Ties Luijendijk, Business Consultant
Technology Is At The Heart
of Subscription Businesses
Technology Is At The Heart of Subscription Businesses
If you want to be in the business of recurring revenue and subscription models, everything you do is going to be tied to technology. You need systems that support customers, tie in with your wider processes, and deliver you the information needed to make good decisions. To say tech is important in a subscription business is an understatement.
Making a subscription model work either as an entire business or as one product channel requires knowing one thing above all else – a subscription solution should fundamentally connect almost every part of your business. It sounds obvious, but there’s a lot more to unpack in that statement, so let’s get started.
The Sticking Point Of Subscription Services
A subscription-based product or service means that, on a recurring basis, you are going to collect money from a customer. You charge an agreed figure and deliver an agreed product or service. Simple right? Well, it is providing that subscription doesn’t run into problems.
When the subscription is interrupted it gets more complicated. For instance, if you are not able to collect money are you still going to make the delivery of products or services? The pause could be incorrect payment details, a customer taking a break, or just a lack of funds.
It’s not an easy yes or no – particularly if you aren’t a very large business where you can afford to potentially upset customers. Perhaps you need your customer to re-enter payment details or make a one-off payment to continue their service? This type of functionality has to be built-in so that it doesn’t create interruptions in your business’ workflow.
The decision to turn a customer down because they’ve missed a payment cannot be understated. Do you pause services while they’re unpaid, or blacklist them after a certain number of missed payments? All of this has to be built around the risk of not getting a payment after services are delivered in good faith versus the benefit of building goodwill with a client. Whatever way your business leans you need a platform built to withstand your needs.
Beyond the user experience, if you’re providing a product or a service which relies upon one then you need to maintain a stock system that can talk to your subscription platform. Everytime a subscription starts, or renews, the stock system needs to be aware so that stock requirements and reorder levels can be updated. You need to tie all of your IT in with your subscription solution.
How The Tech Is Built
We have never experienced one customer having the same implementation as another. We work with robotics companies, app stores for connected trucks, contact lenses distributors, and consumer electronics, so it’s fair to say we’ve seen enough to know that no two builds are the same.
However, whatever technologies we use and whatever we create, the basic ideas are the same. If one business says they need a CMS, there might be specific things required for their company but ultimately it’s still a CMS with common functionality whatever industry you’re in. What we do is create tailor-made solutions out of a set of standard blocks and then add parts to make it specific to the use case.
Ultimately, there is no one size fits with subscription technology, it has to be built around how you want to serve your customers and what you are serving your customers.
Looking to make recurring revenue a part of your business? Speak to rb2 today.