerce sites means that shopping is significantly more convenient for users because they can easily find different recurring payment products.
Using Product Table with WooCommerce Subscriptions
The WooCommerce Product Table plugin complements WooCommerce Subscriptions by providing a convenient way to display subscription products on your WordPress site. You need WooCommerce Subscriptions to add the recurring payments options; and Product Table to display them.
The product table is better for most WooCommerce stores then the traditional listing format, where each product is displayed on a separate page. Instead, it showcases multiple recurring payments products on a single product page in a structured and organized manner.
The improved user experience brought about by combining these two plugins allows customers to quickly select the desired subscription options directly from the product table and add them to their cart. This streamlined process helps customers make faster purchasing decisions.
Some examples of businesses that can benefit from this combination include:
- Meal kit subscriptions: A meal delivery service can use WooCommerce Product Table with WooCommerce Subscriptions to create an efficient ordering system for customers, allowing them to easily customize and order their meal plans.
- Build-a-box subscriptions: A company selling customizable boxes like beauty, snacks, or hobby supplies can use WooCommerce Product Table to create an intuitive interface for customers to select and subscribe to the products they want in their boxes.
- Subscription services: A business offering various subscription services such as website maintenance, content creation, or SEO services can use WooCommerce Product Table to create an easy-to-navigate catalog, allowing customers to quickly compare and subscribe to the services they need.
All in all, the combination of these two plugins offers several benefits to customers and businesses looking to receive WooCommerce recurring payments. For customers, it simplifies the display of subscriptions and this helps to improve navigation. For businesses, it provides customization options to meet the unique needs of your online store. By using this powerful combination, you can effectively display recurring payment products, increase conversions, and provides a seamless purchasing experience.
Bonus: Select recurring payments options in a product lightbox
For an even better result, you can also use the above plugins with WooCommerce Quick View Pro. This plugin provides an additional way for people to view recurring payment options and add them to their cart.
It works by adding 'Quick view' buttons to your shop pages or product tables. When someone clicks the button, the product information - including the recurring payment options - appears in a popup lightbox. This makes it even easier for people to sign up for WooCommerce recurring payments for your products.
What else can you do with WooCommerce Product Table?
WooCommerce Product Tables is capable of much more than just displaying recurring payment products in a customer-friendly layout. The order form view is perfect for speeding up shopping for any type of product and you can use it throughout your online store.
Multi-add to cart
One of the key features of WooCommerce Product Table is that shoppers can add multiple products to their cart at once. The add to cart checkboxes let customers tick as many products as they want, and add them all to their cart. These can be recurring payment products or any other type of product:
True one-page shopping
Importantly, WooCommerce Product Table offers a simplified buying process which saves time by removing the need to visit different product pages.
It does this by displaying quantity pickers and variation dropdowns directly in the product order form. Normally in WooCommerce, you can only choose quantities and variations on individual product pages. Bringing these to your product tables results in a faster purchasing experience.
Once the customer has added their products to the cart, they simply need to click through to the checkout to complete their order. This is much faster than the usual process of visiting multiple pages to choose options and add products.
Sell 'build a box' recurring payment products
Another useful feature is the ability to sell build a box schemes. A box scheme allows you to create curated subscription boxes containing a selection of physical products that are delivered to the customer on a recurring basis. With the WooCommerce Product Table, you can easily create and showcase these subscription boxes in a table format, making it convenient for customers to view and select the box scheme that interests them.
Bonus: Take recurring payments for any WooCommerce product type
WooCommerce Subscriptions is the go-to plugin if you’re looking to sell simple or variable recurring payment products. However, you can't use it to enable recurring payments for other product types. For example, what if you want to offer ongoing recurring payments for WooCommerce grouped products, product bundles, or something else?
The solution is to use the All Products for WooCommerce Subscriptions add-on. This handy extension works on top of WooCommerce subscriptions to enable recurring payments for literally any product type.
- A software company might want to sell its software at monthly intervals to subscribers using WooCommerce Subscriptions. However, they may decide to have an event to launch a new software, and sell tickets using the Events Calendar plugin. This creates a separate product type which WooCommerce Subscriptions doesn't support. However, you can easily take recurring payments for tickets using the All Products extension.
- E-commerce stores selling product bundles like themed clothing sets or electronics packages might want to take WooCommerce Recurring Payments. Again, they can use All Products for WooCommerce Subscriptions to accept recurring payments plans for these bundles, ensuring customers receive new items at regular intervals.
As you can see, this plugin provides greater flexibility for businesses looking to offer different types of WooCommerce recurring payments. It doesn't matter what type of products you sell - you can turn absolutely any product into a subscription with repeated payments.
It's time to start taking WooCommerce recurring payments!
As we have seen, there are lots of reasons why recurring payments are an essential part of a successful business model.
Regular payments ensure a steady stream of income from existing customers. This helps you to plan better. When you know how much money is coming in each month, you can budget more effectively. You can make smarter decisions about where to spend and where to save. There's also less pressure to constantly find new customers without needing to worry about cash flow.
WooCommerce recurring payments take a lot of the hassle out of your hands. Your customers can set it and forget it, and you get a steady stream of income. No more chasing after late payments or worrying about when the next one is coming in.
Recurring payments also help to build customer loyalty. When your customers commit to making regular payments, they're more likely to stick around. They're investing in your business over the long term, and that's a great thing.
The best way to set up WooCommerce recurring payments is to combine the following plugins:
- WooCommerce Subscriptions for setting up the recurring payment options. Use it alone for simple and variable products, or with All Products for WooCommerce Subscriptions to enable recurring payments for other product types.
- WooCommerce Product Table to display your recurring payment products in a quick one-page order form. This makes it easier for customers to find what they want, and sign up to a subscription without having to leave the page.
Install the best WooCommerce recurring payments plugins today, and prepare your store for a brighter financial future. Once you've got everything set up, you can sit back and relax knowing that your store's finances are on the right track. With recurring payments, you're not just hoping for success - you're planning for it. So give it a go, and see the difference it can make for your business.