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. Use this handy checklist we've put together to help you run through the features of your platform to determine if it's a good fit for your new subscription commerce business.

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?

So we've taken a look at everything you need to implement a subscription business - let's take a look at the benefits of adding subscription commerce to your business model and how to use your eCommerce platform to help with retention and reducing subscriber churn. Check out the next section in this guide for everything you need to know. 

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