Experienced E-commerce Agency for Magento/ Adobe Commerce/ Shopify/ Shopware Development

Shopify Subscription API: A comprehensive guide

Shopify Subscription API is a powerful tool to empower merchants with subscription-based services. It enables seamless integration of subscription functionalities into Shopify stores. 

Whether you’re a long-established owner or just starting your eCommerce journey, this guide will help you. We will provide you with valuable insights and useful tips to leverage the full potential of the Shopify Subscription API. So let’s get into it!

Table of Contents

What is Shopify Subscription API?

Shopify Subscription API (Application Programming Interfaces) is a comprehensive and user-friendly toolset. It is designed to empower developers and partners in building robust apps for Shopify’s online stores. This tool was introduced by Shopify in October 2020. 

Shopify Subscription API

This cutting-edge tool offers an unparalleled experience to developers and partners. It enables them to design and develop apps or themes with utmost ease and efficiency for millions of merchants. With the Subscription APIs, Shopify provides a seamless platform for innovation and creativity. This will ensure partners and developers can deliver remarkable solutions enhancing the Shopify ecosystem.

By leveraging this powerful API, merchants gain the ability to provide product subscription plans, empowering customers to easily subscribe to recurring payments. The versatility of this API extends to developers, granting them comprehensive control over the entire subscription lifecycle. 

What are the common features of Shopify Subscription API?

The Shopify Subscription API provides a variety of subscription plans and functionality to improve the subscription experience for both businesses and customers. Let’s have a look at some of the most common functionalities given by this API:

Selling Plan API

With the Selling Plan API, you can map out your products, variants, and selling plans. This means you can offer products not just through traditional one-time purchases, but also through subscriptions. 

By integrating subscription options into your store, you can provide customers with the convenience of recurring payments and regular product deliveries. Furthermore, you can customize the shipping frequency and create enticing marketing strategies by offering product discounts to subscribers.

Subscription Contract API 

The Subscription Contract API simplifies the setup process at the checkout step. It is an optimal solution for controlling subscription contracts, enabling developers to seamlessly handle any changes during a subscription’s lifecycle. 

For instance, if a customer keeps their payment method up to date or modifies their subscription items, developers can use this API to update the subscription contract accordingly, ensuring a smooth transition and uninterrupted service for the customer.

Customer Payment Method API 

The Customer Payment Method API streamlines the payment process for your valuable customers. It eliminates the need for them to go through the entire checkout flow when making future orders. 

Customers who have already provided their payment information can conveniently make payments without manually entering their credit card details each time. This API enables a quick, hassle-free payment experience, boosting customer satisfaction and encouraging repeat purchases.

The benefits of Shopify Subscription API

The Shopify Subscription API provides a range of benefits that can transform the checkout experience, empowering merchants to create their own Shopify Subscription app:

Control over the customer portal

With the Shopify Subscription API, you gain exceptional control over the customer portal. This means you have the power to make seamless changes to your checkout theme, keeping user preferences and flexibility in mind.

Benefits of Shopify Subscription API

Customers can conveniently manage their subscriptions right within their account, with the ability to add new subscriptions, suspend existing ones, or even cancel them, all with ease and convenience.

By leveraging the customer portal control offered by the Shopify Subscription API, you can provide your customers with a user-friendly and intuitive interface. That will empower them to have full control over their subscription journey.

Create free trials and tested offers

Shopify Subscription API helps captivate your customers and entice them to become recurring subscribers by creating free trials and exclusive offers. This innovative approach allows you to gain valuable insights into your customers’ preferences and tailor your subscription model accordingly.

The exceptional features provided by the Shopify Subscription API offer merchants an opportunity to develop their own Shopify subscription apps. These features seamlessly blend with your existing theme and checkout process. This can ensure a cohesive and engaging user experience. 

By leveraging these tools, you can make a cost-effective and efficient transition to a subscription-based model, unlocking new revenue streams and cultivating long-term customer relationships. With the ability to build tested offers, you have the means to capture your customers’ attention and drive their interest towards becoming loyal subscribers. 

Effortlessly manage subscriptions

With Shopify Subscription API, you can create a customized solution for customer tracking. This will allow you to stay up-to-date on their subscription preferences. By closely monitoring your customers, you can easily design and modify your subscription offerings within the admin interface.

The flexibility offered by the Shopify Subscription API empowers you to add, swap, or adjust product prices directly within the admin dashboard. This streamlined management process ensures that you have full control over your subscription offerings. That will enable you to adapt and optimize them in response to customer feedback and market trends.

