- Before you start
- Step 1 - Install Recharge
- Step 2 - Create a membership product in Shopify
- Step 3 - Configure the paid membership program in Recharge
- Step 4 - Add membership enrollment criteria
- Step 5 - Configure membership benefits
- Step 6 - Update the subscription widget settings
- Step 7 - Configure the customer portal
- Step 8 - Add cancellation reasons
- Step 9 - Update the email notifications
- Step 10 - Update the customer account access link
- Step 11 - Go live with your membership program
Build powerful paid membership programs and offer benefits that keep your customers coming back for more. This guide covers how to create a paid membership program in Recharge.
- Shopify Checkout Integration
Before you start
- You must use the Shopify Checkout integration to implement paid memberships. It is recommended that you implement paid memberships on a 2.0 Shopify theme supported by the Shopify theme store. Feature releases in future phases will only be compatible with 2.0 themes.
- You must be on a Shopify Plus plan to use the Member pricing benefit.
- You can use Recharge metrics with Klaviyo to send email notifications to your membership customers. See Building email flows with Recharge and Klaviyo.
- Paid memberships are compatible with the Affinity and Standard Prima customer portal themes though Affinity has a few limitations to consider. See Limitations for more information.
Step 1 - Install Recharge
First, install Recharge on your Shopify store. Once installed, post your .myshopify URL in your Recharge Partners Slack channel and to confirm that you’re ready to set up memberships. Recharge will enable memberships on the store and let you know when you can get started configuring your membership program.
Step 2 - Create a membership product in Shopify
Create a digital membership product in Shopify. Customers will purchase this product from the storefront to activate their membership.
Step 3 - Configure the paid membership program in Recharge
- Navigate to the Recharge app and exit the onboarding flow by selecting EXPLORE Recharge. This initial automatic onboarding flow is not relevant to memberships.
- In the merchant portal click Loyalty, and then select Paid memberships.
- Click Create program.
- Set your membership name and description in the Membership program details section.
- Click Upload image to upload a custom image for your membership program. This image will be used to represent your membership program throughout the merchant and customer portals. PNG, JPG, JPEG, or GIF images up to 1MB are accepted. If no image is added, the default Recharge membership program image will be displayed.
- Optional: Set a membership customer tag name. This customer tag will be automatically added to the Shopify customer profiles of members based on their status. If you do not set a name, it will be auto-generated.
- Click Save program.
- Customers will not be able to purchase the membership until you set your Shopify product to active and publish the subscription widget.
Step 4 - Add membership enrollment criteria
To add membership enrollment criteria:
- Add your newly created digital membership product in the Enrollment criteria section by selecting Add enrollment criteria.
- The program will be disabled by default.
- Select your membership product and click Next.
- Set the charge frequency. This will dictate how often a member is charged for their membership. Click Add enrollment criteria to confirm.
Optional: Repeat steps 1-3 if you want to add additional products to also enroll customers into the membership program.
- If you want to allow customers to pay monthly or annually, you can create a separate product for both options and add them both to the membership program.
Step 5 - Configure membership benefits
Now that your Recharge membership program is configured, you can begin implementing the membership benefits that are relevant to your membership program. Select Add new benefit to configure a membership benefit.
Not all benefits are supported out of the box at this time and require custom code added to the Shopify storefront.
Refer to the following guides for suggestions on how to implement some popular benefits:
- Early or exclusive access to products and content
- Free shipping
- Free or discounted shipping (Requires Shopify Plus)
- Member pricing (Requires Shopify Plus)
Step 6 - Update the subscription widget settings
The Recharge subscription widget will display the membership program details on the membership product details page and allow your customers to purchase a recurring membership.
- If you are using a Shopify 2.0 theme (strongly recommended), install the Recharge 2.0 widget by following these instructions to add the Recharge app block to your theme.
- Navigate to Storefront then select Subscription Widget in the merchant portal.
- Update the verbiage and style to match your brand and membership program.
- Memberships will be treated as ‘subscription-only’ and cannot be purchased as a one-time product. Only certain settings on this page are relevant to membership programs, so you can ignore the widget sections that mention one-time purchases.
- We recommend making the following updates, but feel free to update the verbiage as you see fit to match your brand:
- Deliver every verbiage: “Renews every”
- Subscription details link verbiage: “Membership subscription details”
- How it works verbiage:
<strong>How membership subscriptions work</strong><br><br>Your membership automatically renews and you are eligible for membership benefits while your membership remains in active status. No obligation, cancel your membership subscription anytime.
- Click Save.
Step 7 - Configure the customer portal
After purchasing a membership, customers are able to manage their membership in their customer portal. See Managing memberships for more information. By default, the customer portal displays both membership and subscription information including the following pages:
- Upcoming Orders
- Purchase History
- Shipping Addresses
- Payment Methods
If your store doesn't sell separate product subscriptions, you can hide the Subscriptions and Shipping Address pages.
To hide subscriptions:
- Click on Storefront, then Customer Portal in the merchant portal.
- Under Navigation, disable Subscriptions by clicking the toggle.
Step 8 - Add cancellation reasons
When a customer cancels their membership in the customer portal, you can present a list of customized cancellation options for the customer to select. To reduce churn, you can also provide incentives to encourage customers to remain members. These reasons will also be presented when canceling a membership in the merchant portal.
- Navigate to Storefront then select Customer Portal.
- Update the cancellation reasons in the Membership cancellation and customer retention section.
- To reduce churn and encourage members to remain active, add an incentive to add a discount code to the next charge.
- Other incentives such as swap product, skip next charge, or delay subscription are not applicable to memberships.
Step 9 - Update the email notifications
There are 5 membership-specific email notifications that are automatically sent to members after different triggered events. You have the option to disable any notifications you don’t wish to use.
- Membership enrollment
- Membership upcoming charge
- Membership 1+ year upcoming charge
- Membership renewal confirmation
- Membership cancellation
- Membership expiration
- Membership reactivation
- Member pricing removed - This notification will only be sent when member pricing is removed from an active subscription.
While not required, we recommend customizing these notifications to fit your membership program and brand. To update:
- Click Settings in the merchant portal.
- Click Notifications.
- Click into each notification to update the sender, subject, and body.
- Click Save.
You can also use Klaviyo to send customer email notifications. For more information on using Klaviyo with memberships, see Building email flows with Recharge and Klaviyo.
Step 10 - Update the customer account access link
Recharge will automatically add a new section to your Shopify account login page to allow customers to access their customer portal without logging in to Shopify. Refer to Understanding the Recharge Account Access Link for more information on this feature.
The verbiage out-of-the-box reads "Need help accessing your subscriptions?", so we recommend updating this to something like, "Need help accessing your membership details." See Translate the customer account access link for information on how to do so.
Step 11 - Go live with your paid membership program
When you are ready to start selling your paid membership program:
- Enable the program by clicking the Actions dropdown and select Enable program. Enabling the program will automatically set the enrollment criteria products to active and disabling will set those products to draft.
- In the merchant portal click Storefront, then select Subscription Widget.
- Make sure your widget is published or click Publish the subscription widget to publish your widget.
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