Last updated - February 24, 2020
eCommerce businesses are heavily reliant on everyday sales and conversion figures irrespective of the platform. If the store goes through a dry spell in terms of sales, your store development plans can face a roadblock. You probably will have to refresh your marketing strategies, and try different approaches to follow more leads and acquire new customers. All this can repeat at regular intervals and make life difficult for you as a store owner. Selling subscriptions on your eCommerce store will provide you some welcome insulation as you will get recurring income. It will give you time to develop your store without really worrying about sales numbers all the time. In this article we will look into some of the top reasons to choose the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.
Why choose WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin?
Creating and selling subscriptions on your WooCommerce store becomes a breeze with the help of this plugin. It will help you have a recurring income that could provide a solid foundation to your business. All you have to do is to see if you have a suitable product or service that you can offer as a subscription. Let’s explore some of specific aspects where the WooCommerce subscriptions plugin can help you in terms of building your business.
Create different types of subscription products
With the help of WooCommerce subscriptions plugin, you can easily create subscriptions just like you create any other product on your WooCommerce store. You can create simple, variable, downloadable or virtual subscription products based on the store requirement. Please note, you can include one or more subscriptions as components of a subscription depending on the nature of your business.
Easily set up terms and payment schedule
While creating a subscription product, you can also specify the terms for the subscription and renewal terms. You can set it up to charge renewal payments weekly, monthly or annually depending on what works for your store. Moreover, you can set up an interval between 1 to 6, like every second week, or every third month as the payment schedule. You can also set a subscription length, after which the subscription will expire.
The plugin also lets you create a free trial period associated with a particular subscription that you create. Also, you can set an additional sign up fee, which will be an added amount to the recurring charges of the subscription. You can collect sign up fee with or without a trial period, and accordingly the amount to be paid and subscription length will be calculated.
Integration with several payment gateways
The WooCommerce subscriptions plugin offers integration with a range of payment gateways to ensure smooth transactions. You will be able to manage both automatic and manual payment options depending on the payment gateway that you are using. Basically with the automatic option, recurring payments will be done automatically. On the other hand, customers need to initiate payment every time for the manual option. Customers will be able to make payment using any gateway for manual payments, while only supported gateways will work for the automatic option.
Synchronized billing schedules
When a customer opts in for a subscription, the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin creates a schedule based on the day of subscription. However, it also gives an option to synchronize renewal payment so that the payment date will be the same day for all customers. The plugin also offers an option to prorate the payment where the payment amount will be calculated based on the remaining days on a renewal cycle.
For example, if you want to set subscription renewal on the 1st day of the month, a customer joining on the 20th will have it synchronized and prorated. That means, for the first payment, the customer will have to pay only for 20 days. This will be really convenient for several subscription models that involves shipping on a particular day.
Easy renewal payments
Renewal payments are especially easy for customers when you have WooCommerce subscriptions plugin installed on your store. They will be able to choose automatic or manual option for renewal payments according to their convenience. The default option for renewal payments will be manual. Read more about the subscription renewal process here.
Automatic re-billing on failed subscription payments
While accepting automatic recurring payments, the plugin will help you in re-attempting failed transactions. For example, if a customer’s credit card is denied during the routine period, it will try again a few days later. This will be a great option to recover portentially lost revenue on your store.
Customer friendly options to choose plans
The plugin also helps you allow your customers to manage their subscriptions the way they want it. Customers can log in to their My Account page and view subscription details. On this page, they can upgrade, downgrade, suspend or cancel a subscription. In addition, they will be able to change address details for shipping, payment gateway options etc., for upcoming renewal payments. Since you can easily manage the synchronization and prorated payment calculation, any changes made from customer can be easily dealt with.
The plugin offers an extensive set of email notification option to communicate with your customers. Similar to the email settings on WooCommerce, this one offers you varied options to customize your email strategy while handling subscriptions on your store. For renewals, you can set new renewal order, processing renewals and completed renewal emails. You can also sent a customer renewal invoice, when a subscription is due for renewal and requires a manual payment from the customer.
In case of failed automatic payments, you can send two emails. One, informing customers about the retry option, and the other one with an option for customers to try and make the payment manually instead of waiting for the retry. The plugin also sends email notifications to customers when they successfully upgrade or downgrade a subscription.
There are also a bunch of default email options to store managers during specific events. The plugin triggers email notifications when a customer switches, suspends or cancels a subscription. Also, the plugin sends a notification to store owners whenever a subscription gets expired after completing its period.
You will be able to apply coupons to subscriptions to provide offers to customers. If you are using regular WooCommerce coupons, you won’t have a lot of flexibility with subscriptions. However, the WooCommerce subscriptions plugin offers coupons for both options. Depending on your store strategy, you can offer discounts on the sign up fee or on the recurring payment.
You can use a recurring product discount coupon to offer a discount on the recurring charges of the subscription. You can set percentage or fixed value while using this type of discount coupons. When applying this discount coupon, if you have sign up fee along with recurring charges, the discount will be applied only on the recurring part. The plugin also offers an option to limit the number of times a recurring product discount coupon can be availed during a subscription period.
There is also an option to apply a coupon code only to the sign up fee. You can set this up and the discount will be applied only to the sign up fee and not to the recurring part of the payment. Also, you can set this based on fixed or percentage values.
Comprehensive reporting features
The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin also offers comprehensive reporting options so that you have a clear understanding of all your revenue status. It will add an additional section for subscriptions under the Reports tab. One of the primary reports here is the report on subscription events by date. Here you can view various subscription events like signups, renewals, cancellations, etc., based on date.
You will be able to view predicted revenue for an upcoming period based on the active subscriptions on your store. This will help you design strategies more effectively for the near future. In addition, you will be able to access ‘Retention Rate’ report that will give you details of the subscription’s duration currently on your store. You can also view detailed reports based on products and customers as well.
How to get the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin?
You can purchase and download the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin from the WooCommerce extensions store. The single site subscription has a price tag of $199. You can get the 5-site subscription at $249 and the 25-site subscription at $399.