Subscription

What is a Subscription?

A Subscription is what you would typically setup to sell and provide access to your customers to use a particular product or service. Subscriptions are an important component of Pelcro, which pieces your products, pricing plans, and customers together.

Subscriptions are typically controlled through a billing schedule ahead of time, based on the settings that you initially created as part of setting up your product & plans. Once the subscription has been created, you can start collecting recurring revenue for continuing to provide your service or product throughout the billing schedule. Subscriptions can be auto-renewed on the period specified by the related pricing plan. For example, you can allow your customers to subscribe to your newsletters, blogs, press releases, etc. on daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

The Subscription Guide will walk you through everything you'll need to know to set up and manage your subscriptions.

Create a New Subscription

From the toolbar, go to "Billing" > "Subscriptions". You'll be redirected to the subscription main page where, as a user, you can view all existing subscriptions from customers, but also create new ones.

On the Subscriptions page, click on "New" on the top right-hand side of the page. You will then be prompted to select an existing customer in order to create a new subscription for them.

Once a customer has been selected, you will then be required to select the existing product to which your customer will be subscribing to. Once the product is selected, you can add a coupon to apply a discount and edit/remove the trial period for this subscription. Once you have selected the plan/product, you will see the view below.

If you have the Gift feature and the customer wishes to gift a subscription to another customer, you will need to fill out the fields under the 'Gift' section. If the subscription is not a gift, you can disregard this section.

If the taxes are enabled on the account, the customer will have to enter their address information or select an existing one even if the product doesn't require an address.

You will then need to fill out the Payment Method which allows you to select different payment methods, such as Credit card payment, Offline payment, or invoice the customer.

Finally, in order to activate the subscription, simply click on "Start Subscription".

Navigating the Subscriptions Page

You will see the following view with all the subscriptions to your products.

  • Search button: The search button will allow you to search for a subscription based on the customer's name, email, phone number, company, or department.
  • New button: Allows you to create a new subscription.
  • Export button: Allows you to export the data in tables to your email, as a CSV format.

View Details of Subscription

  • Subscription Details: If you wish to view the details of a specific subscription, click on the three dots "..." followed by "View subscription".

The details of a subscription include the details of the subscription, shipments, pricing plans, and invoices.

  • Customer Details: If you want to view the customer details for a specific subscription, click on the three dots "..." followed by "View customer".

Update a Subscription

Update the subscription address

To update the details of a subscription, simply click on the 3 dots "..." on the same line of the subscription you wish to update followed by "Update subscription". You can then proceed to update the details you want to update and finally click on "Update Subscription" to complete the process.

Edit shipments remaining

To update the remaining shipments of a subscription, simply click on the 3 dots "..." on the same line of the subscription you want to update followed by "Edit shipments remaining". You can then proceed to update the details you want to modify before clicking on "Update Subscription" to complete the process.

Change the plan

To change the plan associated with a subscription, this requires canceling the subscription the customer currently has in order to issue him a pro-rated refund on his subscription or a full refund, depends on your business policy. You can issue the refund to his customer balance, in this case, the balance will be used in the new subscription that is created based on the new plan.

Subscription Lifecycle

Subscription related notifications

Pelcro has a notification associated with every activity that happens with a subscription or invoice. The exact notification sent depends on the type of subscription. For example, subscriptions paid automatically via credit card will have completely different notifications from one paid manually by sending an invoice to the customer every billing cycle.

Other options, such as creating subscriptions with trials, also affect the notifications sent.

Some notifications are sent immediately when a subscription is created, while others recur on regular billing intervals.

  • A "customer.created" notification is sent, indicating that a customer record was successfully created.
  • A "subscription.created" notification is sent, to indicate that the subscription has been created.
  • An invoice is drafted and then finalized, prior to a charge attempt being made. The "invoice.created" notifications are sent, indicating that the invoice was issued for the first billing period.
  • A "charge.succeeded" notification is sent, indicating that the customer’s payment method was successfully charged.

