Convertible Subscriptions in Recurring Orders


The use of this feature will require an update to your existing Shopify theme files if you installed the Recurring Orders app prior to March 12th, 2017. 

Offering Convertible Subscriptions

This feature requires additional code to be added to your Shopify theme, as this feature uses an entirely new style of subscription widget on Shopify product pages. For those that may have additional customizations in place on their product pages, we would advise requesting your free liquid install into a backup Shopify theme rather than a live theme. This code will be included standard with any liquid install completed by our Install Team after March 13th, 2017.

If you're currently using Recurring Orders, please send in a support ticket to our team, specifying which Shopify theme you'd like the additional code inserted into, along with your myshopify details. 

Enjoy coding on your spare time? :-) Take a stab at the necessary liquid update yourself!

It is important to note that the use of this feature may not be compatible with existing customizations without additional web development. 


Article Navigation

- How do Convertible Subscriptions work?

How do I set this up?

- Best practices

- Frequently Asked Questions

How do Convertible Subscriptions work?


This exciting new feature allows for an automatic product switch between a customer's first and second recurring order. This means your customers now have the option to subscribe to a single product in your Shopify store, and automatically receive a different product on the second order.

This new feature is extremely robust and allows you to create unique subscription campaigns for your customers! It even integrates with our 'initial and recurring discount' option, allowing you to offer a different discount on both the initial and recurring product.

You can use this feature to easily upsell a subscription: convert a trial size product into the full size subscription item. Selling subscription boxes? Why not offer an introductory box that automatically transitions to the regular product. Even if your subscription model requires an introductory fee, that can easily achieved with the use of two different products. 

Click here to preview Convertible Subscriptions in action!



This feature supports both Shopify products and specific variants. This is a 1:1 switch, which means the second product is always a specific product, which is based on your subscription group settings.


How do I set this up?

In the Recurring Orders app, navigate to the main 'Subscriptions' tab. This feature is only compatible with Single Product and Multiple Product modes. It is not compatible with Recurring Cart mode. 


Select 'Create Subscription Group' on the right hand side.


Choose 'Convertible' from the drop down in Step 1. 


Certain incompatible elements will be hidden when you select this option, as some options (like prepaid subscriptions) are not compatible with Convertible Subscriptions.

Step 2: Use the product selector to confirm your initial product(s), and your singular recurring product. You can always select the magnifying glass icon to review your selections.


In Step 3, you can confirm the order frequencies available for your subscribers to choose from, and whether the product is subscription only, or available as a one time purchase as well.

As you progress through, remember that in Step 4 you can choose to offer:

  • No discount
  • The same discount on the initial and recurring product
  • A different discount on the initial and recurring product


Once you've saved your selections, you can preview how the widget displays the Convertible Subscription on the initial product(s) page. It will provide a small preview of the recurring product which will actually link to the recurring product's page.


If the customer chooses to subscribe to the initial product - only that product is added to the cart. The switch to the recurring product is handled by the app automatically after their first order is processed.

Here is another example:



Best Practices


Using our Convertible Subscription feature may require a bit more explanation than your typical subscription model. We've included a few steps you can follow to make it clear what your customer should expect on their second recurring order - just so there are no surprises. :-)


Utilize your Shopify product description:

Let's face it - you can only put so much information in the subscription widget! It can't fit everything, which is why it's good to make use of your Shopify product description. Explain the details of the Convertible Subscription, and make sure it's clear what their options are between their first and second order. 


Be strategic with your product images:

This will really depend on what kind of products you are selling - but don't be afraid to incorporate your Convertible Subscription into your product images. Outline your pricing even further, and maybe provide a small preview image of the recurring product they'll expect. The less clicks for your customer the better! 


Enable the 'Upcoming Shipment' and 'Manage Subscription Order' emails:

Depending on the time between their first and second order dates, the customer might need a little reminder of what to expect. Our Recurring Orders email templates are fully customizable, and can provide vital information on how your customer can manage their subscription. These are found in the app under Settings > Emails.

The 'Manage Subscription Order' email sends to a customer after their first ever subscription purchase on your store. Introduce your program, and let them know where they can go to sign up for a Shopify account on your store. Learn more about this here.

The 'Upcoming Shipment' email sends out prior to their next charge date, so it's the perfect time to remind them what product to expect next. You can actually choose how many days prior to their order date the email will get sent out, giving them ample time to make adjustments to their recurring product. They may need to adjust their product quantity, swap the product, or even reschedule their order date. This is the perfect way of letting them know not only that they can do these things themselves, but how to do it, providing a link to your Shopify login page.


Frequently Asked Questions


Question: Can I make it so a customer can not purchase this more than once?

Answer: Not at this time, but we will be looking to add this in the very near future. It would eventually offer the option to restrict to one per Shopify account.


Question: Can the customer choose what they want to receive on the second order from a selection of items?

Answer: No, this is a one to one switch. If the customer stays subscribed, they will automatically receive the recurring product that you've setup in the subscription group. 


QuestionCan a customer still purchase the recurring product separately?

Answer: Yes, you can sell the recurring product separately. You can create a second subscription group containing the recurring item, you just can't have the initial product in two subscription groups.


QuestionCan a customer swap to another product eventually?

Answer: Absolutely! You can set up your recurring product in another standard subscription group with our Product Swap feature enabled. After their initial order passes, they will be able to swap to another product in the same subscription group as the recurring product. 


QuestionCan a customer check out with other items in their cart?

Answer: Yes, as long as you are operating in Multiple Product mode. However it is important to note that a Convertible Subscription will result in a separate subscription being made.  One subscription would contain the Convertible Subscription, and a separate subscription would be created for the other subscription items. This may result in a customer having two subscriptions (or more) under their email, which cannot be avoided.



QuestionCan I adjust the colors of the widget?

Answer: Yes! We have a number of display options that can be adjusted right in the app under Settings > Display > Product Page Widget. The two options below can change the background color and border color of the widget. Notice something you can't customize? Reach out to us - we might be able to help!


QuestionCan I change the default wording?

Answer: Yes, the wording can be changed. You'll find all available options to translate/change under Settings > Language.



Don't see your question answered here? Send in your question to our Recurring Orders support team! 

Have an idea you want to run past us? We'd love to hear it! Let us know how you plan to use the Convertible Subscription feature, and we might feature it on this page!



Have more questions? Submit a request