Subscription businesses selling physical goods fall into four main categories:

  • subscription boxes with a curated selection of products

  • subscription boxes for replenishment of frequently used products

  • Internet of Things (IoT) subscriptions related to ‘smart’ devices

  • subscriptions that include both digital and physical goods, which is known as a


In the latter case, the physical good is often a one-time purchase. An example might be a web streaming service that also sells cameras and tripods.

One challenge that all these businesses face is the need to accurately and efficiently bill for shipping costs.

Recurly is pleased to announce a new feature for billing Shipping Fees, which allows physical goods businesses to bill shipping costs easily and efficiently. This provides a number of benefits.

Defray costs of doing business

Physical goods tend to be a low-margin business, while shipping goods around the world can be quite expensive. Without a platform that supports shipping fees, many businesses are forced to create complicated workarounds or choose to simply make shipping free. By providing an easy and streamlined way to charge subscribers for shipping costs, you can recoup this expense.

Easy and accurate taxation

In the U.S. and internationally, different states and countries have myriad rules regarding the taxability of shipping fees. Generally, taxability is based on whether the goods being shipped meet the requirement for being taxed. With our Shipping Fees functionality, Recurly abstracts this complexity and ensures that shipping fees are always taxed correctly, whether to Dublin, Ohio or to Dublin, Ireland.

Offer customers multiple options for speed of delivery and cost

Many businesses offer free standard shipping and some offer expedited options, such as overnight shipping if their subscribers need their products faster. Still others offer different shipping options to locations not in the continental U.S. Our Shipping Fees function supports customers who want to provide different shipping choices.

Recurly knows that physical goods subscription businesses have unique needs, and we want to make sure these businesses have an efficient, streamlined way to bill for shipping costs. Our new Shipping Fees feature provides for an easy way to charge these fees and lets you choose the shipping options that are right for your business. What’s more, our UI and API work with any of your shipping providers or systems!

To learn more, visit our documentation page. Or talk to a Recurly expert at (844) 732-8759.