Shopify setup checklist & guide (2016 Version)

How to set up PayWhirl on Shopify to process recurring payments and orders. You can sell subscriptions, pre-orders, layaway products & more.

Ryan P. avatar
Written by Ryan P.
Updated over a week ago

If you're a Shopify customer, there are many benefits of integrating with PayWhirl, including the ability to save customer payment methods and process recurring payments that generate orders automatically. You can also offer layaway plans, pre-orders, custom subscriptions (build-a-box), invoicing, subscriptions, membership content, and more.


When a customer completes a purchase through a PayWhirl widget, an account is automatically created for them, and their payment information is saved for future use. Customers are also created in Shopify, if they don't exist already, and tagged with any active subscriptions so they can be easily identified in Shopify.

Once set up, customers can purchase subscriptions and additional products in your customer portal with their saved information.

In a nutshell, the process TYPICALLY works like this...

  • Install the PayWhirl App for Shopify 

  • Create payment plan(s)

  • Add plan(s) to payment widget(s)

  • Create Shopify page(s) and/or product page(s) for each widget

  • Embed your widget(s) into Shopify page(s) by copying / pasting embed codes

  • Add links from existing pages and menus in Shopify to your new page

  1. Install the app - Once you have the PayWhirl App for Shopify installed, you will see new options in your plan settings to control how orders flow into Shopify after successful payments. Shopify orders are generated based on your individual plan settings. Please note, you will need to create a plan and widget for every product/service you want to sell through PayWhirl.

  2. Setup payment widgets & forms - After you have connected PayWhirl to your Shopify store and created payment plan(s) you will need to a create widget(s), so your customers can select which plans they would like. Each widget comes with embed code options so customers can checkout securely within your website. After you save a widget, you will see two embed code options (a few lines of code) at the bottom of the page. 

3. Create a page(s) or product pages in Shopify for widgets - Once you have copied your embed code from a PayWhirl, you can proceed with pasting the code snippet into the HTML of any page or product page within Shopify.

  • Please make sure you toggle your page into HTML mode by clicking the icon that looks like this </> in your Shopify page editor.

Often times our Shopify clients will set up a separate page in Shopify for the subscription. This is most commonly used if the subscription is the main focus, like for a monthly coffee subscription company or a membership discount club.

Other Shopify customers, who want to offer subscriptions or layaway options for their existing products; will create one widget for each product and add the widgets to each product page as needed.

For example, if you are selling a high priced handbag or musical instrument and want to give your customers payment options to make it more affordable. You can create a widget to add to your existing product page in Shopify. Without editing the Shopify liquid theme (requires coding), you are easily able to add the widget to the description of the Shopify product page.

When customers view the product page, they will have the option to either purchase one-time, through Shopify or subscribe through the PayWhirl widget and save their payment method.

If the layout of the widget doesn't work with your Shopify theme, you may want to use the PayWhirl buy button embed code instead. It launches the widget in a pop-up and initiates checkout over the page instead of being directly in the page. 

Many businesses set up their one-time purchases to flow through PayWhirl as well so customers can save their credit cards on checkout for one-time purchases. A PayWhirl plan with a single installment (in the settings) works like a one time charge, except it stores the customer card on file. Once customers have an account, it is easy for them to purchase additional subscriptions with stored payment info if they login.

Also, by default, customers can log in to both Shopify and PayWhirl's customer portal with the same credentials, so they have access to both systems. You can also integrate the PayWhirl login with Shopify further if needed; however the default configuration works for most businesses.

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Please let us know if you have any questions. 

The PayWhirl Team 

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