How I Developed A Profitable Shopify App To Manage Subscriptions

Published: December 11th, 2022
Piyush Jain
Loop Subscriptions
from 251 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware 19808
started May 2021
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Hey all. I am Piyush Jain, founder of Loop Subscriptions. So what exactly is Loop? I’ll tell you that.

You see Stripe is the payment infrastructure for eCommerce; Twilio is the communication infrastructure. Loop wants to be the subscription infrastructure for eCommerce.

E-commerce is evolving into a subscription-led business, be it Mercedez giving cars for $1,000/month or Taco Bell giving one taco/day subscriptions for $10/month, and then there are subscriptions for consumables, content, and services.

Loop is a next-generation all-in-one subscription management platform on Shopify that helps DTC brands improve their subscription experience, increase revenue, reduce cancellations, loyalty or gifts or rewards system for subscribers, and much more.

Our app enables Shopify stores to set up or power any type of subscription model on their store: Auto-ship, prepaid, gift subscriptions, memberships, box subscriptions (one of the most popular types of subscriptions), loyalty memberships, and meal subscriptions

We are a native Shopify app. We aim to become the no.1 choice of subscription app for the Shopify Store. Within a period of ~7-8 months (November 2021 - September 2022), we have seen an increase of ~1,300 stores using our app. From just 200 in November 2021 and now 1,500+ using the app. That’s a massive increase of 650%.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I started my last business back in 2012. It started as a startup and later went on to become a mid-sized enterprise with more than 200 employees across India. The name of the company was LimeTray. LimeTray was a “Shopify-Esque” eCommerce platform for all restaurants in India and overseas. Imagine any possible problem that a restaurant might face related to the digital presence and acquiring customers online. We created solutions for every issue specific to restaurants. POS for their billing, website builder to create website stores, mobile apps to increase repeat orders of customers, Table reservation => A single platform to meet all the needs of a restaurant.

LimeTray grew to $5 million ARR with more than 5000 restaurant outlets under its umbrella- Dominoes, Mad Over Donuts, Subway, Burger King & more.

When COVID hit I decided to pivot my mind to a new industry. I’d been exploring the Shopify app store space for quite some time then and realized that the markets were niched but strong.

Subscriptions was an interesting space. I had been a long-term advocate of brand loyalty and churn prevention. I understand how integral subscribers are to the overall success of a business. An eternal brand is only created when it has a loyal customer base.

We consequently started building Loop after reading a lot of negative reviews of market leaders. DTC brands were complaining about the legacy software that these apps offered. Customers were facing a lot of issues with its utility - be it the bugs, the overpricing, the bad support, and so on. Hence we decided to start a subscription app built on a modern tech stack.


Take us through designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

We began building Loop with the help of our first lead engineer. The idea was to create an interface as simple as possible. We had read a lot of reviews of other apps. They had built clunky software which made it hard for brands to get the best out of the software.

When we started creating our platform, initially there was a lot of moving parts in our software. There were bugs too of course. We did face some issues setting up the customer portal and figuring out the selling plans. However, the randomness was resolved by prioritizing our most important features first. We followed sprints and made quarterly plans to ship the most important features first.

Also through refactoring and doubling down on each feature we were able to achieve stability in our product. We finally launched our App in May 2021 on Shopify- This was our beta product. We followed all the guidelines shared by Shopify to list apps in its directory.

We created an initial set of creatives that we uploaded to Shopify to complete the listing and start getting installs on our app.

How were we able to get to that point so fast? Well, great businesses can only be built with the help of great customer feedback and obsession. Our team was inspired to build and ship this app as fast as possible.


Describe the process of launching the business.

We launched our alpha product in Oct’21 and focussed on the US market for replenishment and supplements category. In a few months of launch, we became profitable and raised a $2Mn seed round from the best angel investors in the US/India such as Ed Hallen, Snehal Shinde, Swapnil Shinde, Gokul Rajaram, Varsha Rao, Alexander Erikstrup, other well-known founders of SaaS/software companies.

