So you’ve decided to offer subscriptions on your Shopify store and you’re going to use our Recurring Orders app to do so. We’re ecstatic you’ve chosen our app and we can’t wait to get you set up!
Before you read any further, we offer a helpful walk-through video which explains most of the features of Recurring Orders. If you haven’t already seen this video - check it out here - it may be all the help you need!
For those of you who’ve watched the video and still have questions on how to get started, follow these first steps to get started offering subscriptions on your store. Think of it as a little check list of things to do before you launch your subscription business!
1. Request your free install of the liquid code, or install it yourself!
Recurring Orders requires liquid code to be inserted into your Shopify theme to work properly! Installing the app is one thing, but without this liquid code, the app won't do anything for you.
Through our liquid install, we create the option for a customer to subscribe to your products on the Shopify product page, or on your Shopify cart page! This all depends on which mode you choose to operate in, but we set you up for all three modes.
This is done through what we call a 'product page widget'. This widget allows customers to subscribe to your product, and choose what interval they want to sign up for.
If they choose to subscribe, they get taken to a special recurring checkout we've designed, that allows this all to happen. All of this requires this special liquid code to be inserted in the right places. This isn't always easy, depending on your theme of choice; so we can just do it for you!
(Code warriors, you always have the options of doing it yourself, and the instructions are provided in the same area that you make the free request!)
It's better to get this done sooner than later, as we go in order of requests received. Once you've installed the app, you need to find the 'HELP' tab, and then click on 'Liquid Installation'.
Find the below button on the page, and click on 'Option 2'.
Make sure you send us a staff account request for firstname.lastname@example.org, granting us the necessary permissions to your theme. We will need access to the 'Online Store' & 'Apps' area of your Shopify admin.
Make sure to also choose the correct themefor your liquid install, as you may have multiple themes installed on your store.
Neglecting to do these things will slow down the install process for our Install Wizards. They will send you an automatic email regarding this soon after you put in your request. Expect it to take 2-3 business days depending on how busy they are! There is lots to do in the mean time while you wait. :)
If you're still unsure about how to create our Install Wizards a staff account, click here to see the full guide.
2. Choose a supported payment gateway to use, and connect it to the app.
To use Recurring Orders, you must connect a payment gateway to the app. All subscription orders are taken to our special recurring checkout page, and the payment gateway you choose allows you to charge the customer, and store their credit card data for their recurring orders.
We always keep an up to date list inside the app, under Settings > Payment Gateways, but you can also see our list here.
Stripe and BrainTree are our top two recommendations. They are used by thousands of stores with great positive feedback and customer testament. We do list our other beta gateways as well.
Recurring Orders can not function without a payment gateway connected, so signing up for your account as soon as possible is recommended. It can take awhile for your account and login credentials to be approved for use.
Not all product categories are supported by Stripe, so be sure to reach out to them before connecting them to the app.
PayPal does not work with Recurring Orders. Customers will be required to checkout with their credit card information.
Click here for more information on payment gateways and how to connect yours.
3. Choose your subscription style to operate in.
Next, you have to decide how you want to present your subscriptions.
This is found under Settings > Recurring Style.
There are three methods highlighted below:
Our most popular mode, Multiple Product, allows customers to buy both one time and recurring purchases in the same cart. This means only one checkout experience is necessary. With this method, the option to subscribe will show up on your individual product pages, in a widget. They choose their recurring interval length, and add the recurring product to their cart - alongside any other products already in their cart.
Single Product mode is similar to Multiple Product with one exception: upon clicking ‘Complete Subscription,’ the customer will be taken directly to the recurring checkout, without the chance to continue shopping. It will not stop in the cart, and the cart page will not be involved. They can only check out with one product at a time. This is a popular method for stores with monthly subscription box models, or have a smaller inventory available on subscription.
Recurring Cart places the subscription widget on your regular Shopify cart page, instead of the individual product pages. This means the customer can build up their shopping cart with multiple items and subscribe to the whole cart. Keep in mind, the customer has to subscribe to the whole cart, and can’t choose individual items. This method is most popular for stores where are all of the products are offered on subscription, like grocery services, or local delivery.
4. Set up your subscription groups.
NOTE: If you chose the Recurring Cart method, this step will not apply. Click here to learn about Recurring Cart mode, and how to set it up.
If you choose to operate in Single Product mode or Multiple Produce mode, you will need to configure your subscription groups. This involves choosing a set of criteria that define the rules for your subscriptions.
You can choose to offer all your products on subscription, or just specify certain products. You also might want to offer different subscription options for different products, in which case they need to be in their own separate subscription groups, rather than all grouped into one.
