Managing Customer Subscriptions

      Managing Customer Subscriptions

        Article Summary


        Supported plans

        Free, Unlimited

        eCommerce Platform

        Shopify, Shopify Plus

        Since both you and your customers' needs may change often, you both have the option to make changes to subscription orders throughout the subscription journey. 

        In this article, you'll learn how to manage your customers' subscriptions, so you can make sure they're always tailored to their needs, and ensure a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

        How it works

        When shoppers subscribe to a product on your store, they're signing up to receive that product based on the exact terms you've defined for the subscription plan in which that product is included. Each subscription sign-up results in a subscription that is added to that customer's page. Your customers can manage subscription orders through the customer portal, while you maintain complete control over customer information & customer subscription orders from your admin Customers tab.

        Understanding subscription types

        There are two main types of subscriptions you can offer your customers:

        1. Subscribe and save subscriptions: This is the standard type of subscriptions, where customers are charged only each time a new order is processed, and can cancel anytime.
        2. Prepaid subscriptions: With this type of subscription, customers pay in advance for all their orders, and stay subscribed until the end of their prepaid period.

        To set up subscribe and save subscriptions go to the Managing Subscription Plans article. To set up prepaid subscriptions go to the Offering Prepaid Subscriptions article.

        Managing 'subscribe and save' subscriptions

        To manage your customers' subscribe and save subscriptions: 

        1. Go to your Customers page.
        2. From the list of customers, select the customer you want to update.

        Here's a breakdown of the actions you can take for each subscribe and save subscription:

        Subscription actionsDescription

        Skip next delivery

        Allows you to skip your customer's next order, in case they're going away, are overstocked, or for any other reason.

        Update frequency

        This action allows you re-set the delivery options for a subscription.  

        Send update payment email

        Sends your customer an email request with a link to update their payment information. For example, in case there is a problem charging their card on file.

        Apply discount code

        This action allows you to apply a discount to the customer's upcoming subscription order. 

        Send link to the customer portal

        This action sends your customer an email or SMS with a passwordless link they can follow to manage their subscriptions through the customer portal. 

        Reactivate subscription

        You can always re-activate cancelled or paused subscriptions.  When you re-activate a subscription, you'll be able to re-set the start date and delivery options. 

        Pause subscription

        You can always pause a subscription, which will stop all upcoming orders and deliveries. You can reactivate again any time. 

        Cancel subscription 

        This action immediately cancels your customer's subscription. Their next delivery will not go out, and they will no longer be charged. 


        Please note: You can always reactivate the subscription at a later time.

        To make changes to the subscription at the product-level, go to the Products section in your customer's page, and take any of the following actions:

        Product-level actionsDescription

        Add products 

        You can always add products to an existing subscription, to be delivered to your customer according to the same terms of the initial subscription order.  

        Update quantity

        This action allows you to change the quantity of a given product included in a subscription. For example, to accommodate for overstock or under-stock issues for either you or your customer.

        Please note:
        • If your customer has more than one subscription, a detailed view of its information as well as all the available actions will be available separately for each one. Simply scroll down the customer's page to view and manage their different subscriptions.
        • To get the complete details for individual subscription orders, simply go to the Order history section. Clicking on any ORDER ID number will take you to that order's page in Shopify.

        Managing prepaid subscriptions

        Since prepaid subscriptions are paid in advance, there are some differences in the actions you can take to manage them.

        To manage your customer's information:

        1. Go to your Customers page.
        2. From the list of customers, select the customer whose subscription you want to update.

        Here's a breakdown of the actions you can take for each prepaid subscription:


        Add products

        You can add additional prepaid products only, according to the following scenarios:
         - If the subscription renews and has an upcoming billing cycle, the new prepaid products will be added to that upcoming cycle.
         - If you're on the last cycle for the subscription, a new prepaid subscription will be created for that product.
         - If you add a prepaid product from a different subscription prepaid plan, a new subscription will be created for that customer.

        Swap products or variants

        You can replace a prepaid product with a different prepaid product only. Products will be updated immediately starting from the closest upcoming order.

        Edit shipping address

        Since prepaid subscriptions already include taxes and shipping based on the country and state/province entered at checkout, you may only update addresses within the same country and state/province. 

        Cancel subscription

        You or your customers can easily cancel a prepaid subscription before the next cycle and charge take place. However, cancellations within an existing cycle require that you take actions in Shopify to cancel upcoming orders and refund your customers.
        Please note: You'll be notified via email when a customer requests to cancel a prepaid subscription that has remaining orders on it. 

        Managing customer information

        In addition to managing your customers' subscriptions, you can also take more general customer actions.

        To manage your customer's information:

        1. Go to your Customers page. 
        2. From the list of customers, select the customer you want to update.

        You can take any of these actions: 

        1. Edit shipping address 
        2. Send an update payment email
        3. Send customer a passwordless link to their customer portal
        Please note:
        • To get the more information on each customer, and for more actions, simply click on the customer's name at the top of the page. This will take you to that customer's page in Shopify.
        • To get the complete history of logged actions for any customer, click the Download customer timeline at the top-right-hand of any customer's page.

        You always have the option to make changes to your subscription plans, which control all the subscription offers that are live on your store. For example if you want to remove a subscription product from your store, change the frequencies or discounts they're offered at, etc. Learn more about Editing Subscription Plans.

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