Create subscription products to sell goods or services on a recurring basis. Subscription products are great for bringing in recurring, predictable revenue when selling:
- Packaged food and beverages customers order regularly
- Subscription boxes for cosmetics, and other health and beauty items
- Ongoing services, recurring fees, and maintenance packages
Subscribers save their checkout details and are charged automatically when their subscription renews. After you receive the order, you’ll fulfill it, and repeat that process for each renewal. Customers can cancel their subscriptions at any time, and you can view and manage subscriptions from the Profiles panel.
Tip: If you’re new to Squarespace Commerce, visit Understanding Squarespace Commerce for more information about setting up your store.
Subscription products are only available on the Commerce Advanced plan.
To offer subscriptions, you must:
- Be on the Commerce Advanced plan.
- Enable customer accounts.
- Sell physical or service products. It isn’t possible to make digital products or donations a subscription.
- Use Stripe as your payment processor. It isn’t possible to sell subscription products using PayPal or Apple Pay.
Keep in mind
- You can only create subscription products on the computer.
- You can't place test orders for subscription products until you upgrade to paid service.
- In version 7.0, customer accounts work best on templates that automatically display a Sign In link. Version 7.1 automatically displays the Sign In link.
- It's not possible to create a free subscription product.
Create a subscription product
Note: We recently updated the product editor, so the steps in this guide might not match what you see on your site. You can switch to the new product editor at any time, or follow the steps in Using the classic product editor if you aren’t ready to switch.
You can make any physical or service product a subscription.
- In the Home menu, click Pages, then click a store page.
- Click + to add a new product, or click All and double-click an existing product to edit it.
- In the product editor, scroll to the Customize section. Click Subscription.
- In the window that appears, set the subscription frequency. Subscriptions can renew as often as once every week, and as infrequently as once every twelve months based on the purchase date.
- To limit the number of renewals, click the Billing Cycles drop-down menu and click Expires after to set the number of payments subscribers will make. This number includes the initial purchase. For example, if you want to offer a three-month-long subscription that renews every month, select repeats every 1 month and set it to expire after 3 payments. Select Never expires if the subscription will renew indefinitely.
- Click Apply in the subscription settings window.
- Add or edit other product details.
- Hover over Done and click Save.
Monthly subscriptions renew at the same time on the same day each month. If a monthly subscription starts on the 29th, 30th, or 31st, the renewal date will change when the renewal month doesn't have a corresponding date. For example, a monthly subscription started on August 31 will renew on September 30, and it will continue to renew on the 30th of each month until February. In February, it will renew on the 28th, and will continue to renew on the 28th indefinitely.
Weekly subscriptions renew at the same time on the same day each week. Depending on the customer's bank and when the renewal happens, the charge may appear a day or two after the renewal date that displays on their order confirmation.
It's not possible to set a stock limit for subscription products.
Fulfill a subscription renewal
When a customer’s subscription renews, you’ll receive a new order notification email with details about the order and the customer’s subscription. The order will display as Pending in the Orders panel. To learn how to fulfill the order, add tracking information, and send the customer an order fulfilled notification, visit Fulfilling orders.
Edit a subscription product
To edit a subscription product’s images, variants, discounts, tax rules, or other details for future subscribers, visit Editing products. Keep in mind:
- Editing a subscription product changes the product for future subscribers. Current subscriptions will continue to place orders for the original product and price, including shipping costs, tax rates, and currency. For example, if a customer purchases a subscription product for $10, and you change the price to €15, the customer’s subscription will continue to renew at $10.
- To replace a subscription product or change the subscription frequency, you may want to discontinue the subscription product, and then add a new product to your store.
Tip: If you edit a subscription product, review the order details to ensure you’re fulfilling the correct version.
Manage a customer’s subscription
By default, subscriptions renew indefinitely. You may want to cancel a subscription, cancel a single order, or delay a subscription renewal.
Manage a customer's subscription from their customer account:
- In the Home menu click Profiles, then click Customers.
- Find and click the customer whose subscription you want to cancel.
- Click Customer details.
- Click the Recurring tab.
Delay a subscription renewal
You may want to delay a subscription renewal if you need more time to replenish your inventory, or if a customer asks if they can delay an order. To delay a renewal:
- Click the subscription you want to delay.
- Click Reschedule order date.
- Select the new renewal date. You can't revert this change or switch to an earlier date.
- Click Save.
- Click Continue.
Delaying a customer's subscription renewal affects all future renewals. For example, if a subscription is set to renew on the first day of the month at 12 PM, and you delay it until the second, it will renew on the second day of the month at 12 PM indefinitely. Customers won't receive an automatic email about their delayed subscription. To let them know their renewal date changed, you can contact them.
Cancel a subscription
If a customer asks to cancel future renewals, they can cancel their subscription from their customer account. To cancel the subscription for them:
- Click the subscription you want to cancel, scroll down, then click Cancel subscription.
- Click Confirm.
The customer will receive an email notification automatically. Cancelling a subscription doesn't automatically cancel the most recent order, but you can cancel and refund the order separately in the Orders panel.
To stop offering a subscription product altogether, discontinue the subscription product.
Cancel an order
This is the best option if you want to refund a single order but continue the subscription for future renewals. To cancel an order, visit Cancelling and refunding orders.
