How to Start a Recurring Billing

What's the difference between selling a coffee mug and magazine?

The answer is obvious- your customers won't purchase a coffee mug every month, but they might want the next issue of the magazine they just bought.

So ask yourself do you really want your customers to visit your store every month so they can buy their magazine? Or do you want a super cool system that delivers the magazine to their doorstep or computer? Obviously the latter. That's what you need Recurring Billing for. So your customers can just subscribe to receive your products, and automatically monthly transactions take place, without any tediousness involved. But before you decide to get a subscription system for your store, you need to do this.

Is your product subscription-worthy?

Like we said your customers may not be interested in buying your coffee mugs every month. But a stationery kit is a monthly purchase. Throw in some pens, pencils, a couple of notepads, post-its, paper clips- common stationary items that everyone uses on a daily basis. That's the kind of product people will want every month.

  • So ask yourself – Is my product a coffee mug or a magazine?
  • Will it be required periodically on a regular basis? Or will people buy it just once If your product is a 'just once product' you don't need a subscription service?


Who is your best subscriber?

Since you've decided a stationery hamper is a subscription worthy product, you need to check out a list of customers who are likely to subscribe. For a product like stationery, corporate offices or colleges, are more likely to make large monthly purchases than let's say an individual customer. So you need to tailor your subscription product to suit your best subscriber.

  • Decide what common items your ideal subscriber would require periodically. That's the core of your subscription package.


What does your subscription plan look like?

A stationery kit maybe a monthly purchase whereas a box of beauty brushes may be a 3-month affair. You'll also have a supplementary kit you might want to give out for free on special occasions.

  • Make a clear plan of what subscription plans you offer. 3Months? 6Months?
  • Create a detail list of free subscription offers you might want to offer and when you'd want to offer them.



How much do you charge for each plan

The tricky part. Deciding on the right price for each subscription plan is crucial. A low priced subscription package may get customers to think you compromise on quality. Set your prices in a way that doesn't eat into your profit margins. Don't price it too low in the hopes of getting a large customer base. Low prices can

  • Set your prices in a way that doesn't eat into your profit margins. Don't price it too low in the hopes of getting a large customer base. Low prices can cause customers to doubt your quality.
  • Free shipping is a good marketing tactic. So include your shipping cost to the product price and you can declare free shipping on your store.


How to create your first test model

At the beginning, you may not know exactly what to put into your basket. With the stationery kit, a corporate office may require half a dozen files a month, a stack of notepads and quite a number of pencils, pens, and paperclips.

  • Decide on how your prototype is going to work or what it's going to contain.
  • When you've sent the first batch to your customers, get feedback on what else they'd like with regard to your product.


Where will you face roadblocks

Here's where most companies with subscription services face difficulties.

  • Managing monthly order fulfillments.
  • Understanding and creating the right product your customers would want.
  • Handling returns.

Check out this list of companies that started successful monthly subscription services in their stores.


How to charge your customers and conduct monthly transactions

You've figured out how your subscription business is going to work from the previous. Now comes the last and most important part-choosing a subscription management system for your transactions.

A Subscription Management System helps you manage your subscriber list, create different subscription plans and helps you automatically bill your clients every month.

And we have the perfect subscription management system for you. Axis Subscription is a FREE subscription management system for your Joomla website. You can create and manage subscription plans for any number of customers and collect payments periodically.

Check out our entire list of features here.