WooCommerce Subscriptions Essentials Guide on How to Make it a Subscribe & Save Style

Intro & Background

We bought this plugin a while back and wanted a seamless way to have our existing products turn into a subscription OR one time only.Β  You can often see this type of option on Amazon’s “subscribe & save” feature.

Before starting, you can get the full documentation here: https://woocommerce.com/document/subscriptions/

Or here: https://woocommerce.com/products/woocommerce-subscriptions/

The overall goal is to get this:


Step 1: Admin Menu Products > Pick A Top Seller Simple Product

DO NOT PICK A VARIABLE PRODUCT, pick a SIMPLE PRODUCT because this new task will convert it to a variable subscription

Step 1.1: Write Down the Price & Inventory Qty of the Simple Product before you lose it

This process will delete the price and it’s a pain to go back.

BUG POTENTIAL, don’t click randomly.

Use the staging site if you forgot this step like me.


Step 2: Select Variable Subscription

Do not stop your work here until you are done as you’ve put this product “on hold” to edit it


Step 3: Select Attributes > Variable SUBSCRIPTION, not variable products


Step 4: Setup the Name of the Attribute (the dropdown options for this product)

In our case, we will use “How Often” and the values have to be separated by a ” | ” in WooCommerce.


Important: make sure these are all filled out / checked off:


Step 5: Save the Attribute, and go over to VARIATIONS to generate them


TIP: do not randomly get curious and click here unless you are testing/learning, the “Add Manually” button is not intuitive and the Filter UX is also bad UX.


Step 6: Scroll Down, You Should See Variations Generated




Pay attention to the text below



ANY RECURRING VARIATION like the 3, 4, 5 weeks:



Here we are saying:

  • You can order 1 time, it is just a subscription that stops after 1 day
  • You can also order 3, 4, 5 week intervals, it is 5% cheaper (that’s why we wrote down the price) and it’s a subscription that charges the customer’s credit card on the set interval.
  • Note how prices are different
  • Make sure to use SALE PRICE, you’ll see why on next screenshot

Step 7: Checking the Final Result


Also check inventory again to make sure you didn’t lose it during the process:


Step 8: Practice & Test this Flow, Then Apply To Variable Simple Products


The issue with Variable products is that we already have variables and most importantly,

You might have to MANUALLY setup the prices, variations & inventory again if your connection is bad or you didn’t hit “UPDATE” blue button to save your progress.

Keep all previous info saved, don’t move into this step too fast.

Try to work during the slow part of the eCommerce day.

Good luck!

Peter Peng

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