It would be hard to overstate the recent surging success of subscription services, because businesses have found out that it’s a great way to have steady revenue coming in every month, and that is a big boost for maintaining positive cash flow. It is expected that subscription management services will increase even more in the coming months and years because all parties benefit from this arrangement. Consumers generally get set up on automatic payments, which means they don’t have to worry about it each month, and businesses benefit greatly by having guaranteed income each and every month.
The one caveat that must be considered is that to realize maximum benefits, it’s not really enough to just sell your products via subscription. You must be able to easily manage your subscription service, because it’s something that can easily get out of control if you don’t have the proper tools to administer it. A subscription service involves all sorts of products and services that can be sold on a regular basis, charging for its continuous use and delivery or renewal, thus collecting revenue every time the customer decides to keep being a customer. For example, some of the oldest subscription services are magazine and newspapers subscriptions.
Here are some of the things which you should be aware of when seeking a subscription service that works well for your business.
Easily Change Prices
The reason subscription services have grown to be so popular is that they fulfill a definite need and demand from businesses. However, it is well-known that consumer demands change frequently, and the most successful subscription services will be those that can accommodate those rapid and frequent changes.
That makes it essential that any good subscription management service is able to change pricing plans quickly and accurately, so as to be in sync with consumer demand. It would be very difficult to manage these constantly changing prices on a manual basis, so to really add value, a subscription service has to be able to facilitate this process.
Coupons, Promotions, and Discounts
It happens very often that businesses desire to run promotions or offer coupons and discounts to their favored clients. Obviously, this will change the pricing scheme for any given product for a certain period of time, and that would be difficult to track and manage if it were done manually. For instance, if you didn’t end the discount program at the appropriate time, you would continue to lose money until the error was discovered and rectified.
On the other hand, if you removed a discount too early, it would have the effect of over-charging your customers, and generating some ill will with your loyal followers. Many businesses also like to experiment at times with bundling products or with offering volume discounts, all of which would be very difficult to track manually. ood subscription management software can handle all these types of special circumstances effectively, thereby presenting a much better value to the business owner.
Flexibility in Adjusting Fees and Pricing
Since businesses themselves are pretty much in a constant state of change, it’s necessary that the subscription service software is able to accommodate all that. For instance, if your shipping costs were to suddenly soar, you would need to apply a fuel surcharge on all orders, so as to offset that extra expense to you. If you didn’t have a reliable subscription service billing system, you would have to apply that surcharge on every invoice, and that would open you up to the possibility of errors and bad customer relations.
One of the most essential aspects of a successful business is establishing a recognizable brand that consumers can relate to. Especially in the B2C world, brand awareness is considered one of the most important goals of any company. Your corporate branding needs to be displayed on all invoices issued by your subscription service management software to keep your brand in the public eye every single month.
Customers can Use their Preferred Payment Method
With so many purchase avenues open to them, customers are very picky about purchases and about the type of business transactions they become involved with. If the customer is not satisfied with a product and is unhappy about the customer service, they can simply move on to a rival who satisfies them better.
This even extends to the payment method, and if the customer would rather use an ACH instead of a credit card, they will be turned off if they don’t have that option available for payment. If you can provide different payment methods, it makes good business sense and improves the overall customer experience.
Beware of the PCI Compliance
In 2006, an organization called the Payment Card Industry (PCI) was formed to guarantee that the financial information of online customers would be protected and that privacy was ensured. Technically, PCI compliance doesn’t actually apply to a subscription billing system (because no credit card information is actually stored in its database). However, it’s still important to be aware of the PCI standards. You need to ensure that your subscription management software uses tokenization to process sensitive payment information when communicating with a payment gateway, as opposed to passing credit card data back and forth across the internet.
This is actually a good selling feature which you can advertise to your customers, because they will always appreciate being able to carry out secure transactions. If your business were to process payment transactions without complying to PCI standards, you could potentially face significant fines every month for recurring violations. This avoids the potential for time-consuming and costly audits which you might be subject to if you don’t work with a payment gateway that has a PCI-compliant platform.
Managing your Subscription Service with Kill Bill
Kill Bill is one of the best subscription management services on the market for all the reasons cited above, and it can be used to manage all your business’s invoices, payments, and subscriptions. Your back-office staff is also able to edit your subscription plans at any time, as well as your pricing plans, without requiring extensive software changes by your technical staff. You’ll also enjoy full history on all your managed objects, so you can see what has changed over any period of time. Additionally, you can use plug-ins to extend the functionality of the software. Since it provides such tremendous versatility to businesses that have subscription services, Kill Bill has become a very popular choice for big and small businesses around the world, and it’s one you should consider for managing your own subscription accounts.