Intervals & Buffer days in Bold Subscriptions

Bold Subscriptions V1 allows you to set specific subscription intervals and buffer days so you can further customize your customer's subscription experience. Creating a seamless customer experience goes a long way in keeping customers happy, ensuring that your business is successful.

 Alert

Please note that this article only relates to Version 1 of Bold Subscriptions. If you have Version 2 of Bold Subscriptions installed on your store, please visit Subscriptions V2 Overview.

If you are unsure of which version of Bold Subscriptions that you have currently installed, please visit Bold Subscriptions V1 & V2 Comparison.

 


 

Intervals

Bold Subscriptions V1 allows you to choose how exactly you want to offer subscriptions to your customers with 2 interval options:

  • Let Customer Select Order Interval
  • Set a Fixed Order Interval

These are found in Step 3 of the subscription group creation / editing process. These allow you to specify which interval type you would like to offer and what the maximum interval length is.

By default, the subscriptions widget will display the shortest order frequency interval if you allow your customers to select their own.

Select an option below to view more information about each interval frequency setting.

With Let Customer Select Order Interval, you can set a range for the order frequency intervals that your customers can select from:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Yearly

This is beneficial for your customers as it allows them the option to select how often their products are refilled.

 Example

Allowing your customers to order your products on a weekly or monthly basis within the same subscription gives them more freedom to customize when and how often their products are received.

When selecting Let Customer Select Order Interval, you will see the option for Set the maximum amount a customer can select for the intervals appear. This feature allows you to set a maximum interval that your customers can choose on the product page.

 


 

Selecting this option does not give your customers the ability to select their own order frequency.

With Set a Fixed Order Interval, you can have the your customer's subscriptions renew every 3 months (quarterly), every two weeks (biweekly), or once a year (yearly).

With this feature's weekly and monthly options, you can decide whether your customers will be charged on the anniversary date of their purchase or on a specific interval day.

Your customer's first order will always process on the day of their initial purchase, but the recurring date can be adjusted depending on what works best for your business and fulfillment flow.

 


 

Buffer Days

Buffer days are used to prevent a customer's first and second orders from processing too closely together. This is important if you've configured your monthly subscriptions to bill on the same day each month.

The usability of this feature depends entirely on your store's subscription model. For most store owners, buffer days are important to prevent double billing, but we typically recommend 15 buffer days if you are selling monthly subscriptions.

Example

You sell monthly subscriptions set to process on the 15th of every month with 15 buffer days. This means that if a customer purchases a subscription within those 15 days (from the 1st until the 15th of every month), they will not receive another order on the 15th of that same month. Instead, they will receive their next order the following month.

If a customer purchases a subscription on the 12th of September, they will not receive another order on the 15th of September. Instead, they will receive their next order on the 15th of October.

 


 

Subscription Recommendations

Below are our top recommendations for each feature of Bold Subscriptions V1, directly from our Merchant Success team.

Because most subscriptions are for luxury services, subscriptions are the first to be cut when someone is experiencing financial troubles.

Statistically, customers tend to have more disposable income in the middle of the month, which means that making your renewal date on the 15th of the month (rather than the 1st) can help result in fewer cancellations. This has been proven to increase your store's average subscription length, as well as decrease your potential churn rate.

Interval Date for the 15th

If you configure your fixed monthly re-billing date to the 1st of every month with 15 buffer days, any subscription order that's placed within the 15 days leading up to the 1st of the month will not have an order generate until the following month.

Example

You sell monthly subscriptions set to process on the 15th of every month with 15 buffer days. This means that if a customer purchases a subscription within those 15 days (from the 1st until the 15th of every month), they will not receive another order on the 15th of that same month. Instead, they will receive their next order the following month.

If a customer purchases a subscription on the 12th of September, they will not receive another order on the 15th of September. Instead, they will receive their next order on the 15th of October.

 


 

Our recommended subscription model is setup with 14 buffer days. This configuration ensures that you always have a set cut-off day.

If you choose to charge customers earlier in the month (between the 5th and 14th), please ensure that your buffer days are always set one number smaller than your re-billing date. This ensures that your customer's cut-off day will always be the last day of the previous month.

 


 

With your billing date set for the 15th of every month with 14 buffer days, the cut-off date will always be the last day of the previous month. This ensures that you always have a consistent and memorable sales window to keep track of.

Example

Your customer purchases a subscription in December. Their first shipment will be sent out in early January. All sales in January will ship out in February, and all sales in February will ship out in early March.

 


 

Shipping Windows ensure that at the beginning of every month, you can export a batch of Shopify orders from the 1st of the previous month all the way until the end. This will always be the exact batch of orders needed for your store to fulfill and ship.

Depending on how long it takes your products to be packaged and shipped, your subscribers should receive their product around the same time that they're billed for their next subscription order (IE. the 15th). This tends to result in a positive customer experience with fewer cancellations.

 Example

On January 1st, you can export all of your subscription orders for the month of December. You can then ship these orders out anytime after January 1st.

Shopify allows you to export orders within a specific range, which makes this process very easy! For more information, please visit this Shopify article on exporting orders by date.

Bold Subscriptions V1 applies the tag recurring_order to every single subscription order, which means you can separate the subscriptions from your one-time orders very easily.

The shipping and fulfillment of your products is not handled by Bold Subscriptions V1, however. Our app specifically handles only the orders and re-billing for your subscription products.

 


 

Changing the date you charge your customers also adjusts the cut-off date unless you change the number of buffer days to accommodate the change. This will not be consistent from one month to another as not all months have the same numbers of days.

 Example

If you have your charge date set to the 15th of the month with 14 buffer days, your cut-off date will be the last day of the previous month (either the 30th or the 31st, depending on the month).

Buffer days are the number of days before your monthly billing date, so if your customer orders within the buffer period, they will automatically skip their soonest upcoming billing cycle. This will force their second order onto the following month.

The model described above is ideal because the cut-off day will always be the last day of the previous month regardless of how many days are within the month. Using a custom schedule may not always allow for a fixed cut off date, which can make exporting your Shopify orders more difficult.

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