Eva Johnson

5 Key Considerations When Choosing a Subscription Management Platform

If you sell anything as a subscription, you are likely inundated with countless subscription management platforms on the market. With so many choices, it can be very overwhelming to try and find the right platform that will fit your needs today, tomorrow, and years from now! To help you make an informed decision, we've compiled a checklist of 5 points you need to consider when selecting your new subscription platform.   

1. First things first…do I know my needs? 

Before you shop for a new system, you need to know your unique business requirements. To ensure you find the right system for you, it’s important to take the time to first gather and analyze your organization’s day-to-day activities and determine your feature “must haves.” Here are just some questions you need to know: How many subscriptions do you handle right now? What types of subscriptions do you offer (digital, print, continuity programs?) What payment methods do you accept and/or want to accept for recurring billing? What integrations do you currently have with other systems? Before doing anything else, start gathering all your requirements now. 

  •  We at AdvantageCS are the subscription experts. After more than four decades of partnering with our clients, we have the know-how to help you tackle your present and future requirements.

2. Is this a genuine subscription management solution? 

As you know, subscriptions uniquely earn over time—be it by shipment or time. This type of business model allows you to establish a consistent and predictable stream of income. When you consider all your options, you need to watch out for the imposters, those systems that are only recurring billing platforms masquerading as subscription systems. Be aware that many of these basic systems simply cannot accommodate a wide variety of subscription income earning models. 

  • Advantage is a highly flexible platform – one that manages earnings for your unique business model. With Advantage, you can simultaneously manage monthly digital access earnings while also earning income for print issues (as they are delivered) for your print subscriptions. Advantage can handle issue-based and calendar-based pricing, as well as the many complexities of billing in arrears models (for both digital and print content). On top of all these pricing models, Advantage can earn for products sold as one-shots, pre-paid, in continuity programs, repeat orders, in book clubs and series and/or standing orders. To sum it up, if you can envision it, Advantage has the capability to handle it. 

3. Does this platform cater to the evolving needs of my customers? 

Your customers need you to meet them exactly where they are. While on vacation, one customer may have to temporarily stop delivery for all their subscriptions. Or maybe a customer only wants to pause some of their subscriptions while still receiving a favorite travel magazine to savor while unwinding on the beach. Yet another customer may wish to avoid cluttering up their mail, perhaps downgrading their subscription from a bundled package of online access and print… to just online access. Meanwhile, another customer might want to start getting their newspaper in print to enjoy with their coffee on the weekends. If you can offer your customers flexibility, you will drive sales, increase customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, build your brand’s value.  

So, when considering all these customer complexities, can the subscription management platform you are evaluating handle all of this? 

  • Advantage provides you with a myriad of features necessary to manage all these kinds of changing consumer demands. Advantage equips your customer service teams with instant access to all your customer’s information, helping create that personalized and positive experience for your customers –one that keeps them happy… and subscribed. And Advantage delivers all this sophistication in an accessible and visually appealing UI/UX.  Some of the countless ways Advantage helps you retain your customers include flexible subscription upgrades/downgrades, strategic product bundling options, temporary subscription suspensions, delivery options, “save the cancel” transactions, discounting, premiums, renewal flexibility, and so much more! 

4. Will it play nice with my technical ecosystem today…and tomorrow? 

Within your organization, there exists a distinctive "technical ecosystem, where all your technologies and services interact and collaborate. This ecosystem likely comprises an array of frameworks, third-party integrations, databases, APIs, analytics platforms, and more! Before you add a whole new system into the mix, you need to check whether it can integrate with the other essential tools you already use, including payment gateways, CRM platforms, and/or taxation applications. Not only that, you need a platform that seamlessly integrates with your existing ecosystem, and yet also possesses the capability to adapt and interact with future systems as your requirements inevitably change. 

  • AdvantageCS proudly partners with each of our clients, meticulously planning to ensure a seamless integration within all your other systems. Advantage is built on an open architecture that combines rich functionality with an extensibility framework that can be configured to fit within your unique technical ecosystem. Besides those tools which make multiple integrations possible—such as APIs, workflow events, extensibility services and data warehouse feeds—Advantage also provides numerous pre-built integrations with third-party applications, including numerous credit card gateways like Stripe and Spreedly, Salesforce CRM, Apple Pay, Shopify, Avalara, and SSO providers Azure and Okta (just to name a few…). 

5. Will it keep my customer’s data secure? 

Something else to keep in mind when you are researching the plethora of subscription management platforms out there… you need to make sure that you find one that prioritizes the security of your customer’s data. You should also find out if the platform fits into a system that adheres to industry standard data protection regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for payment processing and/or General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). When you assess any new platform, make sure that you find one that protects your customer’s Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and keeps their trust. Keeping your customer trust is vital for long-term success and sustainability in today’s digital landscape. 

  • Advantage has been implemented with numerous measures to keep our clients’ customer data secure. AdvantageCS, for example, is SOC 2 (Systems and Organization Controls 2) compliant, meaning we have undergone thorough evaluations to ensure we maintain high standards of security and privacy of customer data.  

Advantage helps to safeguard sensitive customer information by providing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and single sign-on (SSO) solutions, both which can reduce password theft and fatigue. Advantage also provides organizations the ability to grant security permissions by specific user or user role. These features greatly lessen your risks by restricting user access to your customer information. Additionally, our platform integrates out-of-the-box with numerous organizations that support industry standard data protection regulations, such as GDPR and PCI-DSS. By seamlessly integrating with multiple payment gateways, our solution ensures that sensitive customer card data remains off your servers, which also significantly reduces your risks. By implementing all these kinds of security measures, Advantage fosters your customers’ trust while reducing the likelihood of security breaches and data theft. 

By considering these five factors, you'll be better prepared to select your new subscription management platform. There are numerous other factors to consider, but these are some of the most important ones – we hope you’ll stay tuned for the next five! We here at AdvantageCS are ready to partner with your organization, helping you accomplish your goals with our powerful and highly flexible subscription management solution.  

Contact us today to find out more and see a demo. 

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