If you use Shopify as an ecommerce platform and need to add subscription recurring billing functionality, chances are you’re considering the ReCharge app. After all, with 51% of the subscription recurring billing market share within the Shopify ecosystem, ReCharge is the go-to for many. It claims to be feature packed as a robust platform, directly integrating into Shopify for ease of use. Is ReCharge everything it claims to be? In this article, I’ll play the devil's advocate and break it down.
How ReCharge works and what it costs
Before I get too far, let’s back up and take a look at what ReCharge does and how much it costs to use.
ReCharge provides the ability to add recurring billing options for Shopify products. The ReCharge app integrates loosely into Shopify, but, when customers proceed to checkout, they are taken off-site to a separate ReCharge payment processing page. Customer accounts are made for both Shopify and ReCharge, and are managed independently of one another.
ReCharge costs $39.99 USD per month + an additional fee per recurring order depending on the size of your business. You can confirm pricing on the ReCharge pricing page.
True, half-true or false
ReCharge claims the following features, but how much truth is there to each claim.
UPDATE: ReCharge changed their support documentation platform after this article was published. All of the links below have been updated to reflect this change to the best of our ability.
What users are saying
The ReCharge app reviews page is a good place to see what people say about the app. The majority of comments are positive, but there are some negative comments and these users do bring up points to consider.
5 star review
The following are some of the enthusiastically positive comments people are posting about ReCharge.
(January 10, 2019) ★★★★★
App works and they are always helpful when it comes to problems or challenges. I strongly recommend it!
(December 26, 2018) ★★★★★
The Recharge App is one of the very few apps I have used on Shopify that actually does everything I need it to do! Their support team is also incredible and has always gone above and beyond to help me with anything I need.
3 star review
The following are some of the middle of the road comments people are posting about ReCharge.
(February 14, 2019) ★★★☆☆
We thought based on the reviews that this would be the ticket as we had used another subscription app previously and did not like it. The functionality is good but customers seem to have difficulties logging into their accounts and changing their recurring orders…
(July 27, 2018) ★★★☆☆
Recharge is a decent app … Pros: Relatively user friendly. Offers most of the functionality you would expect in a subscription: cancel, swap items, change recurring order interval, etc … Cons: Checkout flow does not like to work with other apps. Does not work with dynamic pricing (i.e. if you have tiered pricing or bulk discounts. Glitchy at times; doesn't always show product images; some pages won't show all the different options unless you click out and click back in, making it very difficult to find what should be easy solutions.
1 star review
The following are some of the horribly negative comments people are posting about ReCharge.
(September 26, 2018) ★☆☆☆☆
Integration is manual by them and it takes ages with no answer. don't be fooled by nice graphics they show to you. it is waste of time and effort
(August 12, 2018) ★☆☆☆☆
We have been waiting for over a month for Recharge to get our store working correctly. Despite contacting them it is still not setup. Beware if you think this is an easy integration, they have to write custom code to make it work...
(June 5, 2018) ★☆☆☆☆
I hate the fact that I cannot have it billed through Shopify, but instead I have to manage a separate subscription. Utterly pointless and unnecessary!
It is our job as ecommerce consultants to understand the larger picture of digital commerce so that we can share the pros and cons of any tool with our current and prospective clients. We try not to hold much bias from one tool to the next, but instead dig deep into the accuracy of the full feature set. Once we understand the tool, we then like to see whether it’s a scalable solution and who it’s best suited for.
ReCharge and Shopify, for the most part, work very well together and is a viable solution for many businesses, especially those that are just starting out. However, as a business selling both subscription and one-time purchase products grows, there are some major scaling issues around stock and inventory, returns and price adjustments, and reporting. These issues are significant enough that they can actually be a catalyst for replatforming.
If you’re seriously considering, or are already using, the Shopify and ReCharge combination, I would urge you to watch our on-demand webinar titled Understanding the Limitations of Shopify & Recharge for Subscription Commerce. This webinar will show you the limitations I just mentioned using an actual real-world store. Talk is talk, but seeing it in action is the real deal.