What's the difference between Bold Memberships & Bold Subscriptions?


Bold Subscriptions

Bold Memberships

Definition of the app: A "subscription order" is when a customer selects a specific product on your store that they would like to order on a subscription basis. It can be one product or multiple products. Definition of the app: Use this app to bill Shopify customers a recurring fee through Stripe or PayPal. This fee is associated with a membership plan, which can be used for an online membership or offline membership.
Example of usage: If you sell vitamins, this app creates an option on the product page that allows the customer to choose how often and at what frequency they would like them shipped. Example of usage: You might sell a membership for exclusive access to your Shopify site's content, a fitness class, a dog walking membership, or any other service you provide.

Key Difference: "subscription orders" are for a specific product, and every month (or week, etc) when the subscription recurs - the app generates an order in Shopify with the products to be shipped. It is not designed for exclusive access, or any "service", it's just for selling recurring products. The app itself is built for selling physical products, though can be adapted for other types of products. The app redirects subscribers to a unique Bold Subscriptions checkout experience, which is connected to one of our supported payment gateways. This allows the app to securely store the subscriber's credit card information for future billing.

It has a unique interface where subscribers can log in and manage their subscription. 

Key Difference: "Memberships" are not orders of a specific product and memberships do not generate orders in your store. The recurring fee is recorded in the application. You can make it so only paying members have access to certain pages on your Shopify store. You can gather unique information from customers when they sign up to be a member. Signing up for a membership plan goes through your payment gateway provider (Stripe and/or PayPal), and does not use your Shopify checkout. 

Blog Posts:

1 out of 2 found this helpful


  • I'm trying to offer discount memberships to qualifying folks (ie they have a membership at a partnering business and we want to cross promote each other). Above you mention that "Signing up for a membership requires a special checkout experience" does this 'special checkout experience' support a discount code (ie 10% off for Silver Membership)?

  • Hey Vann!

    Thanks so much for reaching out :) I adjusted the verbiage of that line slightly to better reflect the process the app follows. Memberships connects to a third party payment gateway provider (Stripe and/or PayPal) to process your customers' membership information and charge them recurringly. The app does not use Shopify's checkout to charge for its plan costs.

    In regards to the question you had above ^^^ unfortunately Memberships does not support the use of discount codes for its plans. Because these plans are processed outside of Shopify's checkout, the app won't read or recognize any active discount codes you're using on the site.

    Hypothetically, you could offer your membership plans at a slightly lower cost to incentivize customers to sign up. As well, Memberships works with our Custom Pricing app to provide you with the ability to offer discounts on your products to "members customers". You just need to use the exact same "tags" between both apps when you go to set them up:

    I know this wasn't quite what you're looking for, but I wanted to make sure we could offer as many options as possible to you! Please contact our Merchant Success team (support@boldcommerce.com) if you have any further questions from here and we'll be glad to assist.

    Knowledge Centre Manager

  • Instead of providing a discount code for the membership levels, could I create a separate [hidden page] (maybe even password protected?) that would display the discounted membership prices? I could pass the the link to the qualifying folks so they can sign up for the special discounted membership. Would this work? Or can you only have one page with the membership levels [buttons on it]?

  • Hey Vann!

    That would be another way to do it - absolutely! The subscription buttons for your plans are tied to a specific page, so as long as you have a way of hiding that page, you should be able to still offer your plans at a naturally discounted rate.

    Knowledge Centre Manager

Please sign in to leave a comment.