After this first invoice, the following cycle of notifications repeats every billing period:

  • When the subscription period elapses, an "invoice.created" notification is sent, indicating the creation of a draft invoice.
  • About an hour after the invoice is created, it is finalized (changes are no longer permitted). A charge is attempted, and a "charge.succeeded" notification is sent to indicate that the payment was successful.
  • A "charge.succeeded" notification is sent to indicate that the invoice was marked paid.

Cancel a subscription

In order to cancel a subscription, simply click on the 3 dots "..." on the same line of the subscription followed by "Cancel subscription". Confirm your cancelation and finally click on "Cancel subscription" to process the cancelation.

Manage failed payments

When a credit card payment associated with a subscription invoice fails, we automatically attempt to recharge the credit card based on the rules configured on Stripe. You have the flexibility to configure the following from Stripe.

  • The retry payment schedule
  • Email notifications
  • Modifying the subscription status when all retries fail (leave subscription as is, cancel it, or mark it as unpaid)
  • Modifying the invoice status (leave as is, or mark as uncollectible)

Charge upon renewal

Overview

As an Administrator, the Pelcro platform provides you with the option to collect payments when a customer decides to renew their subscription immediately once the renewal has been created on a customer record, reflecting the amount on the customer's account balance, instead of having to wait for collecting the payment on the requested renewal start date.

This feature will be accessible directly through the Pelcro platform only, and not through custom UI's. If you would like to have this feature activated on your custom UI, please contact your account manager for more details.

How does it work?

  • For example, let's assume one of your customers, Matt, has purchased a current active yearly subscription that started on July 1st 2020 and is due to expire on July 1st 2021. Matt has already selected the Credit Card method to pay for the subscription he had purchased.

  • Before the original subscription expires (i.e. anytime between July 1st 2020 and July 1st 2021), Matt decides that he would like to renew his subscription to extend for one more year (i.e. starting July 1st 2021 to July 1st 2022). Matt contacts Customer Support to request the renewal.

  • Upon receiving Matt's request, the Customer Support representative will pull up the customer record, search for the active subscription, and renew it directly from the Pelcro platform.

  • When the Customer Support representative selects the Credit card as the payment method for the renewal, Matt's credit card will immediately get charged when the renewal has been submitted, and a payment record will be created on the Pelcro platform. Matt's account balance will then get credited with the amount required for the subscription renewal.

  • When the requested subscription renewal becomes active on July 1st 2021, Matt's account balance will automatically be used to cover the subscription renewal charges.

- NOTE: If Matt decides to purchase a second subscription, separate from the initially requested future renewal, the account balance will be used to pay for the newly purchased subscription.

Enable the feature

Go to Settings > Billings, then at the bottom, you'll see the new "Charge customer upon renewal". Check the box to enable the feature

Step by step process

  1. Create a new customer account to test the feature together.

After creating the customer, please note that their account balance is $0.00 as usual. We'll need that later.

  1. Attach a card to this customer

Please note that in order for this feature to work, the customer must have a card attached to their account.

  1. Then, let's create a subscription for this customer.

  2. Renew the subscription

Here is where the magic happens. Let's renew the subscription with a $10 plan. Please note that you have to choose "Automatically charge a payment source on file".

What happens behind the scenes

Payments

Now, to make sure that the customer got charged successfully upon renewal, go to Billing > Payments. You should see a new payment for our newly created customer with $10

Account balance

But what happens when the $10 plan's invoice due for its upcoming date? Here's when the account balance comes to play.

If you go to the customer page, you should see his account balance is changed from $0.00 to ($10.00) which is the same amount as the renewed plan.

Apply to invoice

Once the new phase starts, an invoice will automatically be created. The account balance for the customer will take priority and be used to settle the newly-created invoice.

Updated 13 days ago


Subscription


Suggested Edits are limited on API Reference Pages

You can only suggest edits to Markdown body content, but not to the API spec.