Ecommerce Growth

How to Set Up Shopify Recurring Payments in 5 Easy Steps

Ecommerce Growth

How to Set Up Shopify Recurring Payments in 5 Easy Steps


Are you missing out on predictable recurring revenue that could help your business grow? One of the key factors driving success in the e-commerce sector today is the ability to implement and effectively manage Shopify recurring payments. At First Pier, we understand the challenges many Shopify store owners face in setting up and managing recurring payments for their subscription services. This process is vital for businesses that want to offer subscription plans, generating a steady stream of income and fostering loyal, long-term customer relationships.

Brief Overview of Shopify Recurring Payments

Given the potential of recurring payments, Shopify offers robust functionality for creating and managing subscriptions, allowing your customers to make scheduled purchases on a recurring basis. Whether your consumers are purchasing physical items, digital products, or services, Shopify keeps your recurring payment model smooth and seamless.

Importance of Recurring Payments for E-commerce Businesses

Recurring payments not only provide a steady stream of predictable revenue, but they are also a powerful tool for growth. Businesses that can accurately forecast their revenue are better equipped to make strategic decisions, plan for expansions, and invest in new opportunities.

According to research, adopting recurring payments through Shopify Subscription Management can significantly boost customer lifetime value (CLTV), a metric that measures the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer. This translates to sustained business growth, as one-time shoppers evolve into repeat customers.

Overview of the Steps: - Step 1: Understand Shopify Subscriptions - Step 2: Set Up Shopify Subscriptions
- Step 3: Manage Shopify Subscriptions - Step 4: Optimize Checkout Experience for Subscriptions - Step 5: Leverage Shopify Subscription Notifications and Policies

Infographic about the 5 steps to set up recurring payments in Shopify - shopify recurring payments infographic roadmap-5-steps

This guide will delve into how to set up Shopify recurring payments in five simple steps, ensuring you capitalize on the benefits of this powerful feature. Are you ready to unlock the full potential offered by recurring payments on Shopify? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Understanding Shopify Subscriptions

What are Shopify Subscriptions?

Shopify Subscriptions is a powerful tool built into the Shopify platform that allows your business to offer products or services on a recurring basis. These subscriptions provide a streamlined and automated way for your customers to make scheduled purchases, thus enhancing your e-commerce strategy and securing a steady revenue stream.

Whether you sell physical goods, digital products, or even services, Shopify Subscriptions can be a game-changer for your business model. By offering subscriptions, you provide a convenient and flexible shopping experience that encourages customer loyalty and long-term relationships.

How Shopify Subscriptions Work

Shopify Subscriptions works by enabling you to set up various subscription plans for your products or services directly within the Shopify admin. Once these plans are set up, they can be displayed on your online store, allowing your customers to choose their preferred option.

According to Steve from First Pier, setting up a subscription plan involves selecting the products you want to include, giving your plan a title, and optionally offering a discount. Shopify also allows you to choose the frequency of delivery, which can be weekly, monthly, or yearly. You can even add additional delivery frequency and discount options for your customers.

From the customer's end, they can log into their account and manage their subscription purchases. This includes updating their shipping address, changing their contact information, and even managing their payment methods. This level of control not only enhances customer trust but also promotes transparency.

Benefits of Using Shopify Subscriptions for Recurring Payments

There are numerous benefits to using Shopify Subscriptions for your recurring payments.

  • Steady Revenue Stream: With recurring payments, you have a predictable and consistent revenue stream. This can enhance your financial stability and help you plan for the future with more certainty.

  • Customer Retention: Subscriptions encourage customers to make repeat purchases, leading to increased customer retention. It's a well-known fact that retaining existing customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones.

  • Automated Process: Shopify Subscriptions automates the process of recurring payments, saving you time and effort. It also ensures a seamless shopping experience for your customers, boosting their satisfaction.

  • Flexible Shopping Experience: Subscription plans offer customers the flexibility to choose how often they want to receive their favorite products or services. This convenience can be a significant factor in driving sales and customer loyalty.

In conclusion, understanding Shopify Subscriptions is the first step in setting up recurring payments on your Shopify store. As an expert in Shopify, we at First Pier can help you unlock this feature's potential and harness its benefits for your e-commerce strategy. On to the next step!

Step 2: Setting Up Shopify Subscriptions

Implementing shopify recurring payments requires setting up Shopify Subscriptions. This feature allows your customers to make scheduled purchases on a regular basis, enhancing customer loyalty and providing a predictable revenue stream. However, to utilize this feature, there are certain eligibility requirements your store must meet.

Eligibility Requirements for Shopify Subscriptions

Before setting up Shopify Subscriptions, it's important to ensure your store meets the necessary eligibility requirements:

  • Your store must not have a third-party subscription app active.
  • Subscription products are only supported on the Online Store and Custom Storefront sales channels.
  • You need to use one of the supported themes, such as any Online Store 2.0 theme by Shopify, Debut on version 15.0 or later, or Brooklyn on version 17.0 or later.
  • You must use one of the approved payment gateways - availability varies by region and terms of service.

