Shopify Recurring Orders: How to Get Started

shopify recurring order

Written by Adriana Pope

June 30, 2021

In this article, we’ll cover what Shopify recurring orders are complete with examples.

Topics to be covered:

  • What does recurring order mean?
  • What are Shopify recurring orders?
  • Real Examples of Recurring Orders
  • How do recurring orders on Shopify work?
  • How do I offer recurring orders on my Shopify store?
  • Can I offer recurring orders on Shopify?
  • How do customers manage their recurring orders?
  • Benefits of Shopify Recurring Orders
  • Recurring Orders App Shopify

What does recurring order mean?

A recurring order is when a customer orders a product on a recurring basis.

A customer agrees to be charged on a regular basis to receive a product again and again.

Recurring orders are basically repeat orders.

What are Shopify recurring orders?

Shopify recurring orders are products sold on a repeat basis sold on your online store.

For example, if a customer wanted to sign up for a weekly delivery of coffee, they could subscribe.

The bag of coffee would be delivered weekly and they would be charged weekly.

On Shopify, if you want to have recurring orders, you’ll need to use a subscription app.

A subscription app lets customers receive ongoing deliveries of a physical product and gets charged automatically.

Shopify recurring orders trigger recurring payments which are when a customer pays automatically with their card on file. It’s the same as AutoPay.

Real Examples of Recurring Orders

shopify recurring orders misto coffee
Source: Misto Coffee

Misto Coffee Subscription

Coffee makes for the perfect recurring purchase since it’s a consumable. People drink it on a regular basis and need more of it.

By offering customers a subscription, they save them a trip to the grocery store. It also helps support the coffee roasting company stay in business.

And lastly, customers get the benefit of treating themselves to something nice. Who doesn’t like getting something special in the mail?

Misto Coffee offers a subscription to their coffee but what we like most about this company is they offer a questionnaire to get to know their customer. They ask the customer what type of coffee they drink, the roast, grind, how they drink it, and how often.

shopify recurring orders smarty pits
Source: Smarty Pits

Smarty Pits Deodorant

This company is making strides when it comes to creating a product for our underarms that’s natural and actually works. Baking soda free deodorant is trending right now, and these guys are crushing it! Limited ingredient products are more in demand than ever from consumers.

We appreciate how Smarty Pits offers a subscription on their deodorant, which makes a lot of sense. They let customers order their deodorant on a recurring basis. They offer subscription plans like order the product every month or every 2 months, whatever they want.

The smart move by Smarty Pits is they offer a 10% for all subscriptions which helps encourage customers who order their products, to just subscribe.

Benefits of Shopify Recurring Orders

We’re going to share some of the top benefits from incorporating Shopify recurring orders into your online business model. Just remember in order to get recurring orders, you’ll need to offer subscription products.

1.) Creates recurring revenue

Thinking about quitting your 9-5 job and creating an online eCommerce store? We’ll you’ll need to first make enough money to replace what your original income. Offering recurring orders on your shop can help you hit this goal. Shopify recurring orders means customers are subscribed to a product and receive it automatically on a regular basis and are charged on a set schedule for a fixed price. Recurring revenue is ideal for any business owner because it’s highly stable and easily predictable.

2.) Gain loyal customers

Every wanted to have a loyal fan-base of customers who buy your products religiously? Subscriptions can get you there. When you gain a subscriber, that is powerful. That’s a customer that is willing to pay you every month for a product they want delivered. Growing your subscribers is a great way to scale up your business to the next level, and generate higher profits.

3.) Spend less money on Ads

Throwing money at advertisements is a cruel game, and often fruitless. We understand how hard it is to make it as an online shop. That’s why offering recurring orders on your Shopify store is an excellent way to have a competitive advantage over your competitors. By offering and accepting recurring payments, you can gain a loyal customer base willing to buy your other products. Selling subscriptions puts you in a position to upsell to your current customers which enables you to spend less on ads, and spend more time focusing on selling to your loyal customers who are already subscribed to a product.

4.) Gain Insights on purchasing behaviors

If you have a subscription product which is selling well, you can gain some valuable insights from the purchasing behavior of your customers. How often do they want the product delivered? What billing cycle are they choosing? By understanding your customers better, you can cater to them with future product launches and offerings. If you run a subscription box, you can always run surveys with customers to see what products they are most interested in or ask them what they’d like to see,

5.) Increased revenue

This is obviously a biggie. All shop owners want to make more money, and subscriptions can help you do just that. Selling subscriptions helps to increase revenue because instead of selling one off purchases, customers are agreeing to buy the product again and again. By offering customers the convenience of repeat purchases, you also gain the advantage of customers creating repeat orders with your store. A subscription product is much more valuable than a one time purchase. A subscription product increases the overall order value since it’s an agreement to buy the product forever until the subscription is cancelled or ends.

6.) Late payments are decreased

If you are selling subscriptions, you are hooked into a recurring billing software. The recurring billing software takes care of processing all of your subscription payments. This happens automatically. If a customer’s credit card is about to expire, they’ll get notified so they can update their card in time. And if a customer wants to update their billing information, this is also done all through the subscription app. This means less legwork for you as a merchant. You don’t have to hunt people down for missed or late payments, and the subscription app (like Ongoing) is smart enough to chase down customers for you and recover potentially lost payments.

How do recurring orders on Shopify work?


When a customer purchases a recurring order on your online store, this is called a subscription.

The customer is agreeing to be charged on an ongoing basis for repeat deliveries of the product.

A physical product can be anything from a subscription box to socks or even a refill on Eco-friendly dish soap.

The customer’s credit card information is only gathered once on that initial subscription order, and then is saved for further recurring orders.

The recurring billing aspect all happens automatically, so there’s nothing for you to do except mail out the product on time.

How do I offer recurring orders on my Shopify store?

To offer recurring orders on your Shopify store, you’ll need to use a Subscriptions app.

A subscriptions app will allow you to both offer and accept recurring payments.

If you are processing recurring orders, you need to have a system for handling recurring payments.

That’s where a subscriptions app comes in.

We recommend checking out Ongoing Subscriptions which works with all Shopify store.

With one click install, you can get set up in minutes. Instantly create your subscription product and start accepting Shopify recurring orders in the same day!

The great thing about Ongoing is it works out of the box with

Can I offer recurring orders on Shopify?

Yes, you can offer recurring orders on Shopify.

Since Shopify doesn’t have this functionality built into it you will have to use a Shopify subscriptions app
We recommend Ongoing Subscriptions for offering recurring orders on Shopify.

Ongoing lets you offer and accept recurring payments. It also lets you process recurring orders.

How do customers manage their recurring orders?

The subscriptions management software you use should offer a customer portal.

A customer portal is a dashboard made specifically just for your customers who have purchased subscription products.

This allows your customers to manage their own subscriptions, and limits customer service tickets from unnecessary questions.

Customer can cancel or pause a subscription on the customer portal.

They can also track when their next shipment will be, and also see which items they are subscribed to.

This takes away a lot of the headache of emailing customers back with common questions. Since customers can manage their own recurring orders on their own, this can lower your overall administrative costs.

ongoing shopify subscriptions app

Recurring Orders App Shopify

Looking for the best recurring Recurring Orders App for Shopify?

We recommend Ongoing Subscriptions.

Ongoing handles all of your recurring orders with fully automated subscription management.

They offer recurring billing so you don’t have to sweat over invoices or remembering different subscription cycles for all of your customers.

Plus Ongoing provides your customers with a Customer Portal. This lets subscribers login to view their subscription status and make changes on their own

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