At the time of writing this article (August 2021), Appstle Subscriptions was just 6 months old. While the founders of Appstle have been working on Shopify apps for a few years (‘Back in Stock – Restock Alerts’ (Appikon), ‘Discounted Pricing’ (now owned by Shopacado), etc), our subscriptions solution was launched in March 2021.
Within a short span of time, Appstle was consistently holding the No. 1 rank in Shopify apps, in the Subscriptions/recurring order category, and was serving about 3,000 active merchants.
Appstle Subscriptions – Merchant Growth on Shopify
Appstle Subscriptions – Ranking on Shopify and Shopify Plus
In this article, I wanted to share the 3 key aspects that worked for us in our early subscriptions journey, to become our beloved merchants’ trusted partner for their recurring order business models.
- Razor sharp focus on the product
In the first few months of the launch of the subscriptions app, our only focus was on the product. By product, I mean both the app itself, with its features and functionalities, and the customer support we were providing our merchants. For us, having a robust and scalable subscriptions solution, and establishing a strong support system to help our merchants when they needed us, were 2 sides of the same coin.
We dedicated all our resources to these two elements. Everything else was considered fringe, for which we did not provide more than the minimum required. I am reminded here, of a few merchant conversations that I and my co-founder Hemant have had during the initial months of Appstle, on why our website was quite ‘minimalistic’. The answer to that – we simply did not prioritize it at that point! We felt that the recognition and visibility that we were getting from Shopify was strong enough. As a wonderful prize for our efforts, Shopify ‘staff picked’ Appstle Subscriptions in May 2021, and show-cased us in its home page!
Now, 6 months after the launch (at the time of writing this article, in August 2021), we can’t be more thankful that our singular focus on our ‘product’, and ensuring that our merchants get only the best in their subscriptiptions journey, have paid off well!
- Listening to our merchants
At Appstle, we not just see our merchants as our customers, but also as our true and valuable partners. We have made this a part of our DNA!
Appstle Subscriptions is one of the few subscription apps out there, with the most comprehensive and compelling features. We provide critical functionalities for traditional subscriptions and build-a-box/bundling models, along with significant value adding features such as custom shipping, automated product updates (swap and cycle), advanced customer portal settings, and dunning and cancellation management.
Now, can I let you in on a secret? 90% of these functionalities and features were developed purely based on merchants’ demand. Our product feature roadmap is directly fed by what our merchants want, and we build the features that they feel will benefit them the most. This strong sync of our product with merchant needs ensures that we score high on relevancy.
- Operating a lean and an extremely focused business model
Appstle Subscriptions is one of the few (if not the only) Shopify subscription app that does not charge a transaction fee.
We have often been asked how we are able to manage that, and still stay profitable. We were asked this, because, most of the established players in the subscription industry (at the time of our entry), such as Recharge Payments and Bold Subscriptions were charging a per subscription transaction fee, for lifetime! Some merchants and a few industry veterans could not understand how we could operate without the transaction fee.
The answer is super simple and is based on 2 factors. A) Our app, founded by an Apple-Siri Engineer and an ex-BCG consultant, is built on revolutionary and highly scalabale (scalable, being the key and million dollar word here!) technology. That makes it possible for us to build strong and robust functionalities, efficiently. B) We have a nimble, and vigorously focused operating model. Connecting back to my first point on ‘razor sharp focus on product’, our operating model is religiously built around our product. If our product does not ‘need’ us to invest in something, we probably will not. The result? We have been able to operate efficiently and profitably, while passing on significant dollar benefits to our merchant partners, by offering the best pricing plans with 0 transaction fees! The result, was a subscriptions solution that successfully disrupted the status quo, and made the app the most loved subscriptions tool out there!