If you’re looking to get started with an eCommerce subscription business on top of your regular eCommerce business model, there are some important prerequisites for getting up and running smoothly:

Products

  • Can products be set up specifically as “subscription” products? Are both types of subscription products available - scheduled deliveries of physical products and digital subscriptions?

  • Can delivery and digital subscriptions be combined with each other? Like access to a members-only area and recurring delivery?

  • Can products be created that include subscription specific products (like a membership or delivery) with a one-time non-subscription item (as a one-time delivery - like a t-shirt with initial subscription)?

  • Are users able to manage their subscriptions through the front end of a website? Upgrade or downgrade?

  • What controls are in place to build products that allow for recurring merchandise deliveries?

  • Can the subscription be shared with other users?

Configuration

  • Is there flexibility in the configuration of the subscription benefits and subscription term?

  • Are purchased subscriptions linked to accounts?

  • Can the subscriptions be shared amongst a company or organization? Are there limits on the sharing?

  • Are you able to customize a subscription renewal to behave (or cost) differently than the initial subscription?

  • Can customers purchase “trial” subscriptions?

Marketing

  • Can we engage with expired / non-renewing customers?

  • Can subscription products be merchandised and promoted alongside other products?

  • Is there complete creative control over the subscription ordering process?

  • Do subscription orders move through a traditional cart/checkout and confirmation flow?

  • Do promotions and marketing offers include subscriptions?

Purchasing

  • Are users given the option to select their own subscription term length?

  • What payment methods are available for the subscription purchase? Can those be customized?

  • Are template pages available and built out in order to support subscription purchasing?

  • Can subscriptions be sold across multiple sites?

  • How are subscription orders treated, can you team differentiate between a subscription order and a non-subscription order?

  • Will subscription orders be handled similarly for returns?

Renewing

  • Do subscription renewals integrate into the marketing automation or automation API in the platform?

  • Does the user receive notification or upcoming renewal? Failed or successful renewal?

  • Can administrators manage the renewal for the customer?

  • What kind of notification is delivered to the customer (or marketing team) on cancellation?

Reporting

  • Are subscription orders handled in the same way as a non-subscription order?

  • Can I get analytics to determine return, cancellation rates, and customer churn?

  • Are there tools in place to allow me to create reports for measuring/analyzing subscriber churn?

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