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Mar 18, 2024 | 5 minute read

First Look: Elastic Path Subscriptions

written by Bryan House

Despite ongoing economic challenges, the subscription business model isn't going anywhere. Subscriptions remain one of the most effective ways to boost loyalty, repeat purchases, and recurring revenue. According to recent research from PYMNTS, the top 30% of retail subscribers generate 79% of total revenue across the retail subscription space, with these loyalists spending $65 monthly per subscription and maintaining subscriptions for an average of 30 months.

Yet, even with all of the promise around subscriptions, many merchants don’t explore the option because it’s simply too difficult to manage. Today, many teams rely on expensive and difficult-to-maintain third-party solutions that don’t integrate with their existing commerce catalogs or order management systems. Our take? You shouldn’t need a dedicated subscription guru to turn on and manage subscriptions for your business.

That’s why we’re opening up early access to Elastic Path Subscriptions, a versatile and user-friendly solution that helps brands quickly launch and manage subscription plans for their products. And for Elastic Path customers, Subscriptions integrates subscription product information with your existing commerce infrastructure — reducing complexity for both merchants and consumers alike. Right now, our subscriptions management solution supports:

  • Memberships, in which shoppers pay a monthly or annual fee to subscribe to a specific service.
  • Subscribe and save purchase options for products, which generates consistent, repeatable revenue for brands.

Today and in the future, Subscriptions helps you launch recurring revenue capabilities in minutes – increasing revenue and slashing time and costs.

Why shouldn’t subscriptions be composable?

Looking at what’s available for subscription management technology, there are shockingly few API-first, composable options available to merchants. That’s not only disappointing, considering the growth of composable commerce architectures, it’s also maddening for the people who have to manage subscriptions.

One of the greatest advantages of a composable commerce system is the ability to add capabilities as you need them, and seamlessly integrate these capabilities via open APIs to the rest of your commerce system. The problem with subscriptions is that they’re often managed completely separately from the rest of the commerce stack (Read: they are not integrated) leading to a disjointed experience filled with operational complexity.

For example, product information is often housed in two separate places — meaning that there’s a lot of duplicated data entry on the merchant’s side. Pair this with a frustrating customer experience if something goes wrong, and that aforementioned subscription loyalty is all but gone. Systems that aren’t integrated could cause all sorts of problems for customers and customer support teams alike — leading to frustration and churn. On top of these issues, third-party systems are costly, eating into the margins that come from subscription-based customers to begin with.

So, our team asks — why can’t subscription models be composable and easy to implement? How can we reduce time to market and operational costs for our customers?

Get started with Subscriptions

Schedule a call with our team today.

From zero to subscription model in two minutes

Starting today, we’re supporting two of the fastest growing and most popular subscription models out there: membership subscriptions and subscribe and save subscriptions. Accenture found that members of paid loyalty programs spend 10% more per transaction than non-members, making it a great launching point for recurring revenue business. And subscribe and save purchase options are known to generate consistent, repeatable revenue for brands.

Over time, your team will be able to create their own custom subscription offerings and promotions either through Elastic Path’s API or directly through our intuitive subscription UI. In line with composable commerce, customers can also benefit from a full Elastic Path end-to-end experience by quickly and easily using our integrations to connect to Elastic Path Payments, Product Experience Manager or any other third-party systems.

Elastic Path customers who purchase the Subscriptions product will soon be able to set up a subscription plan in as quickly as two minutes directly through the Subscriptions interface. Merchants can also create and configure any subscription offering using our highly customizable rules.

Once subscribed, shoppers can also self-manage their subscriptions by editing, pausing and managing upcoming orders directly through Elastic Path’s shopper dashboard, giving shoppers full control of their subscriptions. This type of control is critical, as according to the same PYMNTS report referenced above, nearly one-third of shoppers said they’d cancel their plans without delivery flexibility or the ability to make changes to their plans.

In addition, our Subscriptions product will help businesses recover lost revenue from failed payments, by automatically sending reminders to shoppers who have missed a payment, ensuring that businesses are able to collect the money they are owed. The system will also prompt subscribers to update any expiring or expired cards, improving shopper satisfaction and significantly reducing churn. Merchandisers and customer support teams also have full access to managing shopper subscriptions as required, further simplifying internal processes.

Whether you envision using Subscriptions as a part of the larger Elastic Path ecosystem or as part of an existing commerce solution, our product team would love to talk to you about your subscriptions ambitions and how we can help. Schedule a call with our team today.

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