WooCommerce is a plugin that allows you to start selling on WordPress. One of the weakest aspects of the plugin is that it didn’t provide from head start a way to add a subscription-based model. This really impeded businesses that were trying to maintain steady revenue and growth through a recurring model. Fortunately, the company has released WooCommerce subscriptions not too long ago. The question is: how does this new extension perform? This will be answered in this short review.
What Is WooCommerce Subscriptions Extension?
WooCommerce Subscriptions developed by Prospress allows you to create products for multiple recurring payments. It can be used for both physical (eCommerce) and digital products such as membership sites.
Currently, they offer a wide range of subscription options from a single site, five sites or 25 sites for up to a year. Most people will only need the single site option. Nonetheless, there are significant discounts for multi-site payment plans if needed on their Woocommerce site.
WooCommerce Subscriptions Features
WooCommerce really thought about the needs of their customers and have put in a lot of work to make sure they cover the major features. The first obvious one to look at is the billing schedules.
You can really customize this feature to schedule the ideal billing schedule whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. You can even set a specific day of the month for a more predictable payment schedule.
Another big feature is that WooCommerce Subscriptions works with over 25 payment gateways. As you may know, customers have many different payment preferences from Paypal and conventional credit cards to Stripe. This allows you to capture more sales which is especially important when it comes to recurring options. These offer a long term revenue stream.
Similar to abandoned cart features in many eCommerce integrations, Woocommerce Subscriptions has a feature that tries to recover failed payments. If a payment fails, it will try again. You can set specific retry rules like waiting a short period to try again, alerting the customer about the failed payment, and more. This feature alone can be worth the price of Woocommerce Subscriptions.
There are so many other features that it would take too long to go over all of them. Let’s move on to actually using their product.
Exploring the WooCommerce Subscriptions Interface
When it comes to managing eCommerce sites, making sure that it’s easy to use is important. Woocommerce Subscriptions interface takes some time to getting used to. Nonetheless, once you realize where everything is, it’s pretty easy to operate. There are clear indicators and explanations on how each feature is used from managing subscriptions and setting up synchronized billing to setting up multiple subscriptions for one transaction. In the end, the navigation is fairly straightforward.
Setting up features like free and trial-based billing was very easy as well. As you know, free and trial billing offers are one of the best ways to get prospects to convert into customers.
There is a multitude of options on how to customize these settings. On top of that, there were no confusions on how to go about doing it. WooCommerce also did a solid job on providing guides and tutorials on how to maximize the features of their extension.
WooCommerce Subscriptions Pros and Cons
There’s really a lot to like and very little to hate about Woocommerce Subscriptions. Nonetheless, here is a balanced run down of its positives and negatives to help you make a good decision.
- It’s easy to set up once you learn how the interface works. The way that the features work is very intuitive and straightforward. This is a far cry from other similar software programs.
- WooCommerce has really thought of everything when it comes to the recurring model. There is a wide range of customizations and setups that are offered. In the end, any businesses using this revenue model can get what they need from the extension.
- Features that give customers control really help. For example, allowing them to upgrade their membership and paying their recurring fees manually really helps you conserve resources when it comes to customer support.
- You can easily view and manage your subscriptions. You’ll know who just came in, what level of subscription they’re on, how long they’ve been a subscriber, and more. These simple sets of data can help you increase the effectiveness of your recurring based business.
- There are bugs with gateway integrations that can really make it annoying to run. Setting up integrations can be challenging. Moreover, there are additional bugs with processing that you’ll sometimes run into.
- It can be pricey compared to other free and paid services. However, some of the options like the failed payments feature can help you generate additional revenue.
- Some small annoyances like the customer address profile not being updated to their order can result in missed deliveries. You can expect fixes to happen in the near future. However, you have to be aware of these errors.
Overall, WooCommerce Subscriptions is a really strong offering from the WooCommerce team. It’s received strong reviews from customers. The vast amount of features it offers can really help you maximize revenue.
Even if it’s not perfect, WooCommerce is dedicated to their products. You can expect constant improvements to make their extension better than it was a few months ago.
Again, while the extension is a recurring charge of $200 a year per site, you can save a lot of money by going with the multi-site packages. Yes, it is expensive compared to other options. However, you do have to understand that the other options do not have the wide range of features this extension developed so far.
If you need something drop-dead simple, there are cheaper solutions. But if you have complex needs, WooCommerce Subscriptions is a strong choice.