Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration

    Adobe and YouTube’s recent announcements about their plans for recurring revenue initiatives mark a watershed moment reflecting a sweeping change in how software and services are sold and consumed in the Internet age.

    The trend toward businesses moving to subscription commerce is more than a fad; a growing portion of U.S. businesses — 47 percent — have, or are considering offering new services with a recurring revenue model. Clearly companies large and small are accessing new markets, increasing competitive advantage and monetizing customer interactions.

    One Size Doesn’t Fit All

    However, every company’s needs are unique when it comes to managing customers as subscribers. Some companies need a simple, straightforward platform to manage a handful of products or services and a few transactions, while others need a system that will handle multiple offerings and currencies, changes, and integration with a complex legacy infrastructure.

    The Devil Is in the Details

    Cloud-based subscription billing expert Aria Systems says there are six factors to consider when selecting a subscription commerce solution.

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 1

    Click through for six tips for companies considering offering new services with a recurring revenue model, as identified by Aria Systems.

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 2

    Your subscription billing platform should get you to market in weeks or months, not years, without costing a fortune or consuming the majority of available IT or financial operations resources.

    Questions to ask:

    • What will it truly cost, in terms of money and time, to deploy a SaaS billing system vs. retrofitting your on-premise system?
    • Does the solution seamlessly integrate with internal systems so that deployment isn’t a monumental and time-consuming task?

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 3

    Choose a commerce platform that can provide the best of both worlds: the security and robustness of an on-premise system with the flexibility and responsiveness of a SaaS system.

    Questions to ask:

    • Is the SaaS platform easily configurable, reliable, secure, scalable and robust as your on-premise billing system?
    • Can the platform provide the benefits of SaaS, but be deployed behind the firewall?

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 4

    Your platform should accommodate rapid change and response cycles so you can explore new market opportunities without negatively impacting the customer experience.

    Questions to ask:

    • Can the platform handle both subscription and consumption-based pricing models? If so, how many ways can consumption be tracked and rated?
    • Can changes to products, plans, and prices be made without service interruptions?

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 5

    Don’t choose a subscription commerce platform that limits your ability to offer changing pricing and product options to meet customers’ demands and desires.

    Questions to ask:

    • Does the platform allow the company to base its communications on individual customer activities (product usage, billing status, plan changes, etc.) in order to engage appropriately and boost satisfaction and loyalty?
    • Will customer service reps have visibility into a subscriber’s history, at any point in time, to properly address inbound support issues?

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 6

    Don’t settle for a platform that hinders operations, but focus on one that extends the value and performance of your current operational ecosystem.

    Questions to ask:

    • Will it easily integrate across other systems to ensure consistent information is available and financials are accurate?
    • Will key workflows work seamlessly across systems and ensure that those processes scale as subscribers are added?

    Six Tips for Subscription Commerce Migration - slide 7

    Whatever subscription commerce solution you decide upon must be secure, always available and fully compliant with regulations for your industry.

    Questions to ask:

    • Does the data center have reserve capacity to support spikes in traffic?
    • Does the system have audit capabilities to provide visibility into who accessed the system and when and what changes were made?

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