Subscription-based websites are on the rise, thanks to the ever-enticing perspective of passive income. Thankfully, WordPress and WooCommerce make it easy to set up a paid subscription site.
However, you can’t let the ball drop once the site is set up.
WooCommerce subscription sites have some unique challenges in terms of customer support, development changes, and reporting. Whether you have an existing subscription business, or you’re contemplating building one, be ready to tackle these 5 common pitfalls.
Just a quick note, for the purposes of this guide, we’ll be referencing the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin in examples. However these pitfalls do apply to most subscription or membership based sites.
1. Renewal Processing Headaches
Creating a user-friendly renewal process is one of the keys to success for any subscription-based model. When building the site, your choice of WooCommerce payment processor and how you configure renewal payments will impact the renewal process for customers.
A common mistake on WooCommerce subscription sites is to utilize PayPal Standard as the payment gateway. Since PayPal Standard is free with WooCommerce subscriptions, store owners tend to select it by default, but there’s actually several limitations with this payment gateway for a subscription site.
For instance, with PayPal standard, the site administrator is not able to adjust the recurring billing date nor modify the recurring totals in the subscription. This is relevant because most subscription sites offer different tiers or packages. PayPal Standard doesn’t allow users to switch between subscription packages in terms of upgrading or downgrading. These limitations can then lead to problems when managing customer renewal dates and payments.
Another factor to watch for is the WooCommerce subscription settings for failed transactions. With a recurring payment structure, you can expect to have some transaction failures each month due to customer’s expired or changed credit card information. If you have the WooCommerce Subscription plugin, it will automatically retry failed subscriptions 5 times over 7 days at certain intervals. If the payments continue to fail, you’ll need to take care of it manually.
2. Providing User Support
As a subscription e-commerce site gets more subscribers, you can expect more customer questions, support requests, and user errors.
When building a new site, most site owners plan for WooCommerce costs in terms of on-going web development support and maintenance, but customer support costs are often overlooked. There can also be confusion between a business owner and the development support team in terms of which support requests require development-level attention, and which ones can be taken care of by the business’ customer
This article was written by Kyla and originally published on WPExplorer.