Make a selection

Prepaid subscriptions allow customers to pay for a set number of orders upfront. This provides predictable revenue for your store while giving your customers the convenience of paying one time while still receiving their orders on a recurring basis.

Many customers prefer to prepay instead of each time an order is generated. Prepaying offers a simplified experience and allows customers to take advantage of increased discounts. Prepaid subscriptions are typically offered with higher discounts for longer subscription lengths. This encourages your customers to prepay for more orders.

Alert: Prepaid subscriptions work with Online Store 2.0 themes using the app block and app embed. For step-by-step instructions, please visit our Installation Guide for Subscriptions for Shopify Checkout.

This article outlines the functionality, setup instructions, and upcoming features for prepaid subscriptions.



Video Walkthrough




When prepaid subscriptions are enabled along with standard subscriptions, the option to prepay appears under your delivery frequency options. Your customers can select the checkbox to view and select a prepaid option.


Prepaid widget demo

If your subscription is set to prepaid only, the prepaid options are displayed by default.

Customers can add a prepaid subscription to the cart and continue shopping. This means they can buy more products from your store, including another prepaid or standard subscription.

When your customer purchases a prepaid subscription, a message is displayed at the top of the subscription in the customer portal. This message outlines the number of prepaid orders that have been fulfilled and the renewal method. This is visible when managing your customer's prepaid subscription from the Bold Subscriptions' admin as well. 


View in customer portal


Prepaid order lengths

You can offer multiple prepaid options with varying levels of discounts. For example, you can offer a 5% discount for prepaying for three orders, a 10% discount for prepaying for six orders, and 15% off for prepaying for 12 orders.

The number of orders in a prepaid subscription include your customer’s initial purchase. For example, if a customer prepays for three orders, the first order is the initial purchase, and the second and third orders are recurring orders.


Renewal methods

In the subscription group settings, you can choose what happens at the end of the prepaid term by default, once all the orders have been fulfilled. You can have the subscription expire, renew as a prepaid subscription, or renew as a regular subscription (non-prepaid).

The default renewal method you select is displayed in the subscription widget on the storefront.

You can give your customers the ability to change the renewal options in the customer portal. For more information, please visit Subscription Management: Customer Perspective


Prepaid Shopify orders

When a prepaid subscription is purchased, the order generated in Shopify is for the full cost of prepaid subscription, however, it’s important to be aware that Bold creates a refund of $0.00 for the additional orders in the prepaid subscription. This message can be disregarded. Its purpose is to allow future orders to be generated by Bold Subscriptions, rather than Shopify, giving you and your customers more flexibility with prepaid orders. Your customers are not notified of these initial refunds.

To see how this appears on the order in the Shopify admin, expand the example below.

  • Shopify order




To create a prepaid subscription group, please follow the steps below.

If you would like to add prepaid options to an existing subscription group, you can edit the existing group to add the prepaid options beginning at step 12 below. For the best experience, products should only belong to one subscription group at a time.

  1. From within Bold Subscriptions, navigate to Subscription groups.
  2. Click Create subscription group.
  3. Enter a Group name.

    Note: This is an internal name, your customers do not see it.

  4. Click Select products.
  5. Check the box next to the products you'd like to include in the group.
  6. Click Confirm.
  7. Set your Subscription frequency. Select Days, Weeks, Months, or Years.
  8. Click Show advanced options, and choose from the following options:
    • On purchase day: The customer's subscription renews based on the date of their initial purchase.
    • On specific day of the month: The customer's subscription renews on the same day every month; regardless of their date of purchase.
    • Custom occurrence: Custom logic for when your customers' subscriptions renew. Additional choices appear when selecting this option.

      Note: If either of the last two options are selected, you have the ability to Use cutoff days.

  9. Enter a Frequency name.

    Note: This name is displayed in the subscription widget.

  10. Click Save Frequency.
  11. Optional: Click Add new frequency and repeat steps 7 - 10 for additional frequency intervals.
  12. Enable the toggle next to Allow customers to prepay for subscriptions.
  13. Enter the Number of orders you would like to offer for prepayment.
  14. Optional: Enter a discount.

    Note: Use the dropdown menu and choose Percentage off (%) or Amount off ($).

  15. Optional: Click Add prepaid length to add additional prepaid lengths and repeat steps 13 and 14.
  16. Optional: Check the box next to Only offer this subscription as a prepaid subscription.
  17. Optional: Check the box next to Extend the subscription once all prepaid orders have completed, and choose one of the following options:

    Note: If this box is not checked, the subscription ends once all the prepaid orders have been fulfilled.

    • The prepaid subscription is renewed for the same length of time
    • The subscription continues as a non-prepaid subscription (i.e., monthly) based on the frequency initially selected
  18. Optional: Toggle on Offer a discount for subscribing, and enter a discount.

    Note: This discount is applicable to the non-prepaid subscription.

  19. Select Save Changes.

    Note: The subscription is activated on the storefront as soon as it's saved.



Important considerations

Shipping address changes

Both admins and customers can update the shipping address for prepaid subscriptions.

It's important to note that when updating the shipping address on a prepaid subscription, the customer is not automatically billed or refunded any differences in the shipping costs for the orders that they’ve already paid for. Any costs associated with shipping updates are applied to the next prepaid order if it is set to continue.


Shopify discount codes

Discount codes that offer x amount off each order can only be applied to the entire prepaid amount rather than each individual order in the subscription. This means a discount code of $10 off will discount the initial prepaid amount one-time for $10, as the future orders generate at $0.00.


Canceling prepaid subscriptions mid-cycle

Only admins are allowed to cancel a customer's prepaid subscription mid-cycle — before all the orders have been generated in the prepaid cycle. It's important to note that if this is done, your customer is not automatically refunded for any remaining orders. Refunds must be completed separately in the Shopify admin.


Adding products

Customers and admins can add products both as one-time purchases or recurring orders to an existing prepaid subscription.

Products added as a one-time purchase are charged only once, when the next subscription order is generated. Products added as recurring orders are charged each time a subscription order is generated.

It’s important to note that any products added to an existing prepaid subscription mid-cycle will not incur shipping charges until the prepaid subscription is set to renew.


Product edits

Only admins can make the following edits to an existing prepaid subscription:

  • Remove products
  • Update quantities
  • Swap products

It’s important to note that when any of the above changes are made in the mid-cycle, your customers are not automatically charged or refunded any differences in the shipping or price on the remaining orders in the prepaid period. The shipping and price of the prepaid subscription updates once it renews.