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The Elite 25: Leading Subscription Brands Thriving on Shopify & Shopify Plus

Subscription Commerce image illustration

In an era dominated by the digital landscape, e-commerce has evolved significantly. Businesses today are continually exploring new avenues to engage with customers, boost brand loyalty, and drive sales. One of the most prominent and successful methods to achieve these goals is through subscription-based services. Shopify and Shopify Plus, two of the world’s most popular e-commerce platforms, have facilitated this growth. In this blog, we will dive into the thriving world of subscription brands and present the top 25 subscription-based brands that have harnessed the power of Shopify and Shopify Plus.

The Power of Subscription-Based Commerce

Subscription-based commerce, or simply “subscription commerce,” has revolutionized the way consumers engage with brands. It offers businesses a reliable stream of recurring revenue while providing customers with convenience and value. These subscription models can take various forms, including:

1. Subscription Boxes: Regular deliveries of curated products tailored to a customer’s preferences.
2. Membership Services: Access to exclusive content, products, or benefits in exchange for a monthly fee.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS): Recurring billing for digital tools and software.
4. Meal Kits: Regular delivery of pre-portioned ingredients for home-cooked meals.
5. Digital Subscriptions: Access to online content, such as streaming services, news, or educational platforms.

Shopify & Shopify Plus: Enabling Subscription Commerce

Shopify and Shopify Plus have played a pivotal role in enabling businesses to implement and scale subscription models seamlessly. These e-commerce platforms offer various features and integrations designed specifically for subscription-based commerce, such as easy billing management, inventory control, and customer relationship management. This makes them the go-to choice for brands seeking to expand their subscription offerings.

Our curated list of the top 25 subscription brands on Shopify and Shopify Plus represents a diverse range of industries and subscription models. These brands have not only harnessed the capabilities of Shopify but have also demonstrated unparalleled creativity, innovation, and resilience. Let’s explore each of them, starting with:

1. Birchbox

Birchbox is a pioneer in the subscription box industry, offering personalized beauty product samples delivered monthly. This brand’s subscription model has been a hit among beauty enthusiasts and has grown significantly on Shopify.

2. Graze

Graze revolutionized snacking with its subscription model, delivering healthy and delicious snacks directly to customers’ doorsteps. Their seamless Shopify-based platform ensures customers always have snacks at hand.

3. Dollar Shave Club

Renowned for its razor subscription service, Dollar Shave Club has carved a niche in the grooming industry. They made their name by providing quality razors to subscribers at affordable prices, all managed efficiently on Shopify.

4. Blue Apron

Blue Apron has transformed the way people cook by delivering meal kits with fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. Their Shopify-based platform simplifies meal planning and preparation for subscribers.

5. Spotify

Spotify’s success as a digital subscription service is undisputed. With millions of songs, podcasts, and playlists, they’ve dominated the music streaming industry while utilizing Shopify Plus for managing payments.

6. Hulu

As a streaming service, Hulu offers a wide range of content, including TV shows, movies, and original series. Shopify Plus has helped streamline their subscription management and billing.

7. MasterClass

MasterClass provides access to world-class instructors in various fields. Their subscription-based learning platform has gained immense popularity, and Shopify Plus ensures a seamless experience for users.

8. BarkBox

BarkBox caters to the furry members of the family by delivering themed boxes of toys and treats to dogs. Their subscription model and Shopify integration ensure that pups are always entertained.

9. Scentbird

Scentbird offers a unique fragrance subscription, allowing users to explore a variety of scents each month. Shopify helps manage their extensive selection and subscriber preferences.

10. HBO Max

HBO Max, with its vast library of original and licensed content, has successfully employed Shopify Plus to manage subscription billing and user accounts.

11. The New York Times

A pioneer in journalism, The New York Times utilizes Shopify Plus to manage its digital subscription service, providing access to premium news content.

