subscription management

With the rise of SaaS and subscription-based business models, recurring billing has become essential for businesses of all sizes — but it can be very tiresome. This is where software becomes key. Subscription management software streamlines this process so you can focus on growing your business instead of fretting over repetitive manual processes.

Getting recurring billing right is vital if you want your customers to keep paying you month after month, and the best subscription management software makes it easy to manage your customers, their subscriptions, and payments so you can keep your subscribers engaged with your products and/or services. 

Let’s take a closer look at why subscription management is important, then cover some of the best solutions available for your small business needs.

What is Subscription Management?

Subscription management is about managing all aspects of a recurring billing cycle. This includes managing customers, subscriptions and payments, and providing a full view of your recurring revenue through detailed reporting. Overall, subscription management is essential for companies that have recurring billing, as it offers an easy way to track payments while helping to provide a seamless user experience for your customers.

Why is Subscription Management Important?

To keep your recurring revenue in a healthy state, you must be proactive in managing your customers and their subscriptions. This means that you must have the right tools to stay on top of your customers’ needs, payment preferences, and subscription statuses. Subscription management software can help you stay on top of your recurring revenue. It can help you:

  • Manage your customers and subscription details. With customer management, you can store information about your customers, such as their names and addresses as well as their subscription details. You can even manage the details of different types of plans for different customers.
  • Track payments and make adjustments. Payment management gives you an overview of all the payments you have received, as well as those that are still pending. This can help you find any payments that are past due, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Manage your contracts and plan details. Contract management allows you to store the details of your recurring plans, as well as any contracts you have with your customers. This can help you stay on top of any contracts you have, as well as who is subscribed to which plan.

Reasons to Invest in Recurring Billing Software

Subscription management software is designed to help you manage every aspect of your recurring billing. This makes it easy to stay on top of your recurring revenue. The right subscription management software can help you make the most of your recurring revenue by giving you:

  • Insight into your recurring revenue. With insight into your recurring revenue, you can track the number of customers you have, the payments you have received, and the percentage of customers who have paid on time. This can give you a clear view of how your recurring revenue is doing, which is essential for any business with recurring billing.
  • Easy subscription management. Subscription management software makes it easy to manage your recurring subscriptions. This includes making changes to existing plans, adding new plans, and canceling plans that have been paid off. This can help you save time and keep your customers happy.
  • A smooth customer experience. A seamless customer experience can help you retain more customers. With subscription management software, you can make it effortless for your customers to subscribe — through optimized checkout processes — and make changes to their subscription plans. 

How to Find the Right Recurring Billing Software for Your Business

When you’re looking for subscription management software, it’s important to find a solution that caters to the specific needs of your business. To do this, you’ll need to:

  • Understand your business needs. When you understand the unique needs of your business, it will be easier for you to find the right subscription management solution. This means that you need to understand how your business makes money, how customers are billed, and how they manage their accounts.
  • Find solutions that meet your business needs. Once you’ve identified your business needs, it’s time to find a range of solutions that most closely match those needs: for instance, does it offer a range of payment methods? Search for solutions that are popular within your industry or among similar businesses.
  • Evaluate each solution. Once you’ve found several solutions, it’s time to evaluate each one. You can do this by looking at each solution’s features and comparing them to your business needs. This will help you find the solution that is best for your business.

Now we’ve considered the importance of subscription management and recurring billing software, let’s look at some of the best solutions available.

The Best Subscription Management & Recurring Billing Software

1. Chargebee

A comprehensive and on-demand subscription management and recurring billing solution that lets you manage subscriptions at scale, subscription management by Chargebee is ideal for ecommerce businesses looking to move into the subscription market, as well as SaaS companies and other digital businesses.

Key features:

  • Automated recurring billing via a network of payment gateways
  • Flexible billing models, including flat fee, pay-as-you-go and usage-based pricing
  • Discounts, coupons and gift subscriptions to boost conversions
  • Smart dunning process to recover failed payments and reduce revenue loss
  • Optimized checkout and self-service portal
  • Automated subscription lifecycle management

2. Zuora

Branded as “the world’s leading monetization platform” and counting Microsoft and Zoom as existing clients, Zuora Billing is an all-in-one subscription management solution that enables businesses to monetize through subscriptions. Zuora’s subscription management software includes payment management, subscription billing, revenue analytics and more.

Key features:

  • Over 50 pricing models, including recurring, one-time fees, and usage charges
  • More than 35 pre-built payment gateways
  • Low-code APIs and SDKs that integrate seamlessly with existing applications
  • Automated dunning process to recover failed payments and reduce involuntary churn
  • Real-time customer insights with Zuora Analytics

3. Stripe

Recognized as one of the biggest names in the online payment services sector, Stripe is a cloud-based payment provider that offers a varied set of APIs and tools to enable businesses to manage and accept payments online, including subscriptions. Stripe also offers solutions for mobile and web payments that are specifically built for developers.

Key features:

  • Supports a number of pricing models, including flat fee, usage-based and hybrid
  • Coupons, free trials, prorations and add-ons
  • Automated failed payment emails and card updater to reduce involuntary churn
  • Supports self-serve and direct sales business models
  • Online payments in over 135 currencies
  • Third-party integration with Cloud, Android, iOs, web, and SaaS

4. Recurly

With over 50 million active subscribers across 140+ different currencies, Recurly is a growth-focused subscription management platform aimed at boosting subscriber numbers and driving retention. Recurly seamlessly integrates with several payment gateways, including PayPal, SagePay and Stripe, while it can also be connected to existing websites.

Key features:

  • A number of billing models and frequencies, including pre-paid, fixed and quantity-based
  • Multiple acquisition and retention tools, including trials, upsells, gift subscriptions and discounts
  • Advanced analytics-based models to increase retention and drive more revenue
  • Support for over 140 currencies and 18 different languages
  • All tax requirements covered through integrations with Vertex and Avalara

5. Zoho

Due to its focus on simplicity when it comes to billing, Zoho Subscriptions is an ideal subscription management software tool for small businesses and startups looking for an affordable yet straightforward solution. That said, Zoho also has several integration and add-on options to help you manage every aspect of your subscription business.

Key features:

  • Collection of both online and offline payments via industry-leading payment gateways
  • Out-of-the-box integrations with GoCardless, PayPal, Stripe and more
  • Automated dunning to reduce revenue leakage and involuntary churn 
  • Self-service portal to enable customers manage their own billing
  • Over 30 analytics reports, including revenue, churn and subscription activity

6. Billsby

Billsby’s mission statement is, “if you can dream it, we can bill it.” Possibly the most flexible subscription management platform out there, Billsby supports unlimited customization and experimentation when building subscription plans. What’s more, Billsby can be integrated with over 2,000 other platforms through its partnership with Zapier.

Key features:

  • Unlimited, fully customizable subscription models
  • An unlimited number of payment gateways and currencies
  • Simplified checkout to enable customers to sign up quickly and easily
  • Self-service subscription management tools
  • Over 2,000 integrations available through Zapier, including MailChimp and Shipwire

Featured image from Pixabay.com

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