With the ability to track and manage subscriptions seamlessly, you can provide your customers a personalized and tailored experience. This level of control allows you to fine-tune your subscription model. You can rest assured that it will align with your business goals and meet the ever-changing needs of your customer base.

How does Shopify Subscriptions API work?

With the Shopify Subscription API, developers can programmatically interact with the subscription system, opening up a world of possibilities. This API offers a comprehensive set of endpoints and methods that empower developers to seamlessly create, manage, and retrieve subscription-related data.

Shopify Subscriptions API opens up a world of possibilities

Merchants can leverage this API to define subscription plans tailored to their offerings, specifying intervals such as monthly or weekly, and setting pricing accordingly. Using the Shopify Subscriptions API, merchants can offer these subscription plans to customers through their online stores. This will provide a convenient and streamlined subscription experience.

In essence, the Shopify Subscriptions API acts as a bridge, connecting developers with the subscription system. That enables them to unleash the full potential of subscription-based services within the Shopify ecosystem.

The Subscriptions API allows developers to work with JSON and XML output formats, ensuring compatibility with various applications. When it comes to making HTTP requests, developers have four options at their disposal: get, put, delete, and post. These methods enable seamless retrieval, updating, deletion, and creation of subscription-related data.

Furthermore, the API provides specific functions that can be utilized for various purposes, adding an extra layer of functionality. Whether it’s managing subscription plans or processing subscription-related events, developers can leverage these API functions to tailor the subscription experience to their specific requirements.

To further enhance the user experience, the Subscriptions API categorizes and lists items in carts based on sections and pricing. This categorization simplifies the browsing and purchasing process for customers. Therefore, it allows them to easily navigate through their desired products, make informed decisions, and easily complete their subscriptions.

Who is Shopify Subscription API for?

A diverse range of stakeholders utilizes the Shopify Subscriptions API to elevate their Shopify stores and provide an array of subscription-based offerings. They can be:

Shopify merchants 

Shopify merchants can leverage the Subscriptions API to unlock many business benefits. By incorporating subscription-based products or services, merchants can generate new revenue streams and improve customer loyalty. The Subscriptions API empowers merchants with valuable tools to monitor and optimize their subscription offerings.

With the Subscriptions API, merchants gain access to detailed insights into the performance of their subscription business. They can track key metrics such as sales and revenue generated from subscriptions. This data-driven approach ensures merchants can continually optimize their subscription offerings to meet customer demands and maximize profitability.

Furthermore, the Shopify Subscription API seamlessly integrates with Shopify’s existing ecosystem. This will allow merchants to efficiently manage their subscriptions within the familiar Shopify platform. This simplifies order management, inventory tracking, and customer communication, streamlining operations and improving overall efficiency.


Developers can use the API to create custom solutions that cater specifically to subscription management and seamless integration with other software systems. This enables developers to offer comprehensive solutions that cater to the unique needs of both merchants and customers.

Shopify Subscriptions API is a powerful tool for developers

These skilled professionals can capitalize on their expertise in subscription-related services, positioning themselves as go-to experts in the field. By staying abreast of the digital transformation, developers can continuously innovate and offer cutting-edge solutions that help merchants optimize their subscription businesses.

Through the Shopify Subscription API, developers can not only provide value-added services to merchants but also generate profits by offering their specialized knowledge and skills. This enables them to establish themselves as industry leaders and contribute to the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.


The Shopify Subscription API allows designers to create appealing visual designs, layout components, and multiple themes. Those elements will enhance the aesthetics and user interface of the subscription system within Shopify stores.

Thanks to Shopify Subscriptions API, designers can seamlessly integrate their custom visuals and design elements into the subscription process. This allows them to create visually appealing subscription pages, cart interfaces, and checkout flows that align with the brand identity and captivate customers.

By focusing on user-friendly designs, designers can ensure that the subscription experience is intuitive and enjoyable for customers. They can optimize the layout, use clear visuals, and incorporate intuitive navigation elements to enhance usability.

How to apply Shopify Subscription API for the access request and app review process

The Shopify Subscription API is accessible to both public and custom apps. This allows developers to apply for access and create their own Shopify app.

Request access

To develop a subscription app, the initial step involves requesting access to two protected scopes as outlined below:

  • read_customer_payment_methods: This scope gives your app permission to access and retrieve information about customer payment methods. With this access, your app can retrieve and analyze the payment methods associated with each customer.
  • write_own_subscription_contracts: This scope enables your app to read and write operations on subscription contract mutations for contracts. By utilizing this scope, your app can create, modify, and manage subscription contracts, allowing for seamless subscription management within your app.