The initial set of customers was acquired through Slack, cold email, Shopify ASO, and referrals. Those were pretty long hours where I shuffled between sales demos, customer onboarding, and support as well. We were also shipping product features every alternative day based on the feedback of our customers.

As for our product, we didn’t wait for it to reach absolute perfection before launching. Instead, when our MVP was ready, we started selling. Sure we faced some issues initially with merchants being unable to perform certain actions but with continuous feedback, Loop evolved and turned into a solid subscription engine that is now spreading wildly across US DTC brands.

Once we start getting customers on board, our customers start referring to us and other brands in their network. With help of word of mouth, we started this cycle of getting more customers on our app.

After scaling the business to a certain level, we started focussing on other categories such as coffee, beauty, and fashion.

We also focussed on improving our presence on the Shopify App Store listing. We did a lot of A/B testing on what creatives or copy we could add to our App Store.

One can build the most complex and high-end SaaS product but if it doesn’t meet what the customer wants then it will be of no use. That’s why we prioritize customer feedback and are constantly drilling down ways to perfect the product market fit so our software is accessible to everyone in the DTC industry.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

In terms of attracting new customers, we have got a lot of referrals through word-of-mouth marketing. We want to thank our customers for showing us this love. We have also put in efforts on other marketing channels- Outbound, PR, Content & Partnerships.

The top 3 marketing channels in terms of getting new customers are

  1. Shopify App Store

  2. Outbound or LinkedIn emails

  3. Customer referrals or partner referrals or agencies

We get a lot of new customers asking for a demo through app listing. It is one of our most important channels in terms of driving new leads.

We do a lot of A/B testing on the Store listing.

Tweak our subheader, the section headings, the copy, and the visuals.

As far as we have observed a good experiment in visuals helps to increase the install rate tremendously.

We experiment with our product positioning on the Store listing. Picking what should be our hero image and the supporting storyline.

We also answer questions related to subscriptions on forums such as Quora and Reddit.

This is more of a brand exposure thing. So if someone has the same doubt and stumbles upon that answer and it adds value to their business, then they do check out our website.

The traffic from such questions is just ~10-50 per month. That's it.

We do it purely for a brand exposure thing

Social media has also played an important role in getting us leads both on Twitter & LinkedIn.

We have been sharing a lot of content on Social media on how brands have benefited from migrating from legacy subscriptions app to Loop.


In terms of customer retention, we haven’t seen a single churn reason that was within our control. Brands part ways with us because they are shutting down their store.


We offer the best support that’s out there in the market and also help our merchants grow with suggestions that can help them drive their subscribers and subscription revenue. That’s why brands just love us and we haven’t seen any churn so far.

The first main reason why brands love us is because of the simplicity of our Merchant portal. It’s very intuitive, feature-packed, and has all the analytics that brands need to stay on top of their subscription game.



Our goal is to become the Subscription growth partners for our merchants by offering them tactics on how they can reduce their subscription cancellations, upsell other products, and offer flexibility in terms of rescheduling their orders.

We are also focussing on writing a lot of value-driven content. How brands have used Loop to see an uplift in Subscription revenue. We don’t charge transaction fees as high as other apps.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Loop is running profitable at this moment. We are going full power on the hiring front and are planning to scale our business via our outbound and inbound marketing channels relentlessly in the next couple of months or so.

We are publishing more content on our website, more case studies, and more thought leadership material. We are creating digital tools that would be handy for subscription-first DTC brands– A subscription ROI calculator, Subscription widget builder, and Cancellation video generator.

We have plans to create industry-specific content- Reports, use cases, and podcasts.

We are also looking to expand our partnership opportunities with other Shopify apps, agencies, people in the CRO industry, influencers in the Shopify ecosystem, and more.

Of course, a lot of new product features would get shipped out. We follow agile methodology within our company to ship features. We add innovations in the existing product features based on customer feedback and our analysis of what is happening in the Industry.

We also do a lot of data mining on our customers to generate actionable industry-level reports. Our customer success managers share these reports across our clientele to share how different brands are using Loop to achieve subscription revenue.

