Recurring profiles are set up when store owners want to utilize subscription options on their website. Think of a monthly vitamin supplement subscription, or home brewer's kit-of-the-month subscription. When a product is set up with a recurring profile option, the customer will be redirected to a third-party payment system (currently Paypal, by default, for Magento 1.x versions) where they will enter into a "recurring payment agreement" in which they will be billed at intervals specified.
In this post we will look at Recurring profiles in Magento 1.x and mention alternative solutions for Magento 2, where Recurring profiles have been removed.
Recurring Profiles in Magento 1
With Magento 1.x version, to use utilize recurring profiles you must be using Paypal as you payment processor or have a third party module installed, such as Paradox Labs’ CIM Payment Module.
To enable recurring profiles, in the admin select the Catalog > Manage Products option. Select the product that should be configured with a recurring profile and on the left pane, select the Recurring Profile tab. Next, set the Enable Recurring Profile to "Yes".
Once you have enabled the recurring profile, you will need to specify the Schedule for the recurring profile. In this area the customer is able to set the start date for the payments and to automatically initiate payments at the end of the next billing cycle.
In the Billing section, you can specify the period of time that defines the billing cycle; this could be Day, Week, Two Weeks, Month, or Year. You are also able to specify Billing frequency and the maximum number of payments allowed for the recurring profile.
Finally, there is a Trail Period section and an Initial Fees section. From these sections you can set times and fees respectively.
An important limitation of Magento's built-in recurring profile feature is that people making a purchase can only have the one recurring profile item in their cart. Also, as previously noted, the customer will be taken off site to complete the transaction.
Recurring Profiles Removed From Magento 2
With the release of Magento 2, recurring profiles was removed from the code of Magento. To get recurring profile functionality on your Magento 2 store, you will need to use a third party module.
Currently, there are several options available for Subscriptions in Magento 2:
As with any module, be sure to fully research the available options to make sure they will provide the functionality you require and that they are compatible with your version of Magento.