Tip: Add details about your subscription refund and cancellation terms to your store’s return policy.
How customers buy subscriptions
Here’s how a subscription product displays in your live store:
When a customer clicks Subscribe, they’re taken to Express Checkout, where they confirm the order for the subscription product alone, without adding other products to their cart. If your store accepts Stripe and PayPal, they'll only see the option to check out with Stripe. They’ll be prompted to log in or create a new customer account.
After the order processes, they’ll receive an Order Confirmed email with their subscription details and information about how to manage their settings. By default, they'll only receive this email once. You can choose to send the order confirmation after every subscription renewal in your order email settings.
The credit card they entered at checkout will be saved to their customer account, and future renewal orders will be placed automatically.
How customers manage their subscriptions
Customers who buy subscription products can view and manage their subscriptions from their customer account. After logging in, they click My account, and then Subscriptions.
All subscriptions are listed in the Subscriptions section. Customers can click a subscription to view its details, including:
- The next order date
- Product price (excluding shipping and taxes)
- Subscription frequency
- Order history
- Saved billing and shipping information
If the subscription has a limited number of renewals, the panel also displays the number of payments left in the subscription.
To cancel the subscription, they click Cancel Subscription. You'll receive an email notification when a customer cancels their subscription. Cancelling a subscription doesn't automatically cancel the most recent order. Customers will need to reach out to you separately to request a refund. Customers can't delay their subscription renewals, but you can do it for them.
To update their payment information or change their billing address, they click Payment Method, and then Add New Payment Method.
Note: To change the subscription shipping address, customers must cancel the subscription and re-subscribe using different shipping details.
Via the order email
To manage subscriptions, customers can also click the Manage Subscription link in the order email. This opens a new tab or window where they can log into their account.
Discontinue a subscription product
Note: Deleting a subscription product doesn’t automatically cancel existing subscriptions to that product.
To discontinue a subscription product entirely:
Step 1 - Delete the product
Delete or hide the product to prevent new customers from subscribing.
Step 2 - Contact subscribers
Let customers know you’ll be cancelling their subscriptions. For help contacting your customers, visit Managing customers.
Step 3 - Cancel active subscriptions
To prevent future renewals, cancel each customer’s active subscription from their customer profile:
- In the Home menu, click Commerce, then click Orders.
- In a separate window or somewhere convenient, make a list of all customers subscribed to the product you’re discontinuing.
- Back in the commerce panel, click Customers.
- Find a customer on your list, and follow these steps to cancel their subscription.
- Repeat these steps for each subscriber.
- Promote your new subscription products with Squarespace Email Campaigns. You can build mailing lists or create automated email campaigns to send marketing emails to customers after they make a purchase.
- If you only sell subscriptions, hide the shopping cart icon on your site.
What happens if a customer’s payment fails?
When a customer’s payment fails, you both get an email notification. The customer's email includes a link to update their billing information.
The charge is attempted again after five days, and then for a final time five days after that. If the payment fails for a third time, the order and subscription are cancelled, and the customer received an email. Customers can update their payment information in the Subscription panel in their customer account. You can customize these emails in the Customer notifications panel.
What happens if I connect a different Stripe account?
If you connect a different Stripe account, customers will have to resubscribe to your subscription products.
Can a customer skip a renewal?
No. If a customer wants to skip a renewal, you’ll need to cancel their pending order after it’s placed. You can also delay their next subscription renewal to push all scheduled renewals to a later date.
Can a customer pause their subscription?
If a customer wants to pause their subscription, you can delay their next subscription renewal for them.
Are customers notified before their subscriptions renew?
No. Customers don't receive a notification before their subscription renewal date. You can choose to send order confirmation emails after subscription renewals from the Customer Notifications panel.
Can I change how often a subscription renews?
To change a subscription renewal frequency only for future subscribers, edit the product.
To change the frequency for all subscribers (current and future), discontinue the subscription product and add a new product to your store with the new renewal frequency.
Can I view the total number of active subscriptions?
No. It's not possible to view the number of active subscriptions. You can only view individual subscription order details.
What happens to subscriptions if my site is cancelled or expires?
If your site is cancelled or expires, active subscriptions will be cancelled immediately and customers will be notified by email. If you reactivate your site, customers must resubscribe to continue their subscriptions.
What happens to subscriptions if I downgrade my plan?
If you downgrade to a website plan that doesn't support selling subscription products, active subscriptions won't renew. Your site tries to renew the subscriptions three times over the course of ten days. If you don't upgrade your website plan before your site's final renewal attempt, the subscriptions expire.
Can I offer different renewal frequencies for the same product?
No. To offer different renewal frequencies, for example a one month option and a six month option, add two separate subscription products to your store.
Can a customer apply a discount to a subscription product?
Yes. The discount can apply to the first payment, or all subscription renewal payments. To learn more, visit Creating discounts.
Can a customer buy a subscription with a gift card?
No. Gift cards can't be applied to subscription products.
Do Commerce API integrations work with subscription products?
Yes, commerce integrations still work with subscription products.
Does ShipStation work with subscription products?
Yes. Since each subscription renewal creates a new order, you can use ShipStation to manage shipping for these products.
I use a third-party service to manage subscriptions. How can I switch to Squarespace?
To switch from a third-party service, visit Switching to Squarespace subscriptions from Moonclerk or PayWhirl.