The online subscription industry has grown to become a $10 billion industry in 10 years.
There seems to be no shortage of subscription businesses, whether it’s streaming content or getting a deliver of Dungeons and Dragons accessories each month.
If you’re thinking about starting a new subscription business, now is the time to jump in. The keys to any successful subscription business lie in subscription billing platforms. That’s how you’ll be able to collect funds from your customers and manage your business.
Read on to find out why you need subscription billing software and what to look for in a subscription billing system.
What Is Subscription Billing Software?
Subscription billing platforms automate and simplify the billing piece of your subscription business. Without them, you’d have to invoice and bill your customers individually.
Subscription billing software does the work for you. Customers enter their payment information once and they’re automatically billed according to their plan.
These platforms are used in a variety of industries as well as subscription businesses. Gyms use them to charge their monthly membership fees, and service providers can charge customers for monthly maintenance plans.
The Benefits of Subscription Billing Platforms
Why would you want to have a subscription billing platform? Are they worth it? These are good questions to ask, and these are the top benefits you’ll reap from the investment.
1. Manage Cash Flow
Your first benefit is that you can manage the cash flow of your business. Out of all of the businesses that close every year, 82% of them close because of cash flow problems.
Subscription software collects money from your customers automatically. You know when you have money coming in, when, and how much at all times.
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That makes it easier to budget and plan your business strategy.
2. Customer Convenience
Customers want everything to be fast and easy. They don’t want to be reminded that they need to make a payment every month. They just want things to happen automatically with minimal inconvenience.
Recurring payments software can provide the convenience and ease of signing up and remaining a customer.
3. Customer Retention
If you didn’t have a recurring billing service for your business, you’d have to invoice your customers every month and collect payment from them.
That contact and inconvenience is a reminder and an annoyance for customers. They have the opportunity to opt-out of your service every billing cycle.
You’ll have a much higher retention rate with a subscription billing service.
4. Data Security
If you had to handle your customer payments on your own, you’d be responsible for keeping your customer’s data safe. You’d have to invest in the infrastructure to comply with payments standard and legal regulations.
A billing software service already has the infrastructure and the security controls in place. You and your customers will have peace of mind.
5. Saves Money
Think of the time and cost to create and invoice your customers each month. That time can be spent doing so many other things, like getting more customers.
You save because customers aren’t mailing checks, which require a trip to the bank to deposit. You spend less on printing and mailing costs, too.
6. Scale Your Business
The best thing about a subscription billing platform is that you can have as many customers as you can handle. Most subscription billing platforms grow as your business grows.
Since you’re not spending so much time invoicing and managing payments for your customers, you’re freed up to get more customers into your business.
What to Look for in Subscription Billing Services
Now that you understand the benefits of having s subscription billing platform, you can start shopping for one. A billing platform has to fit your specific needs, so you want to make sure that you know what to look for.
Think about the path that the customer takes to sign up and manage their subscription. They want to have a platform with an easy user interface, and they don’t want to dig for information.
Also, consider the path of your business. You want to make sure that you have a subscription service that can grow with your business.
These are some of the top features that you should consider when shopping for a subscription billing platform.
The first thing you need to consider is the flexibility in billing options. A good platform has the ability to bill customers at any type of interval.
You need that flexibility so you can add more services and payment options for your customers. Any billing software that can handle monthly, quarterly, semiannual, and annual payments will give you and your customers enough options to create programs that are convenient.
Integrations with Other Systems
If you have accounting software or a CRM system, you want to have billing software that integrates with it. Do an audit of your own internal systems and decide what systems you have to have your billing platform integrate with.
There are some additional features you’ll need in your billing service. For example, you may need to manage discount codes or coupons to promote your subscription service. You’ll need features that can handle refunds.
Do you need to offer a free trial? You’ll need to have a billing platform that can manage it.
Subscription Billing Platforms Make a Difference
Starting a subscription service in your business means that you need to find an easy way to invoice your customers and collect payment at regular intervals.
Subscription billing platforms do that and so much more. They improve your cash flow and customer retention rates. They also save time and money in your business.
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