Meeting these requirements ensures that your store is ready to implement Shopify Subscriptions and start offering recurring payments to your customers.

How to Install and Set Up Shopify Subscriptions App

Once your store meets the eligibility requirements, you can proceed with setting up the Shopify Subscriptions app.

To do this, navigate to the Shopify admin, and go to the "Subscriptions" section. The Shopify Subscriptions app will allow you to manage all your subscription plans and contracts, as well as display your subscription plans on your online store.

During the set-up process, the app will also add a new subscription policy and subscription email notifications to your store, ensuring your customers are kept informed about their subscriptions.

Creating Subscription Plans for Your Products

The next step in setting up Shopify recurring payments is creating a subscription plan for your products. You can do this either from the Shopify Subscriptions app or directly from the product page in your Shopify admin.

To create a plan through the app, navigate to "Subscriptions" and then "Plans". Click "Create new plan" and provide a title for the plan and a purchase option title. Select the products you want to include in the subscription plan, and if desired, offer a discount by checking "Offer discount" and selecting a discount type. Also, specify the delivery frequency for the product.

Alternatively, you can create a subscription plan from the product page. Under "Purchase options", click "Add purchase option", then "Create new option". The procedure is the same as creating a plan from the app.

By following these steps, you can set up Shopify Subscriptions for your online store, and provide your customers with the convenience of recurring payments. Next, we will look at how to manage these subscriptions effectively.

Step 3: Managing Shopify Subscriptions

Managing your Shopify subscriptions effectively is crucial to ensure a smooth experience for both your team and your customers. In this step, we will guide you through the process of managing subscriptions in your Shopify admin, granting access to the Shopify Subscriptions app for your staff, and how customers can manage their own subscriptions.

How to Manage Subscriptions in Shopify Admin

Before you can manage subscriptions in your Shopify admin, you need to first complete the setup in the subscription app you installed. Once you have completed the setup in your subscription app, you can follow the steps below to manage your subscriptions:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click on Apps.
  2. Click on the subscription app you installed.
  3. Here, you can view and manage all your subscription plans. You can review subscription details, edit plans, or even delete them if necessary.

Deleting a subscription plan cannot be undone, so make sure to only do this if you are absolutely certain.

Granting Access to Shopify Subscriptions App for Staff

You can also grant your staff members access to the Shopify Subscriptions app. This allows them to manage subscriptions, process recurring orders, and handle customer inquiries related to subscriptions. To do this, simply follow the steps below:

  1. From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Staff accounts.
  2. Click on Add staff account or select an existing staff member.
  3. Under Admin Access, check the box next to Apps.
  4. Click on Save.

How Customers Can Manage Their Own Subscriptions

One of the advantages of using Shopify for recurring payments is that it allows your customers to manage their own subscriptions. This promotes transparency and boosts customer trust. Customers can update their contact information, shipping address, payment methods, and even pause or cancel their subscriptions if required.

To manage their subscriptions, customers simply need to:

  1. Log into their account on your online store.
  2. Go to their account settings.
  3. Click on Manage Subscriptions.

Here, they can view their active subscriptions, make changes to their delivery schedule, update their payment information, or cancel their subscriptions.

In conclusion, managing Shopify recurring payments effectively is crucial for your business's success. By providing a seamless experience for your customers and equipping your team with the necessary tools and access, you can make the most of this powerful feature. With Shopify's robust subscription management features, you can truly unlock the full potential of your e-commerce business.

Step 4: Optimizing the Checkout Experience for Subscriptions

Now that we have walked you through the process of setting up and managing your shopify recurring payments, it’s time to focus on the customer's checkout experience. Your checkout process is the final step customers take before committing to their purchase and it's crucial that it's as seamless and convenient as possible. We at First Pier believe that a well-optimized checkout process can significantly increase conversion rates and foster customer loyalty.

Displaying Order Frequency, Shipping Costs, and Subscription Confirmation

When customers are buying a subscription product, the order frequency, shipping costs per delivery, and the frequency of the subscription should be clearly displayed in the order summary during the checkout process. This not only provides transparency but also allows customers to fully understand what they are signing up for.

During the Shipping step of the checkout, your customer is shown the shipping costs per delivery and the frequency of the subscription in the Shipping method section. If your customer is buying more than one subscription product, then the shipping cost, and frequency of their subscription is shown under each line item in the order.

During the Payment step of the checkout, your customer needs to confirm that they understand that they are purchasing a subscription. They can't complete their purchase without agreeing to this. This step is essential to ensure your customers are fully aware of their recurring payments commitment.

Using Accelerated Checkouts for Subscription Purchases

Accelerated checkouts help speed up the checkout process by allowing customers to save their shipping and payment information, enabling them to check out in just a few clicks. This significantly reduces the time it takes to complete a purchase and can help reduce cart abandonment rates. Shopify offers options like Shop Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay to make this process even more convenient for your customers.