12. NatureBox

NatureBox specializes in delivering healthy snacks directly to customers’ doors. Their Shopify-powered subscription system is instrumental in providing subscribers with convenient and nutritious options.

13. Ipsy

Ipsy offers a subscription service for personalized beauty products, making it easier for customers to discover and try new items. Shopify has been crucial in managing their vast inventory and subscriber preferences.

14. Wine of the Month Club

Wine enthusiasts appreciate the Wine of the Month Club’s offerings, which allow them to explore new vintages every month. Shopify has simplified the subscription process for wine lovers.

15. BarkShop

BarkShop complements BarkBox by offering a wide range of dog products for purchase. Their Shopify store ensures a smooth shopping experience for subscribers and other customers.

16. Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a prime example of a SaaS subscription model, offering creative professionals access to industry-standard software. Shopify Plus is integral to managing subscriptions and billing.

17. KiwiCo

KiwiCo’s subscription service delivers age-appropriate science, art, and engineering projects for kids. Their Shopify-based platform simplifies subscription management for parents.

18. Glossybox

Glossybox offers a beauty subscription box filled with premium products from around the world. The convenience and personalization they offer are complemented by Shopify’s management capabilities.

19. FabFitFun

FabFitFun is known for its lifestyle subscription box that includes a variety of wellness, beauty, and fashion products. Shopify has helped them scale and manage this diverse subscription offering.

20. Loot Crate

Loot Crate offers subscription boxes filled with pop culture collectibles. Their Shopify store ensures that subscribers receive the latest and greatest items from their favorite franchises.

21. Marvel Unlimited

Marvel Unlimited provides subscribers with access to thousands of digital comics from the Marvel universe. Shopify Plus has enabled the seamless management of subscriptions for comic enthusiasts.

22. HelloFresh

HelloFresh, like Blue Apron, delivers meal kits, making home cooking easier for subscribers. Shopify supports their subscription services and keeps the ingredients flowing.

23. Cratejoy

Cratejoy is a subscription box marketplace where numerous brands offer a wide variety of products. It’s a testament to the versatility of Shopify, as Cratejoy manages multiple subscription brands seamlessly.

24. Peacock

Peacock, a streaming service by NBCUniversal, utilizes Shopify Plus to manage its premium subscription tiers, offering viewers an expansive library of content.

25. Quip

Quip’s dental care subscription service ensures customers receive a fresh toothbrush and toothpaste regularly. Shopify has helped them provide a convenient and reliable service for oral hygiene.

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The Advantages of Embracing a Subscription Model with Shopify

Subscription-based commerce offers a multitude of benefits for businesses leveraging Shopify. Let’s explore the advantages:

1. Predictable Revenue Stream: Subscriptions provide a reliable source of recurring revenue, allowing businesses to forecast their income with greater accuracy. This financial stability is particularly valuable in uncertain economic climates.

2. Enhanced Customer Loyalty: By offering ongoing value and convenience, subscriptions foster stronger customer relationships. Subscribers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand, reducing customer churn.

3. Personalization Opportunities: Subscription models enable businesses to gather data about customer preferences and tailor offerings accordingly. This personalization leads to a more satisfying customer experience.

4. Reduced Customer Acquisition Costs: Acquiring new customers is often more costly than retaining existing ones. Subscriptions enhance customer retention, reducing the need for continuous, expensive marketing efforts.

5. Cross-Selling and Upselling: Subscriptions open doors for cross-selling and upselling, encouraging customers to explore additional products or services offered by the brand.

Unpacking the Mechanics of Subscriptions on Shopify

Shopify has streamlined the process of offering and managing subscription services. Here’s how subscriptions work on the platform:

1. Subscription App Integration: Shopify offers a variety of subscription apps that seamlessly integrate with your online store. These apps provide the necessary tools for creating and managing subscription products.

