Choosing a Subscription Billing service can be a daunting task for any company.

  • When making a decision what features should you look for?
  • How important are the features?
  • Would you really use it or is it just a superfluous add on, cluttering up your virtual space?

Our experience working with Startups have given us insights that will help you answer these concerns. We have compiled a list of “Must Have” features for the optimal functioning of your business.

Features coveted by a B2C Company are somewhat different from the features that a B2B Company is interested in.

We will focus on Subscription Billing for B2C StartUps in this blog. Stay tuned to http://www.blusynergy.in/blog/ for the B2B counterpart!
1. Ease of Use – This refers to the intuitive quality of the Subscription Billing Service and is one of the most important features to look for when you demo the product. Often times, as the owner of a Startup, you are pressed for time and need to get your bills out at the last minute or you may not have the time or resources for an in depth training program for your new hire. If the Subscription Billing Service is simple and intuitive, you can hit the ground running when it comes to sending out your bills.

2. Flexibility – A right mix of sophisticated functionality and flexibility is what you need. So how would you go about figuring this? Ask about how easy it is to add a new product, change pricing on existing products. Do they integrate with accounting software and how would that be accomplished? If these actions can be performed with a couple of clicks, then you know you are on the right track.

3. Reporting – Rich reporting capability in a Subscription Billing Service is a Must Have. Startup Businesses are always on a time crunch; decisions are being made on the fly. Sophisticated reporting functionality will provide you with relevant information allowing you to make an informed decision quickly. As a B2C Company, pay attention to the maximum number of records that can be viewed online before you are forced to export out to Excel. Also consider the time the system takes to churn out your reports. With good reporting you can get a real feel for the financial pulse of the company at your fingertips.

4. Discounts and Promotions – Seasonal promotion is something you are going to need at some point in your business. Most B2C businesses have promotions during festivals like Diwali or Christmas. Look for a Subscription Billing Service that allows you to do this with ease and with flexibility. Promotions may differ in type. Some require the customer to enter a code, others may have a sunrise and sunset date after which they are no longer available to the customer. A good Subscription Billing Service should be able to handle these scenarios.

5. SMS notifications – In India where almost everyone has a mobile device, SMS notifications today, are tantamount to paper of yesteryears. Whether it is an invoice due message or a payment received notice or an outstanding invoice reminder, SMS capability is a Must Have for a B2C business. I would go so far as to say that this feature may be considered as a deal maker or deal breaker.

6. Seamless look and feel – If you have customers making their purchases online, and you are embedding the Billing Service into your website, you need to make sure that the Subscription Billing Service has the capability to match the look and feel of your website. This is an important feature for the end user. When making a purchase they are entering confidential information. Their comfort will be greatly compromised if they are directed to a page that does not match the look and feel of your website.

7. Integration – I am sneaking “integration to existing systems” into number 7 because depending on where you are in your startup growth graph it may or may not be applicable. If you do have existing systems then you need to make sure that the integration in seamless and quick and you are able to get back to your default “business as usual” mode with minimum fuss.

 

A look at “Must Have” Subscription Billing features for a B2C Startup.

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