AutoShips, Services, and Memberships are all Subscriptions but their purposes vary. Basically, AutoShips are product-based, Services are feature-based, and Memberships are access-based. The following sections provide more detail for each type.
What We’ll Cover
- AutoShips (Type 0)
- Services (Type 1)
- Memberships (Type 2)
- How Payment Methods for Subscriptions are Saved
AutoShips (Type 0)
AutoShips are recurring orders placed by an Associate. You assign inventory items the AutoShip and Standard Order Types. When an Associate adds the item to their cart, they can select the frequency they are charged.
Services (Type 1)
Services are essentially AutoShips with an expiration date; they denote some extra level of access to a site or service. For example, with Amazon, you can opt in and out of a Prime Subscription but can still access Amazon as a whole. When the AutoShip renews, the system pushes the Service’s expiration further out. For more functionality, changing an Associate’s access to certain Platform areas, a developer will have to create custom logic in your Client Extension.
Memberships (Type 2)
Sometimes referred to as YearlyRenewal. Some DirectScale clients are Membership-based; meaning, their products themselves are digital Memberships. For example, Netflix, you can’t access Netflix’s site/services without being a paid member.
The system hides Memberships from the Manage AutoShip page in Web Office and eCommerce Shop. You do not want your Associates updating their Memberships as they would AutoShips, including changing their renewal date or deleting the Memberships. Memberships are not typically something of which an Associate opts out. They must call your customer support and request cancellation.
If the Membership expires, the Associate can no longer log in. This kind of logic requires custom development in your Client Extension (for example, changing an Associate’s Status to restrict access after expiration).
The critical difference between Services and Memberships set up is a field called YearlyRenewal in the CRM_ServiceItems table. If you set this field to True, then you have a Membership. If False, you have a Service.
How Payment Methods for Subscriptions are Saved
In the Database, all payment methods for an Associate are saved in the CRM_Payments table. The ExternalID field is where the CRM_AutoShip table gets the PaymentMethodID. AutoShips save the PaymentMethodID on the AutoShip record in the CRM_AutoShip table. This way, the AutoShip will use the same payment method provided by the Associate specifically for this AutoShip, each time it processes.
When an Associate creates a Service or Membership, the system does not assign the payment method from the original order to the AutoShip. Instead, the PaymentMethodID in the CRM_AutoShip table is left empty (Null). Meaning, when the system automatically processes the AutoShip, it uses the “primary” payment method on the Associate’s account, which the Associate can change anytime.