Discontinuing a Subscription Product


When it comes time to discontinue a product on your site, whether you are removing it altogether, replacing it with another product, disabling new subscription sign-ups, or removing all subscriptions and new sign-ups from the product, this page aims to provide clear, step-by-step instructions for handling any of those cases.

Making a Product Unavailable for New One-time Orders, Subscription Sign-ups, and Recurring Orders

When you remove or disable a product from your catalog altogether, any subscriptions that attempt a recurring order will fail and the customer will receive a failure notification. To prevent this from happening, we recommend updating the status for all affected subscriptions to Cancelled. This will prevent any new recurring orders for this product from being attempted.

If you only have a few subscriptions to that product, this can be done using the Subscribe Pro Merchant App by going to Manage > Subscriptions and searching for the product SKU you are discontinuing. Then, you can either use the Mass Edit or go one-by-one through the subscriptions to set them to Cancelled status.

If you have many subscriptions that need to be cancelled, a faster way would be to use our CSV importer tool, available under System > Import Subscriptions. The only columns you would need in the CSV file are the subscription_id and the status. If you have any trouble with the importer, feel free to contact [email protected].

Replacing a Product With Another Subscription Product While Retaining Existing Subscriptions on the New SKU

To understand the most efficient way to make this change, here are a couple of key things to know about the way our system works:

  • With our Magento 1, Magento 2, and Zoey integrations, any product in the catalog that has the Subscription Enabled attribute enabled will be synced into the Subscribe Pro system, either updating an existing record or creating a new one based on whether the SKU is present in our system. With our Salesforce Commerce Cloud integration products are added manually or via import, so this is not a consideration.
  • Behind the scenes in our system, subscriptions are tied to products based on a product ID rather than a SKU. So if you make a change to the product record to which a subscription is linked, including changes to the SKU, these changes will affect all subscriptions linked to that product.

If the new product SKU does not already exist in Subscribe Pro.

With that in mind, we have found that the easiest way to replace a product with another while keeping subscriptions running with the new SKU is to follow these steps, in this order:

  1. Disable new sign-ups for the old SKU in your eCommerce Platform by disabling the Subscription Enabled attribute for that product in the product catalog.
  2. In Subscribe Pro, under Manage > Subscription Products, find the record for the old product and edit the SKU, Name, Price, and any other relevant data to the new product's information.

    a. Under Manage > Subscriptions, search for the new SKU. You should see all existing subscriptions that were using the old SKU are now using the new SKU.

  3. Enable new sign-ups on the new SKU in your eCommerce Platform by enabling the Subscription Enabled attribute for that product in the product catalog.

Now all of those subscriptions for the old SKU will be using the new SKU for any recurring orders from that point on.

If the new product SKU does already exist in Subscribe Pro, but no new subscriptions have been created for it yet.

In this case, we will do the following:

  1. Edit the product record for the new SKU in Subscribe Pro, and input some "dummy data" for the SKU and Name. We just want to get it out of the way.
  2. Follow the instructions from the previous section.

If the new product SKU does already exist in Subscribe Pro and already has subscriptions associated with it, and there are still subscriptions associated with the old SKU

In this case we can't use the above steps and need to use the CSV product import to update the products. Follow these steps:

  1. If not already done, disable new sign-ups for the old SKU in your eCommerce Platform by disabling the Subscription Enabled attribute for that product in the product catalog.
  2. Using our Complete Subscriptions Report, pull an export of all subscriptions that are linked to the old SKU.
  3. Open the exported spreadsheet and remove all columns except the subscription ID and the SKU. Rename those columns, if they aren't already, to subscription_id and product_sku exactly.
  4. Update the product_sku column with the new SKU.
  5. Under System > Subscription Import, upload and import the file to update the SKUs. Contact [email protected] if you have any trouble using the importer.

Disabling New Sign-ups While Continuing to Offer One-Time Orders and Processing Existing Recurring Orders for a Product This case is probably the simplest of all.

To achieve this, you just need to go into your eCommerce Platform catalog, edit the product in question, and disable the Subscription Enabled attribute. New sign-ups will no longer be available, but the product can continue to be ordered, and recurring orders for that product will continue to process.

Note: You may need to clear your eCommerce Platform cache before this change will take effect.

Disabling Sign-ups and Recurring Orders While Continuing to Offer One-Time Orders for a Product

Similar to the previous section, this requires you to disable the Subscription Enabled attribute on the product in your eCommerce Platform catalog. This also comes with the added step of cancelling any active subscriptions that are tied to the discontinued product.

To do so, you would follow these steps:

  1. Disable the Subscription Enabled attribute on the product in the your eCommerce Platform catalog.
  2. In Subscribe Pro, run and export the Complete Subscriptions Export, filtering on the SKU column for the SKU in question.
  3. In the exported spreadsheet, remove all columns except the Subscription ID and Status columns. Rename those columns, if they aren't already, to subscription_id and status exactly.
  4. Update the status column to Cancelled.
  5. Under System > Subscription Import, upload and import the file to update the subscription statuses. Contact [email protected] if you have any trouble using the importer.