Getting Started with Subscriptions
This guide will walk you through creating your first subscription and the general functionality of recurring subscription products with ReCharge.
Note: We advise you ensure that you are on the Launch List by clicking Explore ReCharge at the top of your dashboard. This unlocks the settings shown in this guide.
What are Rulesets?
Subscription rulesets control everything about how a subscription functions, such as:
- The products you want to offer for subscription.
- How often the customer will be charged.
- How often the product will be shipped.
- Discounts for subscribing.
- Specific days for charges.
- Cut-off windows when subscribing.
- Automatic expiration after a set amount of time.
To add a subscription option to your existing Shopify products, you will need to create a subscription Ruleset in ReCharge. These rulesets will control the frequency and functionality of your subscription plan. In your ReCharge Dashboard go to Rulesets at the top and click Create a new ruleset.
Note: You will need to have created at least one product in Shopify to create a subscription.
You can choose if you want your product to be Subscription Only, such as a box of the month, or both a One-time & Subscription product that will allow customers to choose one of the two options on the product page. For more information on the differences, check out this article.
Naming your subscription rule will help you in keeping organized. Your customers will not see this name.
To add a discount for subscribers, you would tick the box and then specify the percentage discount that you would like to offer. In the below example, it would be a 10% discount on subscriptions. This is only an option for products that are available for both one-time purchase and subscription, since you would just set the price of a Subscription Only product at the product-level.
Subscription frequency is where you will specify how often you charge and ship your subscription products. You can include multiple frequencies to choose from. Of course, you can switch the frequencies between days, weeks, and months as needed. We will charge your customer and then automatically ping Shopify to communicate the shipment order for the fulfillment process to be carried out on your store’s end. As you can see in the image below, customers here will have the option to choose between a monthly subscription, every 3 months or every 6 months.
- If you flip the toggle to Advanced Settings, you will see a few more options. You can use the ' Charge every' option to plan out a pre-paid subscription as seen here, but please check out our doc on pre-paid subscriptions for a lot more info on setting this up.
To make it into a gift subscription, you can simply set it to expire after one charge. Since Gift Subscriptions are only purchased once, they will show up in your ReCharge Dashboard as being canceled/expired automatically. This is normal.
You can have this charge trigger on a specific day of the week or month by using the setting pictured below. For more information on setting a specific day, check out our article.
If you set a specific day of the week or month,ou can also set a cut-off window to define whether a customer should be charged on the upcoming billing cycle. For more information on setting a cut-off window, check out our article.
Once you're done here, just click Next at the bottom to refresh the page for the final step - getting your products in the rule. Scroll down and click Add products.
Search and select the product that you've created in your existing Shopify store. Each product can only be added to
one subscription ruleset. If you want to have one product in multiple subscriptions, you’ll need to create different versions of that product in Shopify.
Once you hit Save at the bottom, ReCharge will then sync the products you have chosen to your store.This will result in a hidden product for each of the products selected. These are not visible to your customers and are only used to process recurring orders.
The product page may look something like the image below. By default, it would say 'Subscribe & Save' but this specific store used the configuration in Settings and then select Subscription widget to edit this text. If this subscription option does not appear for you, this could be related to your theme not displaying it properly, which can occasionally happen. Contact the ReCharge team and we'll help you with your code to get it to display properly right away!
Note: If you modify any of your products in Shopify you will need to resync the product under the subscription rulesets. On the ruleset page beside your product, click on the cog icon, then Sync Products - alternatively, you can also re-Save your ruleset, which will resync all the products in it. However, if you're changing something such as price, please take a look at our article on price changes.
We suggest going through the Test Order Process to ensure everything works on your side before going live.
ReCharge Subscription not on your product page?
Subscriptions won't show up on the product page while in Test Mode, you will need to change the URL if you’d like to continue testing. If a store isn't live, then the only way to view subscription products is to add ?recharge=true to the end of the product URL. Once you go live by going into the Settings and then General Settings and then click Enable, the URL will be changed automatically, this is only for testing, just to see what it looks like with the subscription verbiage and options.