Ihor
Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant

How to Build a Custom Subscription Management Solution

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You can expect about 53% of all software revenue to be generated using subscription models by 2022. This is the right time to consider building a subscription management solution of your own.

Relevant Software is a custom software development company. We have a lot of experience in this field, SaaS, and FinTech software development services, and we love sharing this knowledge.

So let’s dive deeper into subscription management and how you can build custom subscription management software.

What is subscription management software?

Subscription management software helps you keep track of all of the activities related to the sales of subscription-based products. Usually, these are SaaS products.

Who needs subscription management software? Most departments would benefit from it, but in particular, sales, marketing, and accounting.

And what does such software look like? Let’s see a few examples.

Best examples of subscription management software in 2021

There are several iterations of third-party dedicated subscription-based software on the market, and they are pretty useful. Let us take a look at them.

Chargebee

The Chargebee platform can be used to gain, maintain, and maximize the revenue you earn from subscriptions. It uses automated recurring billing, subscription management, and revenue analytics to do that.

You can easily integrate it with your tech stack and make it the heart of your revenue operations. This will drastically increase your efficiency across sales, success, and finance operations. As a result, you can experience huge growth in your subscription revenue.

At entry level, this platform is free but offers more perks for a fee.

Chargify

It is the only billing and revenue management platform designed to be dedicated to fast-growing B2B and SaaS businesses only. It is a globally recognized name in the areas of recurring billing and subscription management.

This platform allows its users to create an offer using the right combination of product, packaging, and promotion. You can optimize the offer, manage it, and make any desired changes over time.

Chargify removes any billing bottlenecks and allows front, back, and corner office teams the speed and flexibility required to accelerate growth. Transform your revenue management into an asset using Chargify.

Stripe Connect

Developers can use Stripe’s solutions for web and mobile payments. They provide you with a set of unified APIs and the required tools. You can use this to instantly enable your business to accept and manage online transactions.

It also offers customization and a white label for a small fee.

As you can see, all these platforms are very useful for managing your operations, but you can also profit from offering services to other subscription-based businesses if you choose to build one from scratch.

Must-have features of subscription management software

If you choose billing software development from scratch, it’s useful to know what features are most beneficial for the billing system architecture.

Must-have features of subscription management software

Subscription management

Keeping the process of subscribing easy and quick is vital. Any customer should be able to subscribe if they like an offer, unsubscribe if they don’t, and resume the subscription if they feel like it. An easy example of that is Google Play, which has a Manage Subscriptions tab where users can check what they have and easily unsubscribe.

You should also make sure that there are features that enable recurring payments.

Products like newspapers, bike-sharing services, and book services must always ensure that they have a simple subscription management feature.

Reports

If you don’t know how your subscription management software is helping you, then it is useless.

Proper subscription management software must be able to provide you with detailed analytics about new customers, existing customers, etc.

It should also be able to display reports on revenues and profits.

Invoice reminders

As your company grows, you will need to handle lots of subscriptions. So, you will need a system that sends an invoice to your customers once they pay the subscription fees. This process is usually automatic like the payments.

Subscription management software should also have the facilities to email a reminder to a customer if any subscription fees are due. This is useful in case someone’s payment method needs updating, to make sure that nothing interrupts your service. It’s also good customer service.

Integration of inventory software

Whenever making any business deal, the entire process should be smooth. For that, you will need to build a good network between all the necessary departments.

Any subscription management software must be able to connect the inventory management as soon as a customer places an order so that the right product is delivered to the customer. This is a very important feature for companies that sell a subscription for tangible items.

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User role management

Every company should have the option to customize its team, especially when dealing with a large number of clients. You should be able to assign different roles to your team so that they can easily access the data they require. You should also be able to make a hierarchy system to restrict the access of data and maintain security.

Subscription management software should also have the ability to give multiple permissions to a person so that they may have partial access to one role and full access to another. This will maintain the flexibility of your team.

Payment methods

If you are planning on expanding your business, you need to think bigger about the payment methods.

Some countries may have specific payment methods that aren’t available in others. Or someone may prefer Google Pay to Amazon Pay. That is why you need to ensure that the subscription software can support multiple payment methods.

This will not only allow you to access a larger number of customers but will also ensure that a person has other methods to pay, even if one fails. This will make the customer happy, and your revenue will not decrease because of a mistake.