2. Product Configuration: With these apps, you can designate certain products or services as subscription offerings. Customers can then choose to subscribe to these products and select their desired subscription frequency (e.g., monthly, quarterly, or annually).

3. Billing and Payments: Shopify’s subscription apps handle billing and payment processes, automatically charging subscribers based on their chosen subscription intervals. These apps also manage payment gateways, ensuring secure transactions.

4. Customer Management: Shopify’s subscription tools include customer management features, allowing businesses to track and manage their subscriber base. This includes handling changes in subscriptions, cancellations, and addressing customer inquiries.

5. Customization and Flexibility: Subscriptions on Shopify are highly customizable. Businesses can set pricing tiers, offer discounts, and adjust subscription options to meet specific customer needs.

Addressing Subscription Costs on Shopify

As for the cost associated with selling subscriptions on Shopify, it’s essential to understand that there may be additional expenses involved. Here’s what to consider:

1. Subscription App Costs: Most subscription apps on Shopify come with a monthly fee. The cost varies depending on the app’s features and your business needs. Be prepared to invest in an app that aligns with your subscription strategy.

2. Transaction Fees: While Shopify does charge transaction fees on standard transactions, these fees may differ for subscription payments. Ensure you’re aware of the fee structure and how it applies to your subscription model.

3. Marketing and Customer Acquisition: To build a successful subscription base, you may need to invest in marketing and customer acquisition efforts. This can include advertising, content creation, and promotional campaigns.

4. Customer Support and Management: Offering subscriptions requires ongoing customer support and management to address subscriber inquiries, handle cancellations, and ensure a smooth subscriber experience.

5. Scaling Costs: As your subscription base grows, you may need to invest in additional resources, such as more robust subscription apps, to accommodate the increasing workload.

In conclusion, while Shopify offers a user-friendly platform for implementing and managing subscription models, businesses should be prepared to allocate resources to create a seamless and cost-effective subscription experience for their customers. The benefits of predictable revenue, enhanced loyalty, and personalization make the investment worthwhile, but understanding and budgeting for associated costs is crucial for long-term success.


The subscription-based commerce industry continues to flourish, and the top 25 brands listed above are exemplary in their success stories. With the aid of Shopify and Shopify Plus, they have harnessed the power of e-commerce to create seamless, personalized, and value-driven experiences for their customers.

The diverse range of subscription models offered by these brands demonstrates the flexibility and adaptability of subscription commerce. Whether it’s beauty products, snacks, streaming services, or digital tools, subscriptions have become an ntegral part of modern consumer culture. Their success stories serve as a testament to the viability of subscription models in today’s market.

As e-commerce and consumer behavior continue to evolve, the subscription commerce landscape will likely see further innovation and growth. Brands, both established and emerging, will continue to explore creative ways to engage with customers, build brand loyalty, and deliver exceptional value.

Whether you’re a business owner looking to venture into the world of subscription commerce or a consumer seeking convenient and personalized experiences, the top 25 subscription brands on Shopify and Shopify Plus showcase the immense potential and endless possibilities this industry holds.

In a world where convenience and customization are highly valued, these brands have leveraged the capabilities of Shopify to create subscription services that offer a win-win for both businesses and customers. It’s a journey marked by innovation, adaptability, and the commitment to delivering a unique and valuable experience, and it’s a journey that is far from over.

In the coming years, we can expect to see even more brands joining the subscription bandwagon, continually pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with subscription commerce. With the support of e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Shopify Plus, these brands will continue to shape the future of retail, providing customers with the convenience and delight they seek, one subscription box, membership, or service at a time.

So, whether you’re a brand looking to embark on a subscription adventure or a subscriber eagerly anticipating your next package, the subscription-based commerce revolution is here to stay, and it’s evolving with every click, swipe, and unboxing. Stay tuned for what’s next in the world of subscription commerce, and remember that the possibilities are endless, thanks to the innovation and dedication of these top 25 brands on Shopify & Shopify Plus.

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