With prepaid subscriptions, you can create subscription plans that bill and generate orders at different frequencies. For example, deliver products monthly but bill customers every three months or bill customers once and generate multiple orders.

To get started, you'll have to accept new app permissions. You can do this by clicking the question mark symbol on the create/edit plan page in PayWhirl.

Once you have accepted the required app permissions for prepaid subscriptions, you'll be able to set the Bill every setting when configuring your plans. The bill every setting will allow you to create subscription plans that have a different billing frequency than delivery (order) frequency to set up various prepaid subscription types.

We will cover two popular use-cases below. The first is a prepaid subscription that will not auto-renew. It will bill the customer once but place orders (aka fulfillment) multiple times. The second will be an auto-renewing prepaid subscription.

3 Month Prepaid Subscription

This example will bill the customer once and place a total of 3 orders with a monthly delay between orders. The subscription will also remain active until the last order is fulfilled.

To configure the plan set the Deliver every setting to 1 month, which will set the frequency of subscription orders, and the Bill every setting to 3 deliveries to ensure that three orders will be generated for the subscription.

The last two pieces are setting the Max number of payments to 1, so it will only bill the customers once. And finally, setting the finishing behavior to End of cycle, which will ensure the subscription remains active until the last fulfillment is complete.

The prepaid subscription will work like this:

  • When a customer purchases the prepaid subscription, the subscription status will become active, and an order will be created in Shopify with 3 fulfillments. The first fulfillment will appear as unfulfilled, and two will be scheduled for future dates.

  • The next fulfillment will change from the scheduled status to the unfulfilled status in Shopify a month later.

  • A month later, the last fulfillment will change from the scheduled status to the unfulfilled status in Shopify.

  • The subscription status will change to expired (aka finished)

The order in Shopify will look like this:

Between shipments, the order status will toggle between unfulfilled and scheduled.

3 Month Prepaid Subscription (auto-renewing)

The second example is very similar. However, the Max number of payments setting will be set to Unlimited to ensure the prepaid subscription continually renews every three months.

The auto-renewing prepaid subscription will work like this:

  • When a customer purchases the prepaid subscription, the subscription status will become active, and an order will be created in Shopify with 3 fulfillments. The first fulfillment will appear as unfulfilled, and two will be scheduled for future dates.

  • The next fulfillment will change from the scheduled status to the unfulfilled status in Shopify a month later.

  • A month later, the last fulfillment will change from the scheduled status to the unfulfilled status in Shopify.

  • At the start of the 4th month, another order will be created in Shopify with 3 fulfillments and the process will repeat.

Note: The subscription status will remain active until the customer or admin has canceled the subscription, AND the last fulfillment has been processed.

Prepaid Shipping Notes

When customers purchase a prepaid subscription, any applicable shipping fees from Shopify will be duplicated by the number of fulfillments being purchased. In the 3-month prepaid examples we covered above, the shipping charges would be multiplied by three. For example, if your Shopify shipping rules were configured to add $10 in shipping fees for the associated product, the total cost for shipping would total $30 ($10 x 3 orders).

Managing Prepaid Subscriptions in Shopify

There are two places you can manage prepaid subscriptions once they have been purchased, in Shopify and from the PayWhirl app.

You can see already fulfilled orders and scheduled/upcoming fulfillments for prepaid subscriptions from the Shopify order details page. You can also fulfill orders early if necessary by clicking the Fulfill early link on the orders page.

From the PayWhirl app, you can see scheduled/upcoming fulfillments and reschedule them if necessary by clicking the pencil icons next to each fulfillment.

Please keep in mind that prepaid subscriptions are still in beta and there could be changes as development progresses. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback. We're here to help!

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If you have any questions or problems getting the app configured, please reach out to our support. We're happy to help.

Sincerely,

Team PayWhirl

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