Third-party integrations

Like we said before, a well-designed network is required for uninterrupted services. That is why subscription management software must be able to integrate third parties, like other departments, with billing information, as these departments are dependent on it.

The sales team may need the billing information for subscription tracking, discounts, and trial extensions.

Customer support will need the subscription details of a particular customer to help them accordingly.

The billings will also allow the finance department to calculate revenue and make sure that the data is accurate.

How to build subscription management software

Now that you have an idea about the required features, let’s move forward to designing subscription management software.

You might be wondering why you would spend time and money on making subscription management software when you can just subscribe to any third-party software we mentioned above. Well, here are a few good reasons.

Benefits of building custom software

  1. Complete control. You can have full access to all of the software components and functions. Everything is defined by how your admin panel is set up.
  2. All your needs are satisfied. If you pool your resources into financial app development, you can design software that will have the specific features required to meet your needs.
  3. Make changes according to your business’s new demands. As your business grows, you’ll need to handle more subscribers, add more features, add efficient role customization, and much more. Unlike with third-party subscription management tools, if you own the software you can make changes whenever you want.

Factors to consider before development

Here are the things you need to consider when making a subscription management tool.

1. Define your buyer personas

In any business, you will need to find potential customers who will be interested in buying your product once it launches or making use of your services. Gather a lot of information about what people want, build a detailed buyer persona, and build your software accordingly.

2. Create your value proposition

To ensure that your potential customers buy your product, you will need to describe to them the attractive aspects of it. That is why you will need to build a detailed value proposition. It will be easier for customers to understand the usefulness of your product, and you will be able to justify the prices.

3. Test your subscription with a beta launch

The best way to find design flaws and missing features of the software is to let some people use it. Look for test users who fit into your buyer personas and tell them to use the product for a while. Make sure to add a Bug Report section in your area so that the testers can report design flaws as soon as they see them.

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After the test period is over, ask them for feedback and what new features need to be implemented. You can do multiple tests before the final launch.

4. Build a value-based pricing structure

Customer relations are vital for any business model. Whenever a customer invests more money in your business, you will need to show them your gratitude so you can develop and maintain a relationship between you and the customer.

That is why you should introduce value-based pricing structures. If you divide your prices into tiers and add more services to higher tiers, customers will know that you are grateful for their investment and will continue buying that product from you. Set the prices of the tiers and update them regularly based on buyer personas and customers’ willingness to buy.

5. Create a reliable billing system design and architecture

Subscription billing management can become complex, especially when dealing with a large number of customers and monetizing recurring customers. When building a subscription management tool, make sure you know how to design a billing system.

6. Analyze metrics and evaluate your position

Always keep an eye on the reports about your relationships with ongoing customers. This will help you understand when you are not doing enough to satisfy your customers. With a better understanding of that, you will be able to implement new changes to maintain that relationship.

Steps to building a custom subscription management solution

Resources and time required to build custom subscription management software

Let us take a look at the time and money required to build custom subscription management software. Make sure to start your development process accordingly.

It can take from about three to six months on average if you want to develop a fully functional MVP for custom payroll software.

A project team consists of:

TitleNumber of specialistsAverage annual salary
Project manager or business analyst1USA – $94,156
Germany – $62,117
Ukraine – $30,292
UX designer1USA – $97,395
Germany – $54,824
Ukraine – $22,564
Back-end developer2USA – $100,281
Germany – $86,562
Ukraine – $50,852
Front-end developer1USA – $106,410
Germany – $58,516
Ukraine – $47,948
Quality control engineers2USA – $93,926
Germany – $70,937
Ukraine – $23,960

Conclusion

Building custom subscription management software comes with its share of problems, like spending more time and money. Also, you will have to worry about maintenance and updates constantly. But the freedom you get makes all this pain worth it.

You can hire an in-house team for billing software development, but be prepared to spend a lot of time and money.

Instead, you can also contact Relevant Software. We have dedicated software development teams who will be glad to build custom subscription management software for you. We are based in Ukraine, and as per the salary list above, Ukraine outsourcing will be the most profitable for you.

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Written by
Ihor Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant
I make sure our clients get the highest code quality and the best tech talent on the market. I am also a Software Engineering Advisor for startups. Let's connect.

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