Partially paid orders

What are Partially paid orders?

What causes a Partially paid order?

In some cases, when your customer attempts to accept a post-purchase upsell they might receive a payment declined message. The payment could fail for a number of reasons, the most likely causes of payment failure are insufficient funds on the card or if the payment processor denies the transaction. If the payment for a post-purchase upsell item fails, Shopify will still add the upsell item to the order. This results in a Partially paid order where the initial items are paid for, but the payment for the upsell item was not processed.


If you are seeing a high number of Partially paid orders

A high number of Partially paid orders indicates that there is likely an issue with the payment capture process. Do any of the following apply to you?

  • Your store's Payment capture setting is set to Manual, or
  • You use a fraud detection app such as NoFraud or Riskified, or
  • You use a Shopify Flow to capture payment or send emails about high-risk orders

If any of the above points apply to you, read more about how to deal with payment capture for post-purchase upsells here.

If none of the above points apply to you, continue reading to learn how to deal with partially paid orders.

What do you see in Shopify Admin for Partially paid orders?

In your Shopify admin, a Partially paid order can be identified by the order payment status of Partially paid as shown in the image below.

Partially paid orders will also show a failed payment processing attempt in the order timeline.

What does a customer see for Partially paid orders?

"Payment needed" banner on order confirmation page

If a customer accepts a post-purchase upsell and the payment is declined, your customer will be redirected to the order confirmation page. On the order confirmation page, the customer will see a message notifying them that the product was added to the order, but payment is still required. The message will prompt the customer to pay for the outstanding amount.

Invoice email after 2 hours

If payment for the upsell item is still outstanding after 2 hours, Shopify will send an invoice email. If payment for the additional item has already been received, or the item has been removed from the order, this email will not be sent. For more details on resolving Partially paid orders, continue reading below.

Resolving and fulfilling Partially paid orders


A Partially paid order should not be fulfilled until the issue is resolved

You may lose money if a post-purchase upsell item is fulfilled without processing payment for the item. Please ensure that you are resolving Partially paid order issues using the steps below to avoid accidentally shipping unpaid items.

Resolving Partially paid orders

A Partially paid order can be resolved in one of two ways:

  1. Collecting payment for the unpaid product. This is the preferred case. If possible, we want the customer to pay for the additional product using a different card or payment method. This relies on the customer clicking on the message on the order status page. It is not guaranteed that the customer will go through the payment process again for the additional product. Please read the next option below to handle any orders where the customer does not pay for the additional item.
  2. Remove the unpaid item from the order. If the customer does not choose to pay for the additional item, then we still want to be able to fulfill the original order. To ensure that the unpaid additional item doesn’t get fulfilled without payment, we want to remove the item from the order. AfterSell has a built-in setting that automates this process of removing items for you. In your AfterSell settings page, enable “Automatically remove partially paid items”. This setting will automatically remove unpaid upsell items from Partially paid orders after the specified delay if the payment is not collected. You can configure the amount of time that we wait before removing the unpaid item. Selecting a longer delay will give your customers a longer period to hopefully pay for the additional item. Selecting a shorter delay will allow you to fulfill orders more quickly, but may result in fewer customers paying for the additional item.

Fulfillment considerations with Partially paid orders

We do not want to accidentally fulfill unpaid upsell items in Partially paid orders. Because there are many different ways to handle fulfillment, the best way to ensure that Partially paid orders are handled properly in fulfillment is to test on your store, or on a sandbox/development store.

Testing Partially paid orders

To test a Partially paid order, we need to simulate a failed payment on the post-purchase page. To simulate a failed payment, we can take advantage of a Shopify limitation: Shopify fails to process transactions under $0.50 (USD or CAD). You can set up a test funnel on AfterSell and discount a product so that the total price (after tax and shipping) is under $0.50 as shown in the image below. The item must be at least $0.01, it cannot be free. Accepting a post-purchase upsell for less than $0.50 will result in a partially paid order.

Solutions to potential fulfillment problems with Partially paid orders

If you have tested a Partially paid order and are having problems with fulfillment, the safest solution is to ensure that orders are not imported into your fulfillment service until the order hold has been released and the order is fully paid. For details on customizing fulfillment workflows, see the Fulfillment section.