Securing access to the read_customer_payment_methods and write_own_subscription_contracts within the Shopify Subscriptions API is essential to guarantee the safe and responsible handling of sensitive customer payment data. The access request procedure is crucial because it allows Shopify to validate the authenticity of your app’s goals and properly examine how these scopes will be used to protect consumer information.

Shopify Subscriptions API allows developers to apply for access

Once your app has been granted access to these scopes during the early access phase, there is no need to reapply for access when the API becomes publicly available. The permissions you have previously received will seamlessly carry over, simplifying the transition to the public release. This eliminates redundancy and enables you to concentrate on enhancing your app’s features and functionalities. 

To request access to the Shopify Subscription API, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  • Step 1: Log in to your Shopify Partner Dashboard and navigate to your app’s overview page. Click on “App setup
  • Step 2: Select the “Access Subscription APIs” tab within the Subscriptions section. Look for the “Request access” option and click on it.
  • Step 3: In this step, you will be asked to explain why you are applying for access to the Subscriptions API. Provide a clear and concise explanation, then click “Request access” to submit your request.
  • Step 4: After submitting your request, the Subscriptions section will indicate that your request is pending approval. You will need to wait for Shopify to process and review your request.

If your request is approved, a “Manage subscriptions” banner appears, indicating that you have been granted access to the Subscriptions API. If your request is denied, you will see a “Request denied” banner with options to seek further information or file an appeal against the decision.

App review process

Developers aiming to have their app featured in the Shopify App Store must familiarize themselves with the app review process. It typically requires a waiting period of up to 10 business days. Following this, developers can proceed with the subsequent steps to submit their app for approval:

  • Step 1: Access your Shopify Partner Dashboard and navigate to the Apps section. Select the name of your app.
  • Step 2: Click on the “Distribution” tab.
  • Step 3: If you haven’t chosen a distribution option, proceed with the previous two steps and select “Shopify App Store.” Confirm your selection.
  • Step 4: Click “Create listing” or “Manage listing” to proceed.
  • Step 5: You can choose an existing listing or add a translated listing if needed.
  • Step 6: Enter all the required information fields as per the provided listing guidelines.
  • Step 7: Preview your listing to see how it will appear once published.
  • Step 8: Save your changes.
  • Step 9: Use the back button at the top of the form to return to the app listing page.
  • Step 10: Select “Submit app.”
  • Step 11: Tick the checkbox to acknowledge that your app meets the submission requirements and is ready for review. Finally, submit your app for review.

Why is Mageplaza a good choice for Shopify subscription API?

Mageplaza stands out in the competitive Shopify app market, serving a vast number of merchants globally. With a strong track record and a wide customer base, Mageplaza is a reliable choice for businesses seeking Shopify Subscription API services. 

Mageplaza’s website

Here are the reasons why you should choose Mageplaza:

  • High-qualified experts: With a wealth of experience in eCommerce and Shopify API, our team has assisted numerous businesses with their Shopify stores with diverse platforms and systems. Our expertise and knowledge enable us to deliver exceptional solutions that meet the unique integration requirements of each client.
  • Advanced security: We understand the importance of safeguarding our client’s data and systems, so we are committed to signing Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) contracts. By adhering to strict protocols, we go the extra mile to protect our client’s sensitive information, maintaining confidentiality and providing peace of mind.
  • Affordable pricing: Our pricing structure is transparent, without hidden fees or charges, ensuring that clients receive fair and competitive rates for our services. We offer a variety of cost-effective plans meticulously designed to deliver maximum value. 
  • On-going support: As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we offer a complimentary two-month support period following the implementation of the integration. Our dedicated support team is available 24/7, providing assistance, addressing inquiries, and resolving any concerns. 
  • Quick turnaround time: Recognizing the value of time as a precious resource, we prioritize the swift and efficient delivery of our solutions. By working together, we align our efforts to meet your timelines and deadlines, ensuring a seamless and timely integration experience. We aim to help you maximize productivity and achieve your desired outcomes quickly.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to optimize your Shopify store with Mageplaza. You will discover how our powerful tools can enhance your online business.



Shopify Subscription API helps businesses unlock new revenue streams and simplify their subscription management processes. The API’s robust functionality and Shopify’s secure infrastructure ensure a seamless experience for merchants and customers. With the Shopify Subscription API, you have the tools and resources to grow your business effectively.

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Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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