In our ongoing feature focus series, we're excited to unveil the all-new Shopware Subscriptions. There is a growing trend of subscription models in ecommerce. Discover how you can leverage this Shopware feature and the benefits it brings to the table.
Why was the Subscriptions feature developed?
With the rapid development of ecommerce and the constant change in consumer behavior, it is crucial to keep an eye on the latest trends. One of the most remarkable phenomena is the steady growth of subscription models, a trend that has caught the attention of Forbes Magazine, which reported on the growth of Subscription Commerce. 
The new "Subscriptions" feature was developed to give Shopware merchants the ability to seamlessly implement this lucrative model in their online stores. By offering certain products on a subscription basis, they can increase their customer loyalty and the customer lifetime value.
From coffee to toilet paper and cat food, subscription models are a perfect fit for everyday essentials that deplete over time and require regular restocking. Alternatively, boxes with changing and diverse contents also resonate with customers who love trying new things, indulging themselves, or seeking delightful surprises. Think of beauty product or food boxes as excellent examples. Moreover, digital products are also well-suited for subscription models. Take a look at our overview for more inspiring ideas.
What kind of products are commonly sold via subscription models?
1. Digital Media and Streaming Services: Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and Apple Music offer subscriptions for access to movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts.
2. Software and cloud services: Companies like Microsoft and Adobe offer software subscriptions for products like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. Cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox also have subscription models.
3. Food and Drink: There are subscriptions for meal boxes, wine clubs, coffee and tea deliveries, and even gourmet meals.
4. Health and wellness: Subscriptions for gym memberships, yoga and meditation apps, vitamins and supplements, and even personalized health and wellness boxes are very popular.
5. Books and magazines: Digital and physical subscriptions for books, magazines, and newspapers are widespread.
6. Beauty and grooming products: Companies offer subscriptions for skincare products, makeup, razor blades, and other grooming products.
7. Clothing and fashion: There are subscriptions for regular deliveries of clothing, shoes, and accessories, often personalized to the customer's style and preferences.
8. Pet supplies: There are subscriptions for pet food, toys, and even monthly surprise boxes for pets.
9. Learning and educational platforms: Many online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning offer subscriptions for access to a wide range of courses and learning materials.
What are the benefits of Shopware's Subscriptions?
With our Subscriptions feature, you can:
Provide recurring orders:
Offer your customers the convenience of receiving their favorite products automatically at set intervals. This hassle-free and predictable option is a perk many customers value.
Generate orders automatically:
Automatically create new orders for all subscribed products, reducing your workload and enhancing your planning ability.
Tailor the frequency of reorder intervals to suit your needs. You have the freedom to decide the intervals at which you offer subscriptions for different products.
Empower customers to manage and cancel their subscriptions directly from the storefront, providing them with flexibility and transparency.
Set subscription availability rules:
Restrict subscriptions to specific customer groups or markets, allowing you to reward loyal customers with exclusive deals or offer subscriptions tailored to particular customer segments.
Offer subscription discounts:
Provide discounts on subscriptions and set minimum terms and notice periods individually (this feature is currently under development and will be available soon).
Integrate with Rule and Flow Builder:
Subscriptions can be seamlessly integrated into Shopware's Rule Builder and Flow Builder, enabling you to establish rules and workflows related to subscriptions and automate them.
With Shopware Subscriptions, you now have the ability to engage and persuade your customers in new and innovative ways. This flexible feature provides a seamless and transparent ordering experience, fosters loyalty to your brand and products, and offers the opportunity to impress your customers with creative and tailored product combinations.
How to use the feature Shopware Subscriptions
If you want to offer a specific product on a subscription basis, you can activate this in the administration via the product settings. To do this, configure the subscription and set a name, description, and intervals. If you want, you can also combine the subscription with the Rule Builder and Flow Builder, for example, to automatically send reminder emails about upcoming orders.
You can manage new subscriptions and their plans not only in the respective product settings but also via Settings > Shop > Subscriptions.
A detailed description of how to use and configure it can be found in our user documentation on subscriptions.
Shopware version: The Subscriptions feature is available for Shopware version 126.96.36.199 and higher.
Shopware plan: It’s available to you as a commercial feature if you use Shopware Beyond. Here is an overview of the Shopware plans and pricing.
Activation: Please also remember to activate Shopware Commercial, if you still need to do so to unlock the Subscriptions feature.
What other Shopware Subscriptions enhacements are we working on?
"We've just rolled out the subscription feature to provide merchants with immediate access and to collect valuable feedback. We're already working at full speed to expand this feature further, allowing users to reap additional benefits. The next enhancements are already etched in our roadmap, ensuring our customers won't have to wait long for the next improvements."
– Martin Lingens, Product Owner Features, Shopware
(Roadmap status as of early August 2023)
Here are some of the highlights already on our roadmap:
Pair your subscriptions with discounts to offer an extra incentive for your customers to subscribe. You can also propose longer durations with higher discounts to motivate customers to commit to long-term subscriptions.
Minimum contract term:
Establish a minimum duration for subscriptions. This is particularly effective when combined with discounts.
Customers will have the autonomy to manage their subscriptions in their account, including the ability to pause or cancel them. (Update: The self-service is now available, see release news September 2023.)
You can find more useful information about Shopware Subscriptions here:
We wish you a lot of fun with Shopware Subscriptions and are looking forward to your feedback!
* Please note that you may not be able to represent all scenarios with Shopware in its current state without further effort. It might be necessary to invest in additional development or bring in some extensions.