Note: This is an advanced feature that requires knowledge of setting up workflows in general, as well as our subscription variables, properties, and system relation to Shopify Variant ID's.
A workflow is a set of conditions and actions that are triggered after the first checkout order has been placed for a subscription product. This allows you to configure trial subscription products with attributes that will change based on your specified parameters. The process is as follows:
- Customer adds a trial subscription product to their cart.
- They enter their shipping address and payment information, this will be used for future upcoming orders.
- ReCharge then passes the order information to Shopify.
- The ReCharge trial workflow will kick in and create a subscription using the settings on the subscription ruleset for this product. This will change purchase attributes as needed. Such as a specified recurring price, a different SKU, a different quantity, etc.
Types of Trial Periods
Offer a Sample Product
In a sample trial, the first product is usually a smaller size or quantity and often cheaper, or even free. Common tactics are to:
- Change the variant.
- Custom delay on the next order after the checkout.
- Change the quantity.
- Change the price.
Offer a Free or Discounted First Order
In a discounted first order, the first order is discounted but uses the same product. Common tactics are:
- During the checkout, you may charge shipping by setting a custom weight on the hidden product.
- For the recurring payments, don't charge shipping. You'd set the shipping price via a workflow.
- For the recurring payments, have a different discount amount. You'd set the variant price via a workflow.
Note: there is a way of setting up a custom discount, such as 100% off for a product without using the workflows. To do this, you would set a custom price on the hidden product.
Setting Up a Workflow
Add a Shopify product to a Subscription Only or One-Time and Subscription ruleset with the desired price for the trial. We recommend using a distinctive word in the product title such as Free Trial, Trial, Sample, or Free.Note: Workflows should not be used with prepaid subscriptions.
You can set price using either of the two following methods:
By setting the desired subscription price in the original product, not the hidden auto-renew product.
By setting the desired free trial price of the product/variant in the hidden product, which is created after saving ruleset.
The ruleset needs to have the conditions desired for the subscription when the free trial ends. Configure it as you'd like the subscription to function for the rest of the duration.
When you sync this product to a ruleset on ReCharge, we automatically create a hidden duplicate of that product. We use this duplicate to create the very first order when your customers check out. If you’re creating a Trial Workflow, you’ll want to make adjustments to the hidden duplicate to control these attributes:
- Set the price to match your trial offer, $0 if it’s free.
- Choose the appropriate weight to match the shipping rate you want to be applied, if any.
- Change the quantity to a smaller amount if you’re giving a sample.
Next, you'll need to create an active workflow. It can be found under Integrations and enabled for your store. Eventually, you may have several trial workflows, so use a unique name and description.
In a free trial, the Trigger event will always be the checkout order creation.
When creating a workflow, we recommend leaving it deactivated until everything is fully set up.
- Set the Condition for the trial in the workflow you've just created. In this case, we suggest using the free trial title you used on the product you've created.
If you click Edit, the Conditions would look like this:
It's important to use contains instead of is equal to since the auto renew text is added to the product title.
The search identifies the object(s) that will be changed by the action. For this case, the search can be the same as set in the conditions. This is because we still need to find the subscription product title to be changed.
These actions will depend on the free trial strategy. Here are several examples:
Subscription Price is equal to [desired price] Subscription SKU is equal to [desired SKU]
Subscription Product Variant Title is equal to [Not trial product title]
Subscription Charge Delay is equal to [free trial duration in days]
Subscription Product Title is equal to [Not trial product title]
Note: A few things to keep in mind here. The product that you're switching to in Actions must be within a ruleset within ReCharge. Finally, the workflow fields are case sensitive. Be sure they match your product titles in Shopify.
It's time to begin testing, you can add the free trial product to your cart and verify that it’s $0.00. Then go through the normal checkout process.
Once you've checked out, go to the ReCharge Dashboard and look under your customer record and click See Details to check the order.
The first order is $0 and has $5.00 shipping. It has queued the recurring charge to be one month later and will switch to the price of $100.00.
Note that the product in the upcoming order has the title we set on free trial workflow:
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I control the recurring subscription product after the trial ends?
Two things determine the product attributes after the trial ends:
- The Actions you set in the Workflow tool
- The ruleset in which the recurring product is synced
For example, if all you need to do is change the price from $0.00 on the hidden product to $10.00 on the recurring product, you’d use an Action to set the price to $10.00. The order frequency is established in the ruleset, as with any other ReCharge subscription product.
I want the trial period to be shorter (like one week) than the actual subscription frequency (monthly), how do I achieve this with Workflows?
You can use the “Charge Delay” Action to set when the queued recurring order will take place. After that, the recurring orders will use the frequency established by the product’s ruleset.
How do I charge shipping on the free trial item, but not on recurring orders?
Follow the Shipping by Weight method to set the weight of the free trial hidden auto-renew product to match the appropriate weight for the shipping charge you want to apply at checkout. In the Workflow tool, add Actions for Shipping Title, Shipping Price, and Shipping Code. This will be applied to the recurring subscription orders.
Why isn't my Workflow getting triggered?
Is your Search set to "equal" rather than "contain"? Keep in mind that you're searching for the hidden duplicate product that's created after saving the ruleset. This product includes "auto renew" in its title, so you'll either need to broaden your Search to "contain" or use the exact product title ("Product X Auto renew").
What’s to stop my customers from ordering a free trial product and then canceling before the paid recurring order occurs?
In the Customer Portal settings, you can restrict the ability for customers to cancel their own subscriptions. Instead, they’ll have to email you to cancel their subscription. Alternatively, you can allow customers to cancel after a specific number of charges. You should set this to at least two if you’re running a trial since the free initial purchase counts as a charge:
I have a free trial running, but I need to increase the subscription price for after the trial has ended. How do I do that?
You’ll need to update the pricing in two places. First, update the price of the original product on Shopify’s end. Any time you make a change like this, you also have to re-sync the product in the ReCharge ruleset. Second, you’ll need to update the price on the Workflow Action to match the new price for the recurring orders.
Note: These updates do not affect existing subscriptions, only new sign-ups to the trial subscription. You’ll need to manually adjust any existing customer subscriptions.