Customers do not need to be logged in to place a recurring order. However, a customer must have a Shopify account to manage their subscription after purchase.
This setting is found in the Recurring Orders admin under Settings -> General.
You can either:
- Require Shopify accounts - A customer will not be able to check out until they register or log in with a Shopify account. Requiring Shopify accounts tends to have lower conversion rates and adds an additional step to the checkout process; or
- Make Shopify accounts optional - A customer can check out through the Recurring Orders checkout without a Shopify account. Their subscription will be tied to the email address they entered during the Recurring Orders checkout process, and they can make a Shopify account (using that email address) at any time.
Visit Manage Subscription Page Link Setup for detailed instructions.