Swell supports selling subscriptions without the need for any third-party apps. Do it all in-house with complete control of your subscriptions—paired with a full set of management features that help you get the most out of your subscription offerings.

Creating a subscription

Subscription product purchase option

You can sell any product on a subscription basis. By adding a new purchase option to a product, you can specify additional ways customers can purchase that product. The default purchase option is for one-time purchases. When creating a product, you can add another purchase option to include a subscription pricing option to sell that product as a subscription. To manage a product's purchase options, navigate to a product page under Products. From there, you can create additional purchase options for that product.

When creating a subscription purchase option, you can define the subscription cycle (e.g., annually, monthly, weekly, etc.) as well as the price, any trial period you may wish to offer on the subscription plan, and a brief plan description. Read more about product purchase options.

Subscription fulfillment and billing intervals

When creating a subscription purchase option, you can define the desired billing interval while independently defining the fulfillment interval. By default, the subscription's billing and fulfillment intervals will be the same. This is adjusted by selecting the Fulfill separately toggle. Fulfillment intervals define the frequency of when the subscription sends customers the product, while billing interval is how frequently the customer is charged for the subscription itself. Each product subscription plan can have its own fulfillment and billing schedule. For example, you could create a subscription that bills annually and fulfills monthly.

Discount rules

Specify the number of billing cycles for which it can be applied to a subscription. The rules can be set through the Discounts tab in the Swell dashboard, either by creating a new coupon or promotion.

Creating a subscription order

To create a subscription for a customer from the dashboard, select New Subscription. From there, you'll set the subscription's details like the product and product options, the subscription interval, and customer information. When creating a subscription, you also can add one-time product purchases or add other products to the invoice on a recurring basis. One-time products added to a subscription will be charged and fulfilled once, while additional recurring products will be charged and fulfilled on each billing cycle. Coupon codes can also be applied during creation. Subscription items can also be added to an existing order.

Viewing subscriptions

Store owners can view and manage subscription orders under Subscriptions > All subscriptions.

  • The All subscriptions tab shows all of the subscriptions customers have ordered. This will be blank for Swell store owners who have yet to create a subscription.

  • The Active tab contains any subscriptions that are currently active and being fulfilled.

  • The Trial tab lists all users taking advantage of a trial period.

  • Canceled and Past due tabs show which subscriptions have been canceled or require payment.

Subscription activity feed

All subscriptions feature an activity feed that tracks any updates or changes that are made to the subscription over time. This can be viewed on any subscription page by selecting the subscription in your dashboard

Swell subscriptions activity feed

The subscription activity feed monitors various changes to a subscription, including:

  • Item updates or changes

  • Billing and Shipping information

  • Tracking and viewing of notifications

  • Order status

  • Shipping status

  • Payment status

  • Discounts added

  • Notes added

Subscription emails and dunning

Creating and managing customer notifications for subscriptions can be configured for a variety of different events.

Subscription notifications

There are several features to manage subscription notifications within your store. Swell includes customizable templated email notifications under Settings > Notifications for basic subscriptions actions such as:

  • Notifications for new subscriptions

  • Confirmations for subscriptions that are canceled, paused, or resumed.

  • Notices for upcoming card expirations

Dunning rules

The dunning system assists in recovering failed payments by retrying a customer's cards in the event the payment fails while also alerting the customer of their failed payment via email. Create and add steps to determine the behavior of each step of the dunning process under Settings > Subscriptions within the dashboard. Here you can define each step and its behavior in the dunning process.

Each step can be configured to retry the payment method, send an email to the user, or both. Email notifications can be customized similarly to all notifications via the editor window. See our notification settings article for more information on customizing notifications.

Storefront subscriptions

The Swell storefront now offers users the ability to manage their subscriptions from their profiles. After signing in to their account, they can access their subscription settings and make desired changes to their subscriptions.

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