Selecting a Subscription Service

07 Features to Look Out For When Selecting a Subscription Billing Service For Your Subscription Business

The subscription-based business draws more and more attention and prospects of the businesses and individuals due to its key aspects like growth opportunities, stability, market predictability, recurring revenue, customer retention, data-driven, and focused audience and market identification, sales and marketing streamlining, etc.

From online small to medium-sized businesses to the huge sectors like education, health, automotive, IT, software technology, media, marketing, trade & commerce are reinventing the opportunities for revenue growth and business exposure by incorporating subscription revenue model. The number of businesses running on this model has grown as much as more than 800 percent. Ecommerce subscription businesses have witnessed a huge spike in the number of the online visitor. Statistics suggest more than 50 million visitors have shown their interest in subscription services. This huge is the growth rate of the subscription-based business models.

Selling the subscription-based products or services to the customers who can continue with the services for the long term requires impeccable recurring billing and subscription management. To leverage the subscription-based business to its fullest, it is important to maintain an efficient, flexible, and intelligent system that can further reduce costs, add value to the services, and assist in streamlining the revenue operation across the board in addition to managing the recurring billing and payments securely and instantly.

To manage these subscription processes, subscription businesses, regardless of the size, are required to plug a robust subscription management software.

Selecting a suitable and sufficient subscription management system is a tricky business. Before signing up for a subscription service, it is recommended to look out for the following essential features in any subscription software, so that you may ensure that your subscription business would be equipped with the right system that can expand as the business expands.

1. Automated Recurring Invoicing, Billing, and Payment Management System

An automated billing system frees you and your finance department with the hassles of repeated invoicing, billing, and payment processing, after every interval. An all-inclusive automated recurring billing system, with the ability to create and send a timely invoice, prorate the subscription plan upgrades, downgrades, postpones, and cancellation, manage credit cards charging, and schedule payment re-tries in case of declination, is all you need to better manage your subscription invoicing and billing. Furthermore, the extensibility of the billing system to fulfill the various billing demands in accordance with the consumption of the subscription services by the subscriber is also a significant feature of the billing system.

2. Artificial Intelligence Support

Artificial Intelligence is assisting the subscription management systems to early detect and mitigate the risks, extract the patterns and behaviors by comprehending the unstructured data sets, and interpret the accurate revenue projections.

The AI-based recommendations and suggestions help research, product development, sales, marketing, finance, and other departments in growing and determining the customer base, improving the product quality, and influencing the market with data-driven strategies.

3. Modules to Set Multiple Pricing Structures & Plans

Every customer is unique. Each has different needs of usage or consumption of subscription services. A rigid billing system depicting no or less flexibility in designing different pricing models to experiment can result in forced churn. Subscription businesses need to revisit their pricing strategy after every couple of months to manage acquisitions as well as retention. Likewise, cataloging the products, services, and plans are also important so that the billing system can automatically and with the help of AI selectively offer customers what they want. This increases customer chances of signing up for the plan or upgrade to a premium plan.

4. Proration and Tax, Coupons, Vouchers, and Add-On Management

Charge customers only what they gave used and let it thoroughly manage by the Subscription Billing System. No matter, if you want to offer the consumption-based billing, recurring billing, or tiered billing, or you want to draw more customers with offers like free trials, discounts, special offers, and other incentives in billing, it must have the ability to intelligently incorporate all the billing requirements. Select a recurring billing service that can also auto-adjust the upgrade or downgrade of a plan changes made by the subscribers in the billing and generates an invoice and deduct the amount, accordingly. A good subscription billing service also allows managing taxes in billing according to the tax regulations of the state or country of the customer.

5. Multiple Payment Methods, Secure Processing, and Dunning Management

Today, customers use different payment methods as per the convenience and benefits of different payment processors offer. It has been observed that they make a transaction from a brand that offers multiple payment options such as credit or debit cards, cash on delivery, payment via mobile wallets, net banking.

Offering customers multiple payment methods and processors is a key to engage the customer as soon as possible. Choose a billing system that allows integrating Stripe, PayPal, ExpressPay, Braintree, GooglePay, ApplePay, Visa, MasterCard, or any other payment gateway and provides the best, instant, and secure solutions to process their payments without the fears of data theft or payment intrusion in a few seconds.

6. Extensible Integrations & Efficient Support

Extensibility allows your subscription billing system to grow, improve, and produce results along with your recurring revenue and subscription business growth. Flexible integrations with the accounting, support, CRM, ERP, and other stacks allow the subscription business to streamline revenue operations. The in-built customer support modules of the billing system also provide real-time engagement assistance to your customers, generate more leads, and transform them into paid customers while upgrading their free trial status, inform them about their payment statuses, credit card expiry dates ahead of the time, and persuade with other marketing and sales related information, offers, and promotions.

7. Revenue Recognition and Real-Time Reporting

Subscription businesses are based on recurring billing. They cannot wait until revenue is collected to record it in their books. Revenue should be recorded when the business has earned the revenue. Subscription businesses have to track two types of deferred and earned revenue. Every day, a small portion of the revenue is tricked down into the recurring revenue stream. The billing system with real-time recurring revenue monitoring and reporting allow the subscription businesses to stay informed of the cash flow movement. Also, key metrics such as MRR, ARR, CLV, churn rate make the monitoring easy, simplistic, and manageable.

SubscriptionFlow with the innovation of automation and artificial intelligence presents a comprehensive recurring billing and payment management system. It offers all the convenience of managing pricing, cataloging, invoicing, billing, payments, engagements, customer engagement management, revenue monitoring, and reporting in one place. To learn more, click here.