Right now our focus is currently on Shopify DTC brands. Going forward, we want to focus on brands that are present on other eCommerce platforms such as Magento or BigCommerce. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just eCommerce.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Of course! Building a startup and taking it from zero to 1 is a beautiful and tough journey that is full of failures, mistakes, and leanings.

While building a product for DTC brands, I have learned a couple of things that I didn’t know when I was building a product for restaurant brands

  • DTC brands are very particular about the apps that they install on their stores
  • DTC brands have a very powerful network. So good word spreads fast but bad word spreads even faster
  • DTC brands have lean teams. So you need to build products that ease their workload and simplify their operations.
  • DTC universe is expanding quickly and it's almost in every sphere of daily life.
  • Sustainability & Subscriptions go hand in hand. For sustainable brands to build a profitable company, they must invest in subscriptions

Apart from all these, there is one more important lesson that I have learned:

One can build the most complex and high-end SaaS product but if it doesn’t meet what the customer wants then it will be of no use. That’s why we prioritize customer feedback and are constantly drilling down ways to perfect the product market fit so our software is accessible to everyone in the DTC industry.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use a lot of platforms and tools for our business. Our product team uses a combination of JIRA/Notion for project management. Our app has been built on React, Next.js, Nest.js & Edge Functions.

Our marketing team uses a combination of outbound and inbound growth tools. For our outbound efforts, we use tools like Outplay to send our sequences to potential clients.

We use different contact research companies such as Apollo, Seamless, and other tools to figure out the right email addresses for sending our communication.

Then we use Hubspot for database management. In Hubspot, we like to track all the activity of the prospects or contacts, or accounts. We use Hubspot for other reasons as well- For embedding forms on our website, for setting up workflows to set up sequences, and for the main website chat. The main website chat has been a great lead source for us. Visitors ask their doubts and then we respond. They leave their email addresses and that’s how we can get back to them.

For inbound growth efforts, we use tools like Hotjar, Leadfeeder, and Google analytics for different use cases. We use Hotjar to visualize how visitors are interacting with our customer portal or website. We use Leadfeeder to figure out which companies are visiting our website and if these are potential accounts.

We use Google Analytics to do website traffic analysis and figure out are sources/mediums that are driving visitors to our site.

For internal communication, we use Slack as it is the most versatile and flexible tool.

All of these are the business essentials that keep our team going.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Founder Brand by Dave Gerhardt is my recent favorite. Establishing a strong founder identity that spreads your app’s message has become important in recent times - especially for SaaS businesses.

Another great book is Thinking Fast and Slow. I loved this book because it gives a glimpse into how human brains think and helps me during product demos so that I can convince those people to switch over to Loop from other apps.

To keep myself updated with the world of eCommerce, I listen to podcasts and read newsletters.

I would highly recommend Limited Supply- A podcast by Moiz Ali and Nik Sharma. They are both eCommerce veterans and share so much valuable information on how you can start up and create a brand of your own.

I don’t skip reading any edition of the DTC newsletter. It informs me what is happening in the world of DTC brands. I try to get a lot of takeaways from the newsletter and share them with our customers in the context of Loop.

I also follow a lot of influencers on Twitter and love those Twitter threads. Some of these handles are @ashvinmelwani - co-founder and CMO of Myobvi. Then I follow other Shopify App founders and learn from their journeys on how they are building their Shopify apps.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting?

Be fearless but rational. Instead of creating the next Facebook, tap into markets and niches that you’ve never heard of before. Shopify is a booming space for app creators and brands alike.

So I’d suggest young entrepreneurs or those starting over explore it more.

Follow experienced startup builders, founders, or entrepreneurs on Twitter or Linkedin. Learn from their journeys. Don’t be afraid of the stigma of failure. If you fail once, try again.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yep, we are hiring across engineering, marketing, and design for Loop.

Check out our open positions here.

We have built an amazing team culture here at Loop. We have people from different backgrounds with a lot of experience in eCommerce, customer retention, loyalty, and building great SaaS products. You can read more about our team here.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop us a comment below!

Piyush Jain, Founder of Loop Subscriptions
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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