Your 2021 Go-to Guide to Choosing a Subscription Billing Platform

Check Your Business Size

As you might expect, the best eCommerce platform available for subscriptions will depend on your business size and needs. Whether you serve dozens or thousands of customers, you should be able to find a recurring billing platform for you. Depending on where your company is in its maturity process, choice for a subscription service platform is driven first and foremost by your company’s stage:

  • Stage 1small businesses. Companies who are just starting off primarily need support for acquisitions, as they are now in the process of attracting the first critical pool of subscribers.
  • Stage 2 — medium-sized businesses. Once they reach this size, companies start focusing more on retention. They are looking to maintain or develop their relationship with acquired customers and they need help from a subscription platform to keep users engaged.
  • Stage 3large companies. With growth, businesses reach the expansion stage where their main needs from a recurring billing platform are to support their entrance into new markets, to reach new demographics or to automate internal processes.

Consider Your Business Model

A recurring billing platform needs to be flexible. You can either select a subscription platform that specializes in your specific business model, or you can go with one that offers support for a wider variety of models.

  • Product catalog needs. The more complex your plan configurations and the more versatile your pricing configurations across currencies, the higher the odds that you’ll need a powerful subscription billing platform.
  • Rating engine needs. Consider all the overhead that’s being generated if you use multiple billing models and pricing plans, and how easy or hard it is for you right now to manage upgrades, downgrades, or other plan changes. If these aspects are hard right now, your rating engine might be undersized for your needs.
  • Pricing plan needs. Just about any recurring billing supplier out there can help with regular subscriptions. If your pricing, however, has multiple levels of complexity (usage-billing, regional pricing, one-time charges, etc.), only top-of-the-line subscription platform providers will provide the flexibility needed.
  • Order management. Consider the complexity of your order management and what type of reporting you’ll need. Most recurring billing platforms will effortlessly let you offer free trials. If you’re selling in bundles, though, and even more so if you need custom reporting, opt for one of the established subscription platforms on the market.
  • Billing models. Last but not least, it’s worth checking if the supplier you’re considering can help you bill customers at any frequency your business needs, and if they offer pre- and post-paid billing as well.

Master the Three R’s

Refunds, renewals, and retries are all important parts of a digital subscription platform. It must be very simple for you to refund customers who decide to cancel, but even easier for customers to renew with ease (or even automatically). In fact, you’ll find that a professional subscription eCommerce platform has a whole array of marketing tools at your disposal when it comes to renewals. With these options, you can set auto-renewal campaigns for your clients directly from your dashboard, inviting — and even incentivizing! — users to turn on auto-renewal for their recurring contract.

Ensure Great Support

No matter how good your subscription commerce platform is, you’ll surely still need to ask for help at some point — and so will your customers. Given that, you’ll want to ensure that your monthly subscription platform makes it easy to get super-fast support when you need it most, and also offers a simple way for your customers to submit billing questions.

Understand Your Usage and Metrics

The best subscription platforms supply detailed information about usage. Understanding how often and for what reasons your customers are using your products will enable you to get even more out of your recurring payment platform, and let you explore ways to expand customer usage through smart marketing.

Ensure a Payment Gateway Is Included

While it might not be as fun as coming up with creative subscription product pairings and descriptions, having a reliable payment gateway for recurring billing is incredibly important to any subscription business.

Find the Best of the Best

There are many review sites out there collecting and rating the best subscription platforms. Consequently, you may find the best subscription website platform for you by looking at reviews from other businesses. Check out authentic user reviews of the top-rated platforms to see what users liked and didn’t like, and how this might relate to your own experience. Look especially for reviews from users like you, operating similar types or sizes of business.

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2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone) is the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses built to help clients drive sales growth across channels.