Quarterly subscriptions that bill Jan/April/July/October
This is now in beta, please check it out and provide any feedback.
Our seasonal, fixed subscription boxes are probably similar in set-up to Stephanie's (after reading her comments). We haven't shipped our first box yet, but it is scheduled to ship on June 10th. Our subscribers are being charged a one-time setup fee when they first subscribe, and then they will not pay for the first box until June 1st. There is a small risk that they will cancel at the last moment, but we hope not. We created a policy that prohibits cancellation between May 31st and June 10th. We are happy to have all of our customers on the same billing cycle (June, Sept, Dec, Mar, etc). There are some work-arounds that we are going to try, the ones that Andrija is likely alluding to in his comment in this thread.
I am happy to try this plan out, and I hope it goes smoothly. What I would love to see, and what would help us a lot, is a stock control function, so that I may limit our inventory to 150 boxes. When they sell out, it would be nice to have a MailChimp integration to send folks to a landing page where they may sign up for a Wait List.
Lastly, it's worth noting that in our case, the boxes are a curated selection of items created in the Yukon Territory. As such, we can't order more items than what we agree upon with our artisans 2 months before our cut-off date for each box; these artists are often very small businesses working out of a home studio. The entire Yukon (in northern Canada, next to the state of Alaska) has a population of less than 40,000. :)
@Jennifer Tyldesley: Thanks!
Are you planning on charging customers immediately throughout regardless when they sign up? Are you shipping them something immediately?
You're having to predict 2 months ahead of your shipment date? That's intense.
When you say limiting to 150 (for example) do you count that as current subscriber count from last shipment + new ones since then + estimate based on growth?
Again, I think sold-out functionality is a separate issue entirely right now, and we have another thread for that. But it's easy enough to "hide" a product for now. One thing at a time :)
Stefan....so for current subscribers we bill on the 1st of March, June, Sept and Dec. We ship the first week of each of those months.
For NEW subscribers...they are billed the day they sign up and then we manually change their renewal date to the 1st of the next season. So if they sign up today...they are charged today for spring and then on June 1st for summer.
When we sell out of spring...we update our website and people are still charged the day they subscribe BUT the box is not shipped until the new season is released. So pretend that we are sold out of spring today...if we get a new subscriber they are charged today for the SUMMER box. The box will ship the first week of June. I manually change their renewal date to 9.1.18.
It works and we make it VERY clear on our site which box they are buying and when it will ship.
Hope that helps!
@Stephanie Szewczyk: ok thanks, I have sent you a PM, I think I need further clarification on things like when you buy product and how you define "sold out" etc, it'll be more efficient to discuss on messenger. I want to see if what I have in mind will work for you
So ideally for us...we release our seasonal boxes on March 1st, June 1st, Sept 1st and December 1st. For our subscribers we need them to automatically be billed on those days. We are currently shipping our spring box. So if someone subscribers today they get billed for spring but then I need to manually go in and change their renewal date to June 1st b/c the system will set it for 90 days from today. The other thing is we would like to be able to let the system know when we are sold out of a season so it can adjust the billing. For example let's say we sell out of spring on May 15th. Any new subscribers after May 15th are going to get the summer box as their first box so they are charged now for summer and then their renewal date would need to be set for sept 1st. Make sense? Now all of this is manually adjusted.
@Stephanie Szewczyk: thanks for sharing!
Not sure we will cover off stock control in this feature and “sold out” abilities because it makes it infinitely more complex and creates more edge cases, but will consider this when we move onto stock control and limits.
But with that said, why are you setting a limit per box? Don’t you order product after renewals, so you know how much you need by the time you ship?
@Stephanie Szewczyk: oh wait I see. Different terminology. You SHIP on the 1st. You’re talking about a cut off. When do you bill everyone??
@Stephanie Szewczyk: hmm sorry I’m a bit confused. What are your billing dates and shipping dates? And when do you cut off people? I.e X days before your shipment?
Also how do you anticipate your customers will feel, or how do they feel about waiting up to 2-3 months for their first shipment after paying? Doesn’t that cause problems?
Hey guys, looking for some feedback on this. Is anyone free for a quick conversation?
Questions I am looking to have answered:
1. Similar to monthly re-billing with cut-offs, should we always charge immediately for the next box (which is anywhere from regardless if it's after the cut-off date? The issue is the customer could be waiting a long time for their first box otherwise and feel like they've wasted their money.
2. What sort of configuration would you like to see? E.g. Billing 1st Jan, 1st Apr, etc... and shipping say on the 20th of the same month of each? Or what?
Open to suggestions on how to handle this. Please let me know.
Perhaps another way to do it is, the first box is always set for delivery and charged for immediately and then the next one is billed later, if it's more than X days from the next billing date so the customer doesn't have to wait too long.
Finally, one more approach is to not charge up front if it's after the "cut-off" date and just set the subscription to start at the next billing date. But then customers may forget and/or cancel before their first payment
Just to let everyone interested in this know. We didn't yet roll out this functionality, however, there is a neat workaround that a couple of our customers already use in order to utilize cut-off and rebilling dates for quarterly subscriptions.
Until we deploy this feature, feel free to contact me on [email protected] to discuss how this can be overriden in the meantime.
This would be a great addition!!