Introducing Recurring Payments & Subscription PlansJuly 09, 2015
We're a small, SWAT-like development team at Snipcart. We told you that a few times already, but it still holds true today, two years after our launch. As a diluted tech task force, we try our best to work on only one thing at a time product-wise. With support and content efforts on top of our product map features list, we're actually pretty busy. But we like it.
We try to manage and prioritize features on our roadmap with the help of a simple philosophy: the more users demand a specific feature that fits with our values, the higher we rank it on the list. After our first year of listening to our users, collecting feedback and handling support, one thing became clear. Enabling recurring payments and subscription plans for users had to be a top priority. E-commerce is a perfect universe for business models using recurring payments, so it only made sense for us to integrate it to our shopping cart. It wasn't long before it jumped to the top of our product roadmap. So today, we're proud to announce the release of this major feature. Let me tell you a bit more about it now.
Zooming in on recurring payments & subscriptions with Snipcart
Whether you're selling returning monthly products, magazine subscriptions, service memberships or [insert your favorite recurring payment here], we have you covered from now on.
What this feature allows you to do
With our new recurring payments and subscriptions feature, you'll be able to:
- Determine your own payments frequency and intervals
- Set up unlimited plans and configurations
- Generate simple recurring invoicing
- Access clear billing and payments history
- Create coupons and discounts for your plans
- Manage international taxes
- Sell plans & products at the same time
Introducing our new customer dashboard
Another very useful thing we added to Snipcart along with this feature is the new customer dashboard. The basic idea behind this is simply to allow your customers to be aware of what's going on with their plans and subscriptions. They'll be able to log in and consult their active subscriptions and upcoming payments at all time. They'll also have access to all of their orders history, whether they contain products or plans.
While you're not forced to use the customer dashboard along with the recurring payment and subscription features, we highly recommend it. There is value and transparency in providing that information to your customers at all time. Also, the dashboard can be easily implemented in your website by following the steps outlined in our documentation section.
What this feature doesn't allow you to do
You can only use the feature with Stripe for now
As of right now, you won't be able to set up recurring payments and subscriptions if you're not using Stripe as a payment gateway. But don't worry; we're on it. Recurring support for other Snipcart gateways (PayPal, Paymill and Authorize.Net) is on the way.
Shipping details won't be available in-cart for plans orders
For subscriptions and plans, shipping details such as carrier options, prices and estimated times of arrival won't be available in the Shipping step of the cart checkout. If you had a physical, shippable product, for instance, your customer could see (in-cart) the Shipping step offering a choice of shipping options and related shipping prices. But if your customer only has some memberships to purchase in his cart, the Shipping step of the checkout won't show. We're working on it, and we will add shipping details for plans in one of the upcoming releases.
Setting up recurring payments & subscription plans on your website
Setting up subscriptions and plans on your website is as easy and quick as setting up "traditional" Snipcart products. In minutes, you can start selling and collecting recurring payments to your merchant account. With simple HTML markup, you can define plans directly in your website's source code and turn any link into a buyable plan button. You can head to our related documentation section to learn how to do it step by step.
Conclusion: on to the next
We'll keep pushing user requests and suggestions that keep popping up on our development radar towards the top of our product roadmap. We'd like to thank every user that took the time to send us emails, opened support tickets or suggested features to our team during the last two years. You guys keep us motivated, for real. We also invite all of you to keep submitting suggestions and to stay vocal about the things you'd like to accomplish with Snipcart. Feel free to send us an email for that.
Since many of you asked us what was next on our plate, here's a little breakdown of our short-term goals, development-wise:
- Allow users to refund and cancel orders directly within the merchant dashboard
- Allow users to use PayPal Express Checkout in combination with other gateways
- Support multiple users logins for Snipcart accounts
Your thoughts, feedback and comments on this new recurring payments and subscriptions feature are more than welcomed, as usual. Feel free to drop a comment in the section beneath, or a few lines at firstname.lastname@example.org. We sincerely hope merchants and developers can leverage this feature to take their e-commerce business where they need it to be. If you want to help us spread the word about the new feature, please, go ahead and send out a tweet for us!