Can I have Recurring Orders on my Store?

Yes! You can have recurring orders on your store through the use of 3dcart’s special AutoShip/Recurring Orders module.

This article will give you information on this add-on and how it can be used. It contains the following topics.

Please click on a link below to review the respective area of information:

What is AutoShip/Recurring Orders?
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AutoShip works by allowing customers to configure recurring orders that are shipped at their convenience. In just a few clicks, shoppers can easily select the quantity and delivery frequency of the product. The software sets up the delivery schedule and automatically produces a new order, captures payment and notifies the customer on the delivery date.

Benefits for your store include:
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  • Increase revenue by encouraging recurring orders and making them simple
  • Reduce cart abandonment by saving customers time with automatic billing
  • Build brand loyalty, differentiate from the competition and create lifetime customers
  • Create more accurate sales forecasts and gain tighter control over inventory

What are the Requirements?
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  • Any level of 3dcart software
  • One-time setup fee and an additional monthly cost added to your 3dcart plan
  • A tokenization based payment gateway* such as:
    • Authorize.Net (with additional CIM module)
    • CardConnect
    • GoeMerchant XML
    • Paymentech Orbital
    • PayPal (Powered by Braintree)
    • PayPal PayFlow Pro (with reference transactions enabled)
    • PayPal Express Checkout (with reference transactions enabled)
    • Persolvent Payments Lite
    • PPS
    • ProPay ProtectPay API
    • SecureNet
    • Stripe
    • USA ePay
    • Persolvent Payments Lite
    • 1st PayGateway.Net XML
    • Vantiv
    • Vantiv eChecks

Your respective payment Gateway’s tokenization methods may incur additional fees from the Merchant Account provider.

Click here for 3dcart purchase information, or contact your sales representative to find out more.

How does it work?
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The AutoShip recurring order process begins with your payment gateway’s tokenization functions. PCI compliance standards rule that for credit card transactions, the only parties privy to the credit card details are the card holder and the payment gateway. In other words, the merchant cannot store or view the credit card number information in any way.

So if the card isn’t stored, how can an automated recurring order process like AutoShip re-charge the card?

This is where the payment gateway’s tokenization comes into play. Rather than storing the card number somewhere on the ecommerce site for the recurring transactions, the payment gateway creates a set of encrypted tokens (viewable only by the payment gateway) for the recurring transactions coming from the store.

AutoShip Order Process
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When a shopper places an order for a recurring product, they are asked if they would like to have the order recur and shipped to them at regular intervals. (Hence the name “AutoShip”). During the recurring order process, they are asked to set their frequency of recurring shipments and they check out with their initial order.

When the initial order is created, two invoices are created for the customer’s order. The main invoice (for their initial order) is created which you will manually process as usual. However, the second invoice that is created will be a recurring invoice which will act as a template for the future orders. The recurring invoice template will reside in a special order status (called “Recurring”) that is created for you when the AutoShip module is added to your store.

Meanwhile, a regularly scheduled script will run on the store that will look at the recurring templates and – when it’s time to fulfill them – will take the template, create a new order from it, and present it to you as a New order to be fulfilled.

Additional Information
The Recurring Order templates will share the same invoice number as the original order, but will have a “R_” added to it as a prefix. So, if your shopper places an order for a recurring item and their original invoice is AB-1001, that will be the order you process for the initial shipment. The recurrances of that order will then be based on a template order called R_AB-1001. All subsequent orders based on this template will include a notice of the template it is based on.

Canceling an AutoShipped order
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To manually cancel a recurring order, simply move its respective template order (The one with the R_ prefix) out of the Recurring Order Status. This will prevent the script from recreating the order at fulfillment time.

Your shoppers with Recurring orders can also cancel the order themselves from their My Account section of your store. Click here for more information.

Setting Up AutoShip
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After you’ve purchased the AutoShip/Recurring Order add-on and you’ve received notice from your Project Manager that it has been installed, proceed with the following steps to configure it on your store.

The following assumes that you have already set up your token based payment gateway.

If you have not yet set it up, please do so before proceeding with these steps.

  1. Log into your 3dcart Online Store Manager
  2. Using the left hand navigation menu, go to Modules
  3. Use the Search Bar at the top and search for “Recurring Orders” to pull up the module.

You will have the following series of checkboxes to toggle for the module:

  • Enable Recurring Orders
    When enabled, allows for recurring billing for specified products.

When Recurring Orders are enabled, your store’s “Email is required” and “Password is required” settings will automatically be turned on as well (these need to be enabled for the applicable online payment methods to charge automatically).

See Settings ->General ->Store Settings and click on the “Checkout” tab to locate these settings.

  • Show Applicable Payment Gateways Only
    When enabled, only applicable payment gateways (those that save the credit card information for future charges) will show up during checkout for recurring orders.
  • Keep Discounts on Subsequent Orders
    Any discount used in the first order will be transfered over to all the subsequent recurring orders.
  • Frequency (Days)
    This field allows you to define the frequency intervals to be displayed to customers when ordering an autoship product. Enter multiple intervals separated by a comma. For example 5,10,15,20 etc.
  • Min. Days to Allow Changes
    Sets the number of days (before recurrence) in which the shopper is able to change the properties of their recurring billing. For example, if this is set to 5 and the shopper is 6 days away from their next recurrence, the change will be allowed to go through. However, if they are only 4 days away from the recurrence, their changes will not be allowed.
  • Min. Days to Allow cancellation
    Sets the number of days (before recurrence) in which the shopper is able to cancel their recurring billing. For example, if this is set to 5 and the shopper is 6 days away from their next recurrence, the cancellation will be allowed to go through. However, if they are only 4 days away from the recurrence, the cancellation will not be allowed.

After enabling the Recurring Orders module and configuring the default values, click on the “Save” button at the top right to commit your changes.

These next steps will show you how to further enable the functionality on the products you want to offer the recurring orders feature for.

  1. Go to Products ->Product List and locate the product you would like to offer as a recurring order item.
  2. Click on the product’s thumbnail, ID or name to open it up for editing
  3. Go to the Product’s “Advanced Tab”
  4. Place a mark in the “Enable Recurring Orders” checkbox for the product.
  5. Click “Save” at the top right to commit your changes
  6. Repeat for the rest of your recurring products as needed.

Your shoppers will now be able to select their recurring order frequency and the orders will come in based on their recurrence. Shoppers may also cancel their recurring orders or update their order frequency directly from their respective “My Account” access on your store front.