[intro] Before you begin this Guide, you must have opened a Paypal Account, be able to create Webpages, make Quotes and add new Products to your EKM online shop. When you have completed this Guide, you will have set up a subscription-based Product on your EKM online shop.
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Setting up subscription-based Products requires some preparation to begin with as the subscription payments are processed on Paypal and not through your EKM online shop. You will need to create the Product you wish to offer for subscription and edit this to ensure that the Add to Cart button is removed as this will be replaced with a Subscribe button later on. You'll also need to manually process the subscription payments on the Orders page of your EKM online shop for each customer each billing period.

It’s also worth bearing in mind too that as subscription-based Products are processed elsewhere, customers will need to purchase these separately from your other Products (which are processed through the Checkout Flow of your EKM online shop as normal). Dependent on the kind and number of Products you are offering for subscription, you may want to add these to a specific Webpage or a dedicated Category where it is highlighted that these Products need to be purchased individually and separate from the rest of the Product range on your EKM online shop.

Removing the Add to Cart button

1. Before you create the Subscriptions buttons on Paypal, it’s important that you create the Product on your EKM online shop first. From the Dashboard, click the Shop tab:

2. Ensure that the ‘Edit Content’ button is clicked, and then click Add Product’:

3. This will open the Add/Edit Product window. Give your Product a Name, Price, Image and Description as normal (If you have not previously added any Products to your EKM online shop at this point, click here for the Guide):

4. When you have populated the Product, you need to click the Attributes tab:

5. You then need to uncheck the ‘Enable Add To Cart Button’ box, before clicking Save & Close:

6. This has prepared the Product for the Subscription button which you will create later on in this Guide.

Creating the Webpages

7. Your next step is to create Webpages for customers who subscribe to receive your Product. You need to create two separate Webpages:

  • A Webpage for Customers who have signed up for your Subscription;
  • A Webpage for customers who have cancelled their Subscriptions.

The content of these pages depends on the type and amount of Products you are offering for Subscription:

Above is a basic Subscription Sign Up Webpage, and here is a Subscription Cancellation Webpage:

Obviously, you can add more text and hyperlinked graphics to these Webpages to make them more visually pleasing and give added exposure to other Products and Categories on your EKM online shop.

8. When you have created both Webpages, you need to wait for you EKM online shop to update before opening each page on a separate browser tab. Keep both of these tabs open, and then return to the Webpages page. Now you need to uncheck the boxes in the ‘Active’ column for these Subscription Webpages:

By doing this, both Webpages will be hidden from the menu/footer/navigation bar of your EKM online shop. The Webpages are still visible, but you will need the exact URLs to see them, which is why you need both of these ‘hidden’ Webpages open in your browser now to be added to your Subscription button later on in this Guide.

Creating a Paypal Subscription button

9. To begin this step, you need to have a Business Paypal account. If you don’t have one already, log in to your Paypal account as normal and click ‘Change to a business account’ on the bottom left-hand side of the page:

10. On this page, you need to click the ‘Upgrade’ to upgrade the account that you’re currently logged in as (obviously, if you want to create a separate business account, click the button to the left):

11. Ensure that the information in the fields provided is correct, tick the terms & conditions box and finally click the ‘Agree and continue’ button:

12. Use the drop-down menu to select the type of business you have:

13. You’ll then need to complete the three fields provided before clicking the blue ‘Continue’ button:

14. Again, you’ll need to confirm some more details, before you click the blue ‘Continue’ button:

15. On this page, you need to tick the box for ‘On your website’, before clicking the blue ‘Continue’ button:

16. On this page, you need to click ‘Continue’ to ‘process all payments…’:

17. Now you need to click Option B on this page:

18. Now you can click ‘Create a payment button’:

19. Here is where you create the Subscription button for the Product you wish to offer a subscription of on your EKM online shop:

