WooCommerce: Subscribing to All The Things
Paving The Way: Subscriptions v2.0
WooCommerce Subscriptions finally got its much-anticipated v2.0 update, earlier in October. The new version, which has been in development for more than a year, is a major rewrite of the plugin that introduces support for multiple subscriptions, allowing customers to purchase more than one per order. It also makes WooCommerce Subscriptions much friendlier for developers, since it now relies on a custom Subscription post type for storing and accessing subscription data, separately from the order in which a subscription is purchased.
Support for multiple subscriptions is a great step forward, since it:
- simplifies the checkout process,
- reduces payment gateway fees by processing the sign-up and renewal of multiple products in one transaction and
- reduces the number of renewal orders since it’s no longer necessary to create multiple orders for what may be a single shipment.
Combined with the use of a dedicated post type for creating and managing subscriptions, v2.0 is a stepping stone for introducing new functionality such as personalized subscriptions and subscription bundles. Composite Products, for instance, is typically used to create configurable product kits that consist of multiple, grouped products. No matter what you want to sell, from ties and grooming products to undies, personalization and bundling techniques can help your subscription-based business target its audience much more effectively. The release of Subscriptions v2.0 finally makes such long overdue integrations possible: Stores that rely on Composite Products, Product Bundles and other grouped product-type extensions, such as Mix ‘n Match Products, may soon be able to offer subscribed versions of their products.
How soon? Well, if you like life on the edge, right now!
Today, we’ll be taking a first look at an experimental mini-extension developed to bridge the gap between grouped product-type extensions and Subscriptions: Subscribe All The Things.
Subscribe All The Things, which is co-authored by SomewhereWarm and Prospress, provides basic subscriptions support for non-subscription product types. It allows you to attach subscriptions to Simple products, Variable products, Composite Products, Product Bundles and Mix ‘n Match Products, and includes a neat feature: The ability to switch any product from a one-time purchase to a subscription, even after is has been added in the cart! The best part? The code is already public – so you can start testing, sending feedback and contributing to the plugin right now.
The catch? The code is still in pre-beta status: Some, or many things, might not work as expected. You might stumble upon bugs, lose data, or even find the code to be completely unusable.
Adding Subscription Options to an existing product
To give you a quick idea of what’s possible with Subscribe All The Things, we’ll start with a Simple Product: A modest Bag of Raw Almonds.
Nothing to see here. However, a look at the edit-product section reveals some interesting new options, tucked away under a new Subscription tab:
From here, you can:
- add one or more subscription options to the product,
- convert the product to be subscription-only by disabling one-time purchases, and
- tweak some other options, such as the “Choose a subscription” message, displayed when attaching multiple subscription options to the product.
Let’s see what happens when we add a single subscription option, without disabling one-time purchases:
Things look just as interesting in the cart, where it is still possible to switch between a one-time purchase, or a subscription, without removing the product from the cart:
After selecting the subscription option and updating the cart, the refreshed totals look exactly what you would expect from a subscription product:
Offering a Product Bundle on Subscription
This is where things start to get a bit more interesting: Offering a Product Bundle as a Subscription. Our example Bundle, Almonds Mix is a 500g pick ‘n mix assortment of 5 different 100g almond packs, offered at 20% off:
Note that a similar result can be obtained using the amazing Mix ‘n Match Products extension.
A look at the Subscription tab reveals that, in order to offer the bundle as a subscription-only product, we created a single subscription option and ticked the Force Subscription checkbox:
After adding the configured bundle to the cart, all bundled cart items, along with the container cart item itself, are converted to subscriptions with the same period, interval and length; this wouldn’t have been possible without Subscriptions v2.0:
Subscribe All The Things by SomewhereWarm and Prospress finally makes it possible to attach multiple subscription options to physical or virtual products regardless of their type. Currently, it includes support for Simple products, Variable products, Composite Products, Product Bundles and Mix ‘n Match products. The code is in beta phase and is already available publicly for testing, feedback and contributions by the WooCommerce community!
Like what you see? Grab Subscribe All The Things now. As always, feel free to share your impressions 🙂