When you create a subscription rule and add a product to it, we create a hidden auto-renew product in your store. These products are only used by the ReCharge app — you can ignore them and always keep them hidden to avoid showing them in your store. This guide provides an overview of how the auto-renew products work and tips on organizing the products in Shopify.
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Why they are necessary
The reason the ReCharge app creates a separate auto-renew product is due to Shopify's limitations — Shopify requires each price point to have a unique variant and product ID. When offering a product on subscription, merchants will often provide a monetary incentive to encourage customers to purchase an on-going subscription. As this price normally differs from the one-time purchase price, we use the hidden, auto-renew product to set the subscription price at checkout.
Original vs. auto-renew
The original product is the standard product you offer. This is the product that is visible on your Shopify product page and when selecting products in the Customer Portal.
The auto-renew product acts as a facsimile of the original product. Though it has its own product ID and often a different price point, it retains almost all of the features of the original product including inventory and weight settings except for the product tags. This product remains hidden on all channels and is only used by the ReCharge app to process the first order. To differentiate from the original product, it includes auto-renew in the title and is given a Subscription tag in Shopify.
When a customer makes a purchase in the checkout, we reduce the inventory from the original product even though the auto-renew product is used for this initial order.
If making changes to your products, you will want to update the original product and sync your ReCharge ruleset.
Note: If a customer adds a product to their subscription through the customer portal, ReCharge will pull the title from the duplicate auto-renew product.
Rename the product title
For products at checkout
If you want to change the title of the auto-renew product as it appears at checkout, you can do so directly in Shopify using their bulk editor tool.
- Go to your Shopify Dashboard and select Products.
- Using the check boxes, select all the auto-renew products. You can also easily search for them by typing in auto renew in the search bar or searching for the product tag Subscription.
- Click Edit Products and then on Add fields where you would add "title" so you could adjust the titles on the following screen. Click Save when finished.
Another method is to export your Shopify products and make updates to the titles of the products in a CSV. Shopify provides a guide on exporting, preparing, and importing your product CSV files.
For current subscribers
Remove multiple auto-renew products
When syncing a product update in ReCharge, this may result in multiple versions of the same auto-renew product. You can delete the extraneous auto-renew products, as long as there is one version still available.
Alternatively, you can follow the steps below and delete all the auto-renew products and resync your rulesets.
- In the Shopify Admin, go to Products and search for 'auto renew' and delete all the products.
- Go to the Rulesets tab at the top of your ReCharge Dashboard, select the subscription ruleset and click Save to sync the products.
Note: It may take up to 2-3 minutes to update and recreate the auto-renew products. Afterward, there should be just one copy for each.
For more help, visit Troubleshooting auto-renew products.