20. At the top, you need to amend the ‘Choose a button type’ drop-down to read ‘Subscriptions’.

  • Item Name = Product Name
  • Subscription ID = Product Code

21. For the ‘Customise button’ section, this depends on the Product you are offering for subscription as to how you want the button to display. Paypal is really good here by providing examples of what each button can do in a pop-up window so you can ascertain which is the right kind for your Product:

  • ‘Have Paypal create user names and passwords for customers’ = This is not possible as your EKM online shop is on a hosted platform. Leave the box unticked.
  • Billing Cycle = This depends on the kind of subscription you are offering the customer. Select the most appropriate answer from the drop-down.
  • ‘After how many cycles should billing stop?’ = How long are customers subscribed to paying for this Product? Select the appropriate amount from the drop-down.
  • Trial Period = if you tick the box to offer a trial period subscribing to this Product, this will reveal some options which allow you to select for how long the trial period is for, how much it will be, and whether the customer will be able to have a second trial period of not. Again, this is down to the Product you’re offering for subscription, so select the most appropriate answers.
  • Merchant Account ID = tick this box to ensure that the email address connected to your Paypal account is not visible.

22. When you have completed all of these details, you then need to click ‘Step 2’:

23. This will reveal where you can confirm your settings for the inventory, which is important as these subscription payments will be processed in Paypal, and not on your EKM online shop:

24. As before, how you arrange these settings depends on the type of subscription Product that you are offering your customers; select the most appropriate and when you are complete, click ‘Step 3’:

25. This will reveal where you can set the cancel and return URLs for your customers. In the fields provided, add the URL of the Webpage you have created for customers that are cancelling their subscriptions and the URL of the Webpage created for customers who have signed up for subscriptions:

26. When you have completed this final batch of settings, you need to click the yellow ‘Create Button’:

27. You will then see this page, which holds the code for your button:

28. Copy the code from the field and return to the browser tab displaying your EKM online shop, before opening the Edit Product window for the Product you want to offer subscriptions with and clicking the Source button:

29. You can now paste in the code for your Subscribe button, before clicking the Source button again:

30. This will display the Subscribe button in the Product Description. Your next step is to click the green ‘Save’ button:

Adding an Unsubscribe button

31. You then need to return to the browser tab displaying Paypal, and click ‘Create an Unsubscribe button’:

32. Here you need to click ‘Create Button’:

33. Again, you’ll see the code required for the button displayed. Copy the code from the field:

34. Return to the browser tab displaying your EKM online shop and click the Source button on your Product again:

35. Paste the code in the field, beneath the existing Paypal code, before clicking Source again:

36. You’ll probably need to centralise the Unsubscribe button, so it sits directly beneath the existing Subscribe button:

37. You now need to click the Save & Close button:

How to process the Subscriptions

As the actual subscription process takes place within your Paypal account and not within your EKM online shop, you will need to manually enter the subscription payments on the Orders page. This will allow you to keep all of your order data in one place which can easily be exported and analysed at a later date if need be.

The most effective way to do this is to create a Custom Order Status named ‘Subscription’ using this Guide. Then you need to enter each individual billing period (weekly, monthly, etc.) for each subscribed customer as a Quote on your EKM online shop. Change the status of the Quote to ‘Subscription’ and mark the payment as completed, with Paypal used as the Payment Gateway.

[tips] Don't forget if you offer Loyalty Points on your EKM online shop and these can be earned on a subscription Product, you will need to manually amend the customer's Loyalty Points balance each billing cycle of their subscription. [/tips]

[remember] Paypal is a third party Payment Gateway, which means you are using a company external to EKM in order to process payments on your EKM online shop. With this in mind, EKM cannot control how the third party processes payments or influence their policies and procedures.

Whilst there are rarely issues with third-party payment gateways, on occasion it is necessary to contact them directly to resolve any issues as our Customer Support Team is only able to investigate up to the point where the customer is transferred away from your EKM online shop to process their payment before they are redirected back again to complete the order. [/remember]

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[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community.  [/contact]