Did you know that it takes upwards of seven times more money to gain a new customer than it does to encourage a loyal customer to make another purchase?
If you have been in the WordPress world for any length of time, surely you have heard of the popular e-commerce platform WooCommerce. Powering over one-third of all online stores, this free WordPress plugin provides the ultimate e-commerce storefront capability.
With an easy to use interface for selling both physical and virtual products, you can monitor all of your sales, payments, and inventory right from your WordPress dashboard. Plus, there are tons of WooCommerce compatible themes available to make your shop stand out from the rest of the crowd. Seemingly this plugin is all-inclusive for running an online shop.
However, just in case the out of the box solution doesn’t quite have what you need, WooCommerce does come with an exhaustive list of free and premium extensions you can add to the WooCommerce foundation. These extensions expand you shop’s functionality so you can deliver just what your customers need.
Today I am going to introduce you to a premium WooCommerce extension by the name of WooCommerce Subscriptions. This extension will help you keep the customers you already have, those that know and love your products and services, by offering them the chance to purchase a subscription.
After all, it is almost 100% guaranteed that once you have a customer making purchases from your online store, if you entice them enough, they will purchase again. What better way to secure sales than from your faithful customers and the use of a subscription option?
What is WooCommerce Subscriptions?
With WooCommerce Subscriptions you can sell products and services from your online store using recurring payments. What’s better, you can collect these recurring payments automatically.
The neat thing about WooCommerce Subscriptions is that once you have it up and running, loyal customers that frequent your store will notice this new option to subscribe. This will hopefully persuade them to sign up so that they can enjoy your products or services without having to manually purchase them every time.
Here are some of the features you can look forward to using after adding WooCommerce Subscriptions to your website:
- Create and manage physical and virtual products.
- Offer free trials to get customers interested.
- Give customers the power to manage their own subscriptions.
- Allow multiple subscription purchases.
- Track subscribers, when they are billed, and how much profit you make, all from your WordPress dashboard.
- Enjoy automatic email invoices and receipts, as well as a built-in renewal system.
WooCommerce Subscriptions comes packed with great features so that your e-commerce store can accommodate subscription products easily.
Setting up subscription products is easy to do and offers lots of flexibility. For those familiar with the WooCommerce platform, you will find that creating a subscription product is done the same way you would add any other WooCommerce product.
After adding a subscription product you can then decide how often you want to accept renewal payments, make limits on purchase amounts, and determine shipping charges. You can also choose to give customers the ability to mix-and-match their own subscription or make it one-size-fits all. These choices, and many others, are for you to decide.
Your customers love a good deal. Even though many of your subscriptions may be purchased by already loyal customers (which is great!), offering a little incentive never hurts to encourage more sales. Plus, new customers will want to get in on your products or services as well once they see your online store and all you have to offer.
Try offering free trials so a customer can test a product or service before committing to a lengthy subscription. Waive sign-up fees or initial shipping charges to give customers the impression you care about them and their business, not just making a quick buck.
Even try offering coupons to discount monthly subscription payments for a limited time. Your loyal customers will appreciate your generosity. Your new customers will enjoy the thought of being able to try your product at a reduced rate.
Not only do store owners get full subscription management abilities, so do the customers they serve.
Shop owners can suspend or cancel any subscription, change trial expiration dates, add new items to a bundled subscription, modify shipping charges, and much more.
Additionally, subscribers are in complete control of their own subscriptions and can manage them easily from their own private account. They can update their personal information, change payment methods, upgrade/downgrade subscriptions, even cancel or suspend their own subscriptions.
WooCommerce Subscriptions supports over 25 payment gateways including some of the most popular ones: PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Pay with Amazon, and Braintree for credit cards.
In addition to providing your customers several different payment options, WooCommerce Subscriptions also allows you to modify several payment-related features to suit your needs.
You can easily customize a billing schedule by setting intervals such as daily, weekly, monthly, or annually for subscription payments. Need more flexibility? Simply set your subscriptions to be billed whenever you want.
Also, as one of the highlighted features of WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can set up subscription renewals to be paid for automatically. This streamlines the subscription process and lessens the chance a customer will not renew.
Another cool feature this extension has is the ability to synchronize payments so that subscription renewals take place on the same day for all subscribers, regardless of which day they signed up on. It also supports prorating the first payment if necessary. This is helpful for subscriptions such as monthly product deliveries. This way you can send out the monthly product for all of your subscribers on the same day.
You can also allow customers to purchase multiple subscription products. This convenient feature combines similar subscription products into one transaction. This intuitive feature cuts down on the checkout process time, reduces payment gateway and sign up fees, and makes for a more efficient shipping process for store owners.
Lastly, shop owners can receive email notifications when a subscription renewal payment is processed or a subscription is cancelled.
Documentation, Support, and Pricing
The really great thing about the team at WooThemes is that they always provide extensive documentation guiding you on how to use their products. WooCommerce Subscriptions is no different.
With a huge FAQ section, a Store Manager Guide, and plenty of individualized articles for things such as payments, upgrades, and even just general news about the extension, rest assured you have plenty of reading material to sift through. Also available are helpful video tutorials providing step by step instructions. And last but not least you can even check out the community threads to see what fellow users of WooCommerce Subscriptions are talking about.
If however the documentation still doesn’t cut it for you or you are just so confused you need the help of an expert, know that you can access support by submitting a help ticket.
Depending on your e-commerce needs, there are three pricing options for you to choose from:
- Single Site – $199/year
- Up to 5 sites – $249/year
- Up to 25 sites – $349/year
No matter which level you choose, your purchase of the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension comes with the product, updates, and support for one year from the date of purchase.
If you have a website that sells a physical product, a downloadable file such as music, or even services such as coaching packages, you should look into setting up WooCommerce Subscriptions for your online store.
Offering subscriptions to customers that have already shown an interest in your products or services is a great way to increase sales, set up a more stable monthly cash flow, and build longer lasting relationships with your customers. Plus, it makes the purchasing process much easier.
Incorporating a subscription business model into your online shop is also a cost efficient way to entice new customers to purchase your products. Whether they decide to go with a subscription or just try your product once to see if they are satisfied, in the end a sale is a sale no matter how you get it!
Have you ever used WooCommerce Subscriptions on your e-commerce website? What were you sales like after implementing it? I would love to hear all about your experience in the comments below!