Earlier this week, we did a full overview of what Zoho Subscriptions has to offer. Our goal was to demonstrate exactly how Subscriptions functions for customers who want to improve how they manage subscriptions from a wide range of sources, including invoices, automatic card payments, and even in-person subscriptions.
If you don’t have 40 minutes to watch the whole webinar above, don’t worry we’ve got you covered with this recap below.
Why Use Zoho Subscriptions?
Many businesses try to set up product subscriptions on their own using basic platforms provided by their payment gateways. The problem is that these platforms are rarely user-friendly, and many key features are only accessible through APIs or third-party software. Additionally, businesses can usually benefit from using a wide range of payment processing services for different types of sales. The lack of a centralized payment system often leads to inconsistencies and mistakes.
Subscriptions makes it simple for businesses to create and manage all of their product subscriptions in one place. Subscriptions integrates with the 10 leading payment gateways, including Stripe, Authorize.net, and Paypal. Zoho’s platform can then automatically manage digital subscriptions from custom e-commerce landing pages or iframe embeds in just a few clicks. Furthermore, the account dashboard within Subscriptions is extremely user-friendly. Salespeople can even use the Subscriptions app while on the go, collecting payment immediately.
In the webinar, one huge advantage we highlight is how Subscriptions does not tack on any additional transaction fees. Instead, Zoho relies on a service-based pricing model that ranges from the Basic Premium Account that costs $49 per month and supports up to 500 subscriptions to the Professional package that costs $249 a month and supports up to 5,000 subscriptions. Also, Subscriptions is a “no brainer” for businesses using other Zoho products, such as Zoho Books or Zoho CRM. Since Zoho’s market-leading integrations make it easy to achieve advanced functionality across multiple products. And best of all it is included with Zoho One!
The longest section of the webinar, but Tyler crushes it and covers all the settings. The first area he covered is the organization profile tab that enables businesses to upload a logo and add basic information about their company using an interface that is no more complex than creating a LinkedIn account. The data in this tab is used to generate accurate invoices and automatically create widgets that match your company’s likeness.
Subscriptions also supports user roles that can be used to lock down certain features and data fields that customer support representatives or salespeople should be able to see but not be able to modify. For instance, certain user roles can be blocked from changing pricing or product features. Role customizations can even control what types of reports users can pull and what types of notifications users will receive. Consequently, businesses can prevent agents from accessing sensitive tax information or creating new products without permission.
Retry settings is another key area that Tyler covers extensively in the video. Retry settings control what actions should be taken when payments are declined. In many cases, payments are declined only because of a short-term lack of funds in a customer’s cash account. Cash account balances may vary drastically on different days, so businesses can significantly reduce subscriber churn by automatically retrying a customer’s card several times over a period of a few days. Retry settings can also be used to configure what messages customers receive when their payments are declined.
Setting up Products and Plans
Brett provided an extensive overview of how products can be added into Subscriptions. These products can be easily set up using a simple interface that requires no technical skills. In the example of the car wash business used in the video, only one product category, “Car Wash Services,” was needed. However, other products could be added if the business sold other subscription-based products, such as vehicle maintenance plans.
Plans are the core of what most people expect to configure when they set up product subscriptions. With plans, you can create product tiers, set prices, determine billing cycles, and set the subscription period. Subscriptions also provides built-in support for items that are commonly associated with product subscriptions, such as free trials or setup fees. Additionally, Subscriptions provides the functionality to easily list plan features. These feature lists can be used to easily create embedded graphics that help customers compare the benefits of each product tier that you offer.
Brett also goes over how to create discounted annual plans. He recommends creating separate plans for both monthly and yearly subscriptions. For instance, for the “Bronze plan” that the car wash offered, Brett created a monthly subscription that is $29.99 per month and an annual subscription that is $299.99 per year.
Finally, coupons and add-ons are discussed. Add-ons are upsells that can be selected at checkout. In the case of the car wash example, a hand dry option was used as an add-on. Coupons enable you to create promo codes that customers can use to receive a discount. A wide variety of configuration options are included with coupons, such as limiting the number of times a coupon can be used and setting an expiration date.
Integrating Subscriptions Into Your Website
Subscriptions offers a wide range of tools that businesses can use to easily generate checkout pages. The simplest tool is a unique checkout link to subscriptions.zoho.com. This tool requires no configuration, and it enables you to process payments using your own payment gateway.
You can also easily create pricing tables for landing pages that can link to your checkout page. These pricing tables can be created with just a few clicks, and they can be edited by your website developer.
Finally, Subscriptions supports checkout pages that can be inserted into your website by using a simple iframe embed. Of course, Zoho’s platform also supports custom HTML and integrations to link purchases on a third-party checkout page with products and plans defined within Subscriptions. Additionally, your website developer can use the Subscriptions API to fully customize integrations.
Once you begin to accumulate a substantial active subscriber base, subscription management normally becomes a major problem. With Subscriptions, however, a high volume of accounts can be managed easily using a simple interface. These subscription management features are ideal for customer support representatives who need to quickly find and edit a customer’s subscription, but they can also be useful for other members of your company, such as marketing strategists or account managers.
The ability to pause subscriptions is a key feature in Zoho’s platform. When subscriptions are paused, a resumption date can be automatically added. By going to the main subscription management page, you can easily scroll through all of your accounts active or paused. This page also highlights accounts that are behind on their payments. By using the information provided on the subscription management page, you can easily identify accounts that might need assistance from your sales or support teams.
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