Contents

Work of Auto-Renewable Subscriptions (AR)

  • The customer manually makes an order for a renewal product
    Additionally, they must give their consent to automatic recurring purchase of renewals
  • Upon successful payment for the order, an AR subscription is created. The customer payment data is saved for subsequent auto-renewal
  • After the subscription validity period (term) expires, a renewal order is created automatically (child order)
  • Next, automatic payment for the renewal order is initiated. In this case, the system uses the customer payment data saved earlier
  • In case of successful payment, the subscription validity period (term) is extended
Workflow scenario на AR Subscription lifecycle

If an auto-renewable subscription is available for a product, then an offer to get a subscription for this product is displayed in the cart on the checkout page.

To create a subscription, the customer must:

  • Confirm their consent to automatic renewal by enabling the "Automatic license renewal" checkbox for the product
  • Select the payment method that supports recurring payments and requires no user interaction
    g., It is possible when paying with a bank card or PayPal. However, it is not possible when using other methods (other payment services)
    If the customer agrees to auto-renewal and selects some payment method with no support for auto-renewal, they will see a warning
    Please contact your account manager to change the warning text component
  • Make order payment
    Upon order payment, a subscription will be created, and the order initiating the subscription creation will be considered a parent one

The order page of a paid order displays an informational block. It contains the subscription information.

Using the block, the customer can:

  • Cancel / resume (restore) their subscription
  • Change the payment card bound to auto-pay for their subscription

The customer can go to this page:

  • After successful order online payment
  • Using links in order emails

Create Renewal Order and Send Auto-Payment Reminder

Before a current subscriptions expires, the customer receives an email about an upcoming renewal payment.
The email contains the information about the date of the upcoming debiting and the renewal price.

At the same time:

  • A child order for a renewal product is created automatically
    If, for some reason, a child order is not created, then a new attempt to create a child order is executed (6 attempts in total) every subsequent day
  • The renewal product price gets fixed
  • When sending an email to the customer: if the subscription is paid with a bank card, then the validity period of the card used for paying for a parent order is additionally verified
    If the card expires before the expected payment date for the child order comes, the customer is sent an offer to bind a new card

The date of child order creation and the date when the upcoming renewal payment email is sent are calculated as follows (default settings):

If the product validity period is ≥ 6 months 30 days before the subscription expiration date
If the product validity period is < 6 months 9 days before the subscription expiration date

When the renewal payment date arrives, automatic payment is executed, e.g., funds are debited from the customer's bank card.

Child orders will always be paid using the payment method that has been set when paying for the parent order. The customer can change the bank card bound to the subscription. In this case, a new bound card will be used for further payments. If the customer has paid for any child order manually using a different method, this will not affect the next child order.

If payment is successful, then:

  • The customer receives the successful renewal payment email
  • License keys or other license information are requested/sent, if the renewal product exploits the Softline automatic fulfillment tools (electronic delivery option) to deliver license information
  • The system calculates a new subscription expiration date
    If the customer pays for a renewal before the subscription expiration date comes, the new subscription expiration date follows the previous subscription expiration date
    If the customer pays for a renewal after the subscription expiration date comes, the new subscription expiration date starts on the successful payment date

In case of unsuccessful payment

  • Automatic payment will be retried (3 attempts in total)
    The frequency of attempts depends on a license term, see further for more details
    The last attempt is made on the last day a license is active
  • The customer receives auto-payment issue emails
    Separate email templates are provided for the first attempt and the last one (for in-between payment attempts, emails on errors are not sent)
    The emails also contain a payment link to pay for the renewal manually. The link leads to the child order page
  • If all payment attempts have ended, but a subscription has not been still paid, then the subscription is withheld

The date of renewal payment are calculated as follows (default settings):

If the product validity period is ≥ 6 months 20/10/0 days before the subscription expiration date
If the product validity period is < 6 months 2/1/0 days before the subscription expiration date

If a subscription renewal remains unpaid, and auto-payment attempts are used up, a subscription is withheld:

  • The subscription continues having the payment pending status (not paid)
  • The child renewal order continues having the not paid status. If the order remains unpaid within 90 days, it will be deleted automatically
  • For the products that exploit the Softline automatic fulfillment tools (electronic delivery option):
    • The system will not initiate delivery of license information
    • The system will not initiate cancellation of license renewal on your end

The customer can pay for renewals on the child order page.
The customer receives a link to the child order page in the auto-payment issue email.

When the customer pays for a suspended subscription, it becomes active again:

  • The system will calculate the next payment date from the moment of successful payment
  • The system will initiate debiting of the next payment. The same payment method the customer selected to get the subscription (first order) will be used
  • The system will initiate delivery of license information for the products that exploit the Softline automatic fulfillment tools (electronic delivery option)

Automatic payments under subscription are debited from the customer's card. If the validity period of this card expires, the customer will be sent a notification in advance with a suggestion to re-link the card.

Once a subscription is created, it can be cancelled. If cancelled, it cannot be renewed. 

A subscription can be cancelled using the following methods:

  • The customer can cancel their subscription on the page of the order that created the subscription (parent order)
  • You can cancel the customer's subscription using the Subscriptions API or through the ESupport Portal
  • Our support team can cancel the subscription upon the customer’s (or your) request
  • The subscription can be cancelled automatically, if:
    • The system failed to create a renewal order and ran out of the attempts to create one
    • A refund or a chargeback happened

Subscription cancellation has no limitations. Any subscription can be cancelled immediately after its creation, or after a renewal order to renew the subscription is created. In the latter case, no auto-payment happens for the renewal order. The customer can pay for such orders manually and purchase a renewal. However, this does not resume (restore) their subscription or does not initiate its further renewal.

The subscription cancellation does not affect the license information received by the customer when renewing their product; i.e. when cancelling a subscription, the system does not revoke the license information of the subscription.

You can find out about subscription cancellation using webhooks.

By default, when cancelling a subscription, the customer receives an email. It notifies the customer about the event. You can use the Subscriptions API to execute subscription cancellation without sending the email. If you want your customers to never receive any subscription cancellation emails, please contact our support team.

If a subscription was cancelled, it can be resumed (restored) but it has to meet some conditions.

Here are the conditions a cancelled subscription must meet to become resumed:

  • The subscription resumption (restoration) option is enabled for the shopping cart on the checkout page
  • The subscription-initiator order has the Paid status. The order was not deleted
  • The subscription has the Cancelled status
  • The resumption happens in one of the cases:
    • The subscription was cancelled during its paid validity period (paid term). In addition, no renewal order was created (i.e. subscription status was Active). Resumption is possible while renewal order creation is available, and the system has not yet run out of the attempts to create a child order
    • The subscription was cancelled after a renewal order was created. However, this order was unpaid. Resumption is possible as long as the child order remains not deleted. Note that the lifetime of unpaid orders is 90 days. After that, such orders are deleted automatically

If the resumption conditions are met, the subscription can be resumed using the following methods:

  • The customer can resume their subscription on the subscription management page.
  • You can resume the customer's subscription using the Subscriptions API or through the ESupport Portal
  • Our support team can resume the subscription upon the customer’s (or your) request

Note that the first auto-payment may have the following peculiarities:

If at resumption of a subscription, a renewal order has already been created for the subscription, but all the auto-pay attempts have already ended, the renewal order is not automatically paid. The customer has to pay for the last child order manually. The subscription becomes renewed.

You can find out about subscription resumption using webhooks.

By default, when resuming a subscription, the customer receives an email. It notifies the customer about the event. You can use the Subscriptions API to execute subscription resumption without sending the email. If you want your customers to never receive any subscription resumption emails, please contact our support team.