Applying Discounts and Usage Limits for Subscription Products

You can also choose to offer discounts on your subscription products. For instance, you can limit the use of the discount to specific subscription products or collections. Shopify allows you to set these parameters in the Purchase type section of the Create discount code page.

If you offer a free shipping discount that applies to subscription products, then you can specify for how long the discount applies. You can choose to limit your free shipping discount to the first payment, to limit your free shipping to a certain number of payments, or to enable free shipping on all future subscription payments.

Discounts are a great way to incentivize customers to subscribe to your products and can help boost your subscription sales.

In conclusion, optimizing the checkout experience for your subscription products is crucial for your business's success. By providing a seamless and transparent checkout process, you can increase your conversion rates, reduce cart abandonment, and foster long-term customer loyalty.

Step 5: Leveraging Shopify Subscription Notifications and Policies

In the final step of implementing Shopify recurring payments, we'll discuss how to leverage Shopify subscription notifications and policies. These features are integral to ensuring a smooth and seamless subscription process for both business owners and customers.

Activating and Deactivating Shopify Subscription Notifications

Shopify has a built-in notification system that allows you to communicate with your customers effectively. Once you've set up your subscription plans, Shopify automatically adds subscription email notifications to your store. These notifications keep your customers informed about their subscription status, any changes to their plans, and upcoming payments.

You can customize these notifications to match your brand's tone and style. You can also choose to activate or deactivate them based on your preferences. For instance, you might want to send notifications when a customer's subscription is about to renew, or when a payment has been successfully processed. On the other hand, you might choose to deactivate notifications for less critical updates.

To manage these notifications, go to your Shopify admin, then click on "Settings", and finally "Notifications". From there, you can edit each notification's content and toggle them on or off.

Understanding and Editing the Subscription Policy in Store Policies

Another essential aspect of Shopify recurring payments is the subscription policy. When you install the Shopify Subscriptions app, it adds a new subscription policy to your store. This policy outlines the terms and conditions of your subscription service, including how customers can manage their subscriptions, cancel their plans, and request refunds.

It's crucial to ensure that your subscription policy is clear, comprehensive, and transparent. This not only protects your business but also builds trust with your customers by letting them know exactly what to expect when they subscribe to your products.

You can find and edit your subscription policy in the "Legal" section of your Shopify admin settings. Make sure to review it regularly and update it as necessary to reflect any changes in your subscription service.

In conclusion, leveraging Shopify subscription notifications and policies can help streamline your subscription process and enhance your customer experience. As with all aspects of your Shopify store, it's all about finding what works best for your business and your customers.

By following these five steps, you'll be well on your way to setting up successful Shopify recurring payments. Your First Pier team is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you need help setting up Shopify subscriptions, managing your plans, or optimizing your checkout experience, we've got you covered.


Recap of How to Set Up Shopify Recurring Payments

We've walked you through the process of setting up Shopify recurring payments, and hopefully, it's clear that this process is not only easy to implement but also has the potential to dramatically improve your e-commerce store's performance. From understanding Shopify subscriptions, setting them up, and managing them, to optimizing the checkout experience for your customers and leveraging Shopify subscription notifications and policies, each step is designed to enhance the shopping experience and drive sales.

The Impact of Recurring Payments on Your E-commerce Business

Implementing recurring payments on your Shopify store can lead to numerous benefits. It can help eliminate the risk of late or missed payments, establish trust between you and your customers, and provide a predictable revenue stream. This can lead to improved customer retention, better cash flow prediction accuracy, and an overall boost in your store's performance.

As we've previously highlighted, recurring payments are an efficient system for both businesses and customers. It saves time, reduces the potential for human error, and makes it easier for you to anticipate financial liquidity. On the customer side, it eliminates the hassle of administrative tasks, ensuring that they can enjoy a smooth and seamless shopping experience.

Final Thoughts on Shopify Recurring Payments

A successful e-commerce business is all about providing a smooth, secure, and seamless shopping experience that encourages customers to complete their purchases. Shopify recurring payments not only cater to evolving customer demands but also unlock unlimited profits for your online business.

Keep in mind, however, that mastering Shopify recurring payments is a continual process of refinement and adaptation to meet the unique needs of your business and customers. As you continue to scale your business, stay abreast of industry trends and leverage the powerful features of Shopify.

At First Pier, we provide expert guidance and support to help you navigate the intricacies of Shopify recurring payments and unlock the full potential of your e-commerce store. Whether you're just starting out or looking to optimize your existing processes, we're here to help. For more insights into optimizing your Shopify store, check out our other resources on how to sell subscriptions on Shopify and Shopify subscription management.

The key to a successful online store is continuous improvement and innovation. So, gear up and get ready to unlock profits and success with Shopify recurring payments!

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