Subscriptions are frequently bought as gifts, sometimes for loved ones, sometimes for self. If you sell subscriptions on your WooCommerce online store, you would know how popular gifting subscriptions is among the customers. But, nobody wants to pay for a gift on a monthly or weekly basis. That way, the gift turns into a recurring bill. If you want to enable real WooCommerce subscription gifting on your store, then there is an easy way to do it.
Let’s go into the situation with an example. Imagine you are selling awesome subscription boxes of pet products on your WooCommerce store. Let’s say the plan provides one box every month for a year, with toys for the pet and some other essentials. If a customer wants to gift this subscription to their friend who has a dog (or a cat or a hamster), what would they look for? They’d want to buy it once and let their friend enjoy the subscription for the year. Right?
But if your store does not provide an option to do that, the customer is going to be turned off by the thought of paying for the gift every month. I mean, who even likes the idea of paying bills? So, there is a good chance that the customer will look for some other seller. Now, what’s the easy way I was talking about?
The simple solution that can let you sell subscriptions and memberships as gifts is to offer an upfront payment option. The customers can pay for the entire subscription upfront while purchasing for the first time, and still receive the product issues regularly. This is also called Prepaid subscription. A prepaid subscription is the simplest way for seamless gifting.
And guess what, you get the full payment for the subscription at the time of purchase, and do not have to worry about recurring payment. Doesn’t it sound like the best way for bulk revenue, at the same time making gifting easy for your customers? Not only this, there is more to using upfront payments for selling gift subscriptions.
Advantages Of Upfront Payments For Gift Subscriptions
The simplest solution proves to be the best, always. Introducing one payment option to your subscription plans can do wonders for your business. Let me list out some of the advantages here:
- Hassle-free gifting experience for customers.
- Bulk revenue for your business.
- Less chance for customers unsubscribing, provided the product quality is great.
- Increased revenue as compared to recurring payments.
- Customer purchase value can become higher than customer acquisition cost (depends on the subscription price and length).
- Greater chances of customer coming back for more once the plan ends.
All of them look like a great deal for you as well as your customers, don’t they? But with the default WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, none of this is possible. Want to know why?
Why WooCommerce Subscription Is Not Ideal For Gifting?
The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin is sadly a let down when it comes to upfront payment, and doesn’t suit to sell gift subscriptions. It does not offer a method to accept upfront payment for subscriptions.
You can try using the tweak suggested by WooCommerce. That is, charge a sign-up fee and set the recurring subscription price as $0. While it may be logically correct, it has drawbacks listed by WooCommerce itself such as:
- The subscription price will be displayed as $0 / month.
- A renewal order will be generated each month, with a $0 total for the subscription. This order will be visible to the customer on his My Account page and optionally emailed to them each month.
- If the customer suspends or cancels a subscription that uses this pricing model, they may not receive items for which they have already paid.
- You may need to hide the Cancel button on the My Subscriptions table because if the customer cancels the subscription before the end of the term, no renewal orders will be generated, despite the customer already having paid for those renewals.
With so much hassle, you can’t really give the perfect shopping and gifting experience to your customers. Adopting a workaround is just too risky for your store’s reputation. On the other hand, if you look for other plugins to offer prepaid subscriptions, there is only one such plugin in the WooCommerce community as of now. That would be…
WooCommerce Prepaid Subscriptions
WooCommerce Prepaid Subscriptions is the first of its kind and the only plugin to provide upfront payment facility on your eCommerce store. It allows you to sell prepaid subscriptions, where you can accept the payment for entire subscription in prior, and deliver the products / service regularly in the due time. This plugin is actually built with the demand for prepaid subscriptions in mind. Here are some of its features:
- Allow customers to pre-pay.
- Provide discounts for choosing upfront payment.
- Customize how the pre-payment block is displayed on the storefront.
- Auto-generate renewal orders.
- Define the number of billing cycles the customer could pay upfront for.
How To Sell Gifts With WooCommerce Prepaid Subscriptions?
- Download and install WooCommerce Prepaid Subscriptions.
- Configure the subscription plan with Subscription price, billing cycle, subscription length, sign-up fee, number of free trial days, etc.
- Choose “Allow Upfront Payment”.
- If you want to provide discount for upfront payment, select the discount type as Fixed or Percentage and enter the discount value.
- Also, customize the message to show near the upfront payment option.
You can now accept one-time / one-off payments from the customers on your WooCommerce subscription. As simple as that.
Gifting is a way of expressing love and appreciation towards the beloved ones around us. Subscriptions have served that purpose ever so beautifully. They are not like the one-shot gifts which can be forgotten easily. We live in the millenium of never ending possibilities, but when it comes to gifting, subscriptions win hands down as the most memorable gifts.
If you have such lovely subscriptions that can go as gifts, don’t waste your time selling them on a recurring billing cycle. Go for upfront payments and offer your products as prepaid subscriptions to become the best subscription gift seller!