Getting started with SaaS subscription system

Build the best and user-friendly subscription system with understanding the pieces of the subscription system

Surbhi Vyas , 30 October, 2019

SaaS companies sell their services using the subscription model. Subscriptions became the backbone of the company’s revenue streams. The subscription model is very important and profitable but the implementation of the subscription model is a complex process. So, here we’re trying to explain the pieces of the subscription system which would help you to build a user-friendly subscription system.

When you understand a system, you would be able to transform it according to the user’s requirement and their expectations with the subscription system. The subscription system manages subscription transactions, billing, invoicing and accounting, payment processing, fraud & scope, etc. All these pieces of subscription systems work together and ensure that the subscription system is working smoothly and steadily.

Features that clients looking for in your subscription system -

The customer expects your subscription system to be flexible so that they are able to switch with significantly lower costs. The user should be able to change the plans, cancel the subscription, renew the subscription, change the quantity of subscription, see the subscription status, invoices, card details, etc.

Here are some feature-sets, users can expect in a well-implemented subscription system.

  1. Plans:

    Plans are the heart of subscriptions, as they describe your billing strategy for your subscription model. The user should be able to see all the offering subscription plans. These plans would contain the period of subscription and the pricing model.

    • Show all supported plans
    • Show pricing model
  2. Subscription:

    Users expects subscription specific operations like create, cancel, renew, reactivate, upgrade, downgrade, trail subscription, etc. These are the common features users want see in a good subscription system.

    • Trial Subscription. (Free/paid Trails)
    • Manual subscription (Paid) Creation
    • Renew subscription
    • Reactivate subscription
    • Show subscription status
    • Upgrade/Change the subscription plan
    • Change subscription quantity

  3. Billing & Invoices:

    Subscriptions allow businesses to automate the billing for customers on a recurring basis. In the subscription billing, payment methods should be multiple and payment will be taken on a recurring basis with the upcoming payment reminders. Users expect the subscription billing, invoice generation process simple, flexible and secure.

    • Invoices
      • List of invoices
      • Download Invoices
    • Payment Method
      • Show payment details
      • Operations related to payment methods. (Add, edit, delete).
    • Pro-rated billing for early cancellation (Recurring billing).
    • Multi-Currency Support in billing .
    • Payment reminders for the upcoming billing date.

  4. Discounts, Coupons, and Gift Subscriptions Management.

  5. Accounting and Taxes:

    subscription plans, discounts, coupons, other charges need to get correctly mapped. Users expect to automatically calculate tax based on the region.

  6. Email Notifications :

    Email notifications informing customers about every subscription activity like create, cancel, upgrade, renew, expire, etc.

Features that an Admin looking for in your subscription system-

The Admin of the system should be able to control the complete subscription system. Here are some features, the admin might want to use in a subscription system.

  1. Plans:

    Plans describe the billing strategy for the subscription model. So, the admin should be able to create, edit, delete the plans as per the billing strategy.

  2. Subscription:

    Admin of the system should be able to manage the subscription by performing operations like create, edit, delete the subscription. It can also handle the operations listed below.

    • Trial Subscription. (Free/paid Trails).
    • Manual subscription (Paid) Creation
    • Cancel subscription
    • Renew subscription
    • Reactivate subscription
    • Delete subscription
    • Show subscription status
    • Upgrade/Change the subscription plan
    • Change subscription quantity.

  3. Invoices:

    For the Admin, the list of invoices should be available for every subscription and admin should be able to download the invoices as well. The invoice and receipt will be customizable for the admin.

  4. Admin should be able to configure discount/tax on subscribers or plans basis.

  5. Recurring revenue management:

    The subscription system generates revenue on a recurring basis. Admin of the system would like to know the revenue of subscription on a recurring basis and overall revenue generated by the system.

  6. Reporting and Analysis:

    Admin of the system should expect to know deep analytics and reporting of the subscription on the platform. The reporting and real-time analytics of the subscriptions and revenue must be automated at the admin dashboard.

Benefits of the Subscription System -

Understanding the subscription model is very easy. It’s like a business that sells a product weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly or anything else. Instead of a single purchase, the subscription system works better. SaaS businesses provide opportunities for faster business growth. Here are some benefits of a subscription .

  • Reduce Cost
  • Flexible billing
  • Time-Saving
  • Secure
  • Trail periods
  • Higher Profitability

There are so many services designed for subscription management & billing. Your choice of billing system can directly impact the success of your business.
A favorite among fast-growing SaaS companies, Stripe is the most popular and fast-growing service which is known for being very easy to use and integrate. It helps businesses to automate and manage recurring subscriptions.

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