How do I set up a "Membership" subscription type?

In many cases, merchants want to offer an annual membership which gives their subscribers things like free shipping, discounts off all products, or early access to new products. These memberships are recurring charges, but don't typically include any kind of recurring, physical products shipped to the subscriber. 

To set up a "Membership"-style subscription box, start by clicking the "Add New Box" link on the Dashboard of Conjured Subscriptions. Give your Subscription Box a name. Keep in mind the name will be used to create a new product in Shopify and may be publicly visible. Once you enter a name, a URL Slug will be created automatically for you, however you can feel free to change it to whatever you'd like. This will act as the product handle of the product created in Shopify.

The Billing Rules section is where you'll set the frequency of your subscription. In the case of an annual membership, you'd select "Ships every 1 year", however you can set the frequency period to day, week, month, quarter, or year. 

Generally with a membership-style subscription, you'll want to re-bill your member on their billing anniversary, however you can alternately select a specific day (ex: January 1) to rebill them instead. If you do choose to select a specific day, keep in mind that charges are not prorated. If you select January 1 to rebill your customers and a subscriber signs up on December 31, they'll still be charged the full amount on January 1.

With some subscription boxes, you'll want to offer your customers the ability to reduce the frequency of their shipments (ex: from once a month to once every other month), however with a membership, this is not typically a feature that you'll use. 

Enter a price for your membership. This will be the cost of the membership that recurs every time the billing cycle comes around. In this example, we'll set the annual membership price to $50/year.

The pricing section also contains options for prepayment and quantity discounts. Prepayment options allow you to give subscribers the ability to pre-pay for a specific number of periods upfront (potentially providing them with a savings), and quantity discounts allow you to reward subscribers with a discount for increasing the quantity of a subscription. With a membership, these features are rarely used.

You'll next be asked to select a Shipping Option. In the case of a digital membership, this should be set to "None" since nothing is being shipped. For more information on the options available, please refer to the article What options does Conjured Subscriptions have for charging shipping?.

You can then optionally specify Subscription Options. Generally memberships don't need different "tracks", however you may want to offer two levels of membership such as "Silver" or "Gold" which cost different amounts. For more information for how to set up Subscription Options, please refer to the article How can I specify different preferences / tracks / options for a Subscription Box?.

The next section allows you to request additional information from your subscribers that will show up as tags on their Shopify Customer profile. For more information about how to set up the Custom Tags section, please refer to the article Can I collect additional information at signup from my subscribers?.

The last section of the Add Subscription Box page contains a number of optional Additional Settings. A brief synopsis of each is listed below:

  • Allow Gifting? - This setting allows you to specify whether gifting is allowed for this subscription type. If you decide to allow gifting, you can add a gifting flow to your subscription product page. For more information on how gifting works, please refer to the article Does Conjured Subscriptions support gifting a subscription? How does it work?.

  • Force customers to have an account before checking out? - In some cases, you may want customers to create an account with your store prior to checkout, in which case you'd want to enable this option. For more information on requiring an account before checkout, please refer to the article Do subscribers have to have an account to checkout? Can I force them to have an account to checkout?.

  • Force customers to confirm they are over 21 before they checkout? - In some countries (like the United States), customers must confirm they are over 21 before purchasing alcoholic beverages. You can enable this option to require that confirmation. For more information on requiring your customers to confirm they are 21 prior to checkout, please refer to the article Can I force my subscribers to be over 21 to checkout?.

  • Allow customers to change the date of their upcoming shipment? - In the case of some subscription boxes, you may want to allow customers to change the date of their upcoming shipment. In the case of a membership subscription, this is not typically a feature that is used, so you can set this option to "No, customers cannot change the date of their upcoming shipment.".

  • Allow customers to request preferences for what they get in their shipment? - In the case of a "box of the month" type subscription, you may want to allow your customers to choose from a list of available products and request what they receive in their next shipment. In the case of a membership subscription, this is not typically enabled, so you can set the option to "No, shipments are not changeable by customers.".

  • Allow order to be added to Shopify even if inventory is unavailable? - In the case of a Subscribe-and-Save type subscription, you may want the customer's order to be added to Shopify even if the inventory is currently unavailable. In the case of a membership subscription, since generally the customer is not receiving a physical shipment, it doesn't matter what you select for this option.

  • Allow subscription price to be changed from the client-side? - In some very rare instances, merchants may want the flexibility to change a subscription price from the subscriber's dashboard via API. A couple of example use cases might be offering customers a "pay what you want" sliding scale, or trying to reduce churn by offering a lower price if a customer tries to cancel. While the vast majority of subscriptions will have this option set to "No", if you do decide to set it to "Yes", you can specify an amount to act as the floor. For example, in a "pay what you want" sliding scale, if your standard subscription cost is $50 but you want to offer customers the ability to drop as low as $40, you would enter $40 in the "Minimum allowable subscription price".

  • Notify via email when shipment inventory options is less than or equal to... - This option allows you to receive a notification email when the inventory for products included in your subscription shipments drops below a certain amount. By default, this field is set to -1, meaning you won't receive any notifications. In the case of a membership subscription, because physical products are rarely shipped, it doesn't matter what you set this value to.

Save your subscription box settings and you'll be all set to configure the product page! For more information on how to configure your subscription product page, please refer to the article What do I need to include on the subscription product page?.

Once you've configured your subscription, you'll want to configure the subscription Shipments. In the case of a digital subscription or membership, you don't need to create any shipments, however if you want to offer a "Welcome Kit" or a free gift for certain cycles, we encourage you to check out the article Can I give my subscribers free gifts periodically?.

Finally, with a membership subscription, many merchants want to offer their subscribers free shipping, or discounts off the products in their store. For more information about how to do that, please refer to the following articles:

Can I offer my subscribers free shipping on all products in my store?

Can I offer my subscribers a discount off one-time products in my store?

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