Create Subscription Group
This page will require you to choose between a few different options:
First, give this group an internal name. Don’t get too hung up on this as it’s only for your eyes. These will be the 'name' given to the group when you're viewing your configured group(s) in the app.
Second, select the products you want to be available for subscription with our product selector. For some, this may be your entire store, for others it may only be a product or two. There is an option there to 'ungroup' your variants, if you need to select only specific variants of a product, rather than the entire product itself.
We do not suggest placing more than 250 products in one subscription group.
Third, select how often the customer can subscribe to receive your product. Some stores may want to let the customer select and give them a few options (such as every 1 month, every 1 week, etc) and others may want to have a fixed option. Both are possible :)
Fourth, you have to choose whether these products should be available for purchase on a subscription AND a one-time basis, or if they are to be subscription only.
For example, most subscription box models will want to set this as ‘Subscription Only’ so that customers can’t just buy the box whenever they feel like it.
Fifth, is where you to decide whether you want the susbcription to go on forever (until the customer cancels), or if you want the subscription on these products to expire after a set number of orders. This is also where you can set up a prepaid option, by clicking 'Allow customers to prepay for subscriptions'. This means they can pay up front for a specific number of orders, but you'll still have orders generate in Shopify to fulfill each interval!
Lastly, you can (optionally) set a discount for people who subscribe. By default, the discount is 0%, but you can set the percentage-based discount to whatever you desire. This is a way to entice customers to subscribe, and will apply this discount on their first order, and all recurring orders.
and you’re all set.
Creating your susbcription groups correctly is key before going live with your subscriptions, so make sure to go look at the widget on your product pages, and test it out!
You'll notice there is a START/STOP button on each subscription group. If you have them set on START, you should now see the subscription widget on the product page (if your liquid install has been completed).
You can STOP this at any time, and the widget will disappear from the product, and go back to your regular one-time purchase option.
If you don’t see the option to subscribe on the product page, please read back through these steps and contact our support team if it’s still not working.
5. Configure email templates and other settings.
There are quite a few other areas of the app, that could require attention if you want things to go smoothly for your customers. We advise going through all areas of app settings, before fully launching your subscriptions.
1. Email Templates
This is found under Settings > Email Settings.
By default, the emails that auto-send to your customers, are all turned OFF. You need to go in and enable all emails you think suit your needs.
We have basic templates created for them, but they can always use some branding for your company, maybe even a logo! Use our Merge Fields to make it even easier. :)
The ones you should definitely turn on, are the 'Manage Subscription Order' email, and the 'Credit Card Denied (to Customer)' email - for starters! But we think most of them are pretty helpful!
Click here to learn more about email templates.
2. Language Settings
This is found under Settings > Language Settings.
Sometimes our wording might not be exactly what you're looking for, whether it be on the subscription widget, or the check out page! We give you lots of opportunity to change the wording.
Perhaps you're not offering a subscription discount! The 'SUBSCRIBE & SAVE' doesn't make much sense than does it? You can change it to any thing you like. :)
Click here to learn more about language settings.
3. Display Settings
This is found under Settings > Display Settings.
How things look to your customers are important. You may want to brand certain pages with specific wording, add in your store logo, or change the colour of something!
For those familiar with CSS, there are even some CSS insert options for you! By default, things will look proper. But they can always look better, so feel free to adjust things as you wish!
Can't adjust something, even after looking through the language and display settings? Reach out to our support team, and let us see what we can do!
6. Make sure subscribers have access to the 'Manage Subscriptions' page.
We have a great interface where customers can login with their Shopify account, and make adjustments to their subscription! A lot of Shopify themes provide easy access to this, but some don't.
You also have to make sure your Shopify accounts are set to 'Optional', in your Shopify settings.
Click here and read how to ensure your customers have easy access to this page, and sit back and let your subscribers manage themselves!
Our recurring checkout has it's own US tax system, which needs to be enabled if you ship products within the US.
To enable this, navigate to Settings > Taxes in the app. If you do not enable this, our checkout is unable to calculate American taxes correctly.
If you have a place of business presence in the US, you will have to configure this accordingly.
To ensure your payment gateway is connected correctly to our recurring checkout, and to also experience the subscriber process - it is advised to place a test recurring order prior to launching!
This guide will show you the recommended steps in placing that test recurring order.
That's it! You’re now ready to start selling subscriptions!
And don't stop here!
We have an entire FAQ database full of amazing resources to guide you on some great Recurring Orders features.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!