Auto Orders

Auto Orders

UltraCart's Auto Order feature allows you to set a schedule in UltraCart to "automatically" order an item for a customer on a set schedule.
(This is also known as free trials, recurring, subscription, membership, or continuity programs.)

The Auto Order feature allows a merchant to configure an item on a schedule that will be followed to automatically order again in the future.
UltraCart also gives the unique ability to use different items at different intervals in your Auto Order schedule.

Visa Rules regarding Subscriptions

Update Merchant Obligations 

From 18 April 2020, globally, merchants selling both
physical and digital goods and services who offer free trials
or discounted introductory offers as part of a subscription
(“recurring”) service, must comply with the updated
. Following is a Quick Reference card with a
summary of the requirements2

Auto Order Search

At times a merchant may desire to edit, disable, enable or cancel their customers "auto order". Although an email is usually (merchant option) sent to the customers with a cancellation button (link) they may call upon you, the merchant, to make changes (i.e., credit card information update). 

You can enter one of 19 different search criteria to locate the customer's auto order. Your entry must be an exact match and is case sensitive. If it fails, go back to the Auto Order Search screen and try a different field (example: use email vise last name).

Auto Order Search screen 

Once you've entered your criteria, click on the "Search" button. If a match is found, the Search (results) screen will then appear with a list of the order(s) that match the criteria.

Cancel Auto Orders

To cancel the customers Auto Order, click on the "Cancel" button. Make sure you select the correct order to cancel as a customer may have more than one.

Edit Auto Orders

Once you've located an auto order and it is presented in the search results list, click on the "edit" button to the right. This will take you to the Auto Order Editor screen.

Auto Order Editor Screen

New Feature - Add non auto order items to existing auto orders

New Feature - Add non auto order items to existing auto orders

As of 09/09/2021 ->

The auto order editor now supports adding non auto order items. The auto order item editor will add the item with a "Next Shipment" date out in the future. After the item is added, you'll need to adjust the the next shipment date to match the existing items in the auto order. The interval will be set to monthly (you can use the "Overrides" to change the interval.)

This screen is divided into 3 Tabs:

  1. Auto Order sections
  2. History
  3. Future

The Auto Order tab is the main tab, this is the tab where you are able to modify the auto order schedule, edit items, change frequency and next shipment date, and cancel or re-enable an auto order. (The screenshot above displays the Auto Order tab.

The History tab shows the orders that have been generated for the history of the auto order.

The Future tab will appear when the auto order is active, it will display the future order schedule for the active auto order.

Auto Order Settings

The Auto Order tab is where you can view, and enable/disable the auto order.

There are six section to the Auto Order tab in the auto order editor:

Section NameDescription

The Status field indicated the current status of the auto order as:

  • Enabled
  • Disabled (occurs when the payment for the next scheduled fails the specified attemps as configured in the Auto Order Processing Retry Settings)
  • Cancelled by Customer
  • Cancelled by Merchant
  • Cancel After

To modify that staus of the order, select the new status from the drop-down list , then click the save button at bottom of the page to save the changes.


The Affiliate section displays a field for "Override Affiliate ID", where you can enter an affiliateID to the order.

Payment Information

The Payment Information section is the section where you'll be able to update the customers credit card details, as well as review or edit the Billing Attempts and Next Billing Attempt date.

The number of billing attempts will determine when the auto order will automatically disable due to failed processing attempts.
See: Auto Order Processing#RetrySettings

This field indicates the next date the credit card will be processed after failure. The default is every 3 days. If the card fails after 3 attempts, the Auto Order will be set to inactive (the check mark in the Enable Field will automatically be removed).

Billing (Address)The Billing section allows you to review and edit the billing address for the future orders.
Shipping (Address)The Shipping section allows you to review and edit the shipping address for the future orders.

The Items section is where you can review and modify the rebill item(s) as well as the rebill schedule.

In this section you can:

  • Add additional items to the auto order
  • Modify the Quantity of existing items in the auto order.
  • Change the Next Item ID for the future order.
  • Change the Next Shipment Date (or processing date for non shippable auto orders.
  • Review and modify the Next Preshipment Notice
  • Review and modify the Number of Rebills so far
  • Apply the following Overrides →

Frequency - Use this drop down menu to apply a new frequency for the auto orders.

No Order After - Use this to set a date into the future that will end the auto orders. This is often used when a customer calls to cancel but agrees to one or more orders before cancelling.

Unit Cost - Use this to override the defaulted cost of the item.

Unit Cost Remaining Orders - If you have applied a Unit Cost override that is only temporary, enter the number of future orders the overridden unit cost should apply before reverting back to the defaulted item unit cost.

If the Unit Cost has been overridden and the Unit Cost Remaining Orders is left blank, then the overridden unit cost will continue for the remainder of the active auto order.

Adding additional Auto Order Items to an existing auto order record

Add Item Button

The "Add" (item) button can be used to add additional items to the existing auto order. 

Adding a non auto order configured item to an exiting auto order

Adding a one time item to an existing auto order record

Non auto order configured items can now be added into an existing auto order record. 

  1. Click the 'Add' button then enter the single purchase itemID into the dialog window then click the 'add' button in the dialog window.
    You'll see a message iin a blue infomation box after the item as been added stating:
    "Added XXXXXX to order. Adjust the next shipment date from the default, etc."
  2. Scroll down to the items section and adjust the next shipment date to match the existing items in the customer s auto order record. (It will initially be set to "01/01/2030", so if you do not edit the "next shipment" date the items will not be properly synced.
  3. Next, click the "edit" button in the "Overrides" column, which will initially be set to "Frequency: Monthly", then enter into the "No Orders After (mm/dd/yyyy)" field enter a date after the next order processes, then save the changes.
  4. Click the save and reload button and then inspect the Future tab to confirm that the next order shows the correct rebill schedule.

Item Editing & Override fields for configured auto order items

Field NameDescription
Original Item IDis the Item ID you assigned during creation of the item in the item editor. This field cannot be changed. 
Quantitywill be the Quantity of the item that the customer selected on the original order. 
Frequency Overridedisplays the frequency for how often the order is recurring. If this is an Automatic Auto Order it will show the frequency that the merchant established. A drop-down list is provided so you can change the frequency if desired. 
Next Shipmentshows the next date the recurring order will occur.
Next Item IDshows the Item ID for the next shipment. This could be the same as the Original Item ID if so configured or it could be a different Item ID in the case of a "Step Item ID".
Number of Rebills shows the number of auto orders that have already occurred. 
No Orders Afterallows the merchant to indicate a STOP date which will terminate the auto order program after the date entered in the text box. 
Override Unit Costallows merchants to change the original unit cost by placing the new unit cost into the text box. 
Override Unit Cost for Next "x" Ordersallows merchants to set the number of orders that the preceding "Override Unit Cost" will be in effect for. Enter the number in the text box.


Q: How can I generate a report of the auto orders that have one or more retries at processing the next order before a successful charge occurs?
A: A merchant comment will be added to an or "Retry successful". You can run the order comments report or perform an order export using a export mapping that contains the "merchant comments" field, then sorting the exported orders on the merchant comments field and then deleting the orders that do not contain "retry successful".

Q: Are there limitations to the PayPal payment option with auto orders?

A: Yes. 

  2. *If there are multiple auto order items items, they must all have the same schedule.
  3. Multiple "Customer-selectable" configured auto order items NOT SUPPORTED (we cannot be sure that they'll have the same reorder schedule.

Q: How can I configure an auto order to trigger on a specific day of the month, regardless of when the auto order item is originally purchased?

A: The way this should be accomplished is to start off the auto order items auto order steps with a "pause" step and then set the delay until a future date. All new orders placed will pause rebilling until that date. As you ship for that month, just edit the item and set a new pause date. 

Q: Propagate Custom Field Data to subsequent Auto Orders.

A: The following demonstrates how to pass Custom Field Data to subsequent (Recurring) Auto Orders.

Navigate to Configuration  

 Configuration   Backoffice   Auto Order Processing Propagate Custom Fields

Auto Orders are configured within the Auto Order tab of the Item Editor.

More configuration of Auto Orders is covered at the following links:

Related Configuration

Auto Order Processing Configuration screen

Auto Order Search

Edit Auto Orders

Converting a Regular Order to Auto Order

Allowing the Customer to Cancel an Auto Order

Giving an Auto Order Customer One Free Item