With the rise of ecommerce, more and more savvy business owners are turning toward subscriptions as an effective means of generating revenue. However, in order to make the subscription experience a positive one for both you and your customers, you must choose the right WooCommerce subscription plugin. Here are nine different things to consider before you make your choice.

How Much Does the WooCommerce Subscription Plugin Cost?

WooCommerce subscription plugin options vary. Some are incredibly feature-rich, and others provide mostly the basics. They also range in price based on the functionality they offer. For example, the WooCommerce Subscription extension costs $199 for a year which includes updates and support for a single site. You must renew afterward to keep getting these updates and support. Conversely, YITH Subscription is a free download in the WordPress plugin directory, but it has only a handful of features compared to WooCommerce Subscription.

Can You Alter Your Billing Period?

Any time you are choosing a WooCommerce subscription plugin, it is important to think about the billing options and whether you can alter the period. For example, will your customers be able to pay monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually? Does your plugin give you the ability to provide discounts to those who choose to pay well in advance? If this is important to you, be sure your plugin provides that capability.

Does it Allow for Multiple Membership Levels?

If you plan to offer different levels of membership, then you need to make sure your plugin allows you to create, specify, and display these on your shop. As an example, you might opt to give the lowest level membership access to software, the mid-level membership access to software and 24-hour support, and the highest tier access to software, support, and the opportunity to get significant discounts on any other products you offer.

Can Customers Cancel their Own Subscriptions with Ease?

Believe it or not, not every WooCommerce subscription plugin gives your customers the ability to cancel their subscriptions on their own. Providing this gives both you and your customers benefits. You won’t need to have support in place to cancel memberships by request, and your customers won’t have to call or email your company. There’s more peace of mind, and you are likely to sell far more subscriptions.

Can Customers See their Accounts Clearly?

Your WooCommerce subscription plugin should provide a well-thought but simple “My Account” page that gives visitors access to important account information. They should be able to see the amount and date of their last payment, their membership or subscription level, how long they have been members or subscribers, their next anticipated payment amount and date, and even the current method of payment.

Does it Offer a “Mixed Checkout” Option?

If your shop offers both subscription and one-time purchases, it is beneficial that you choose a WooCommerce subscription plugin that allows for mixed checkouts. Simply put, it gives your visitors the ability to pay for physical products and subscriptions at the same time, without the need to process separate transactions.

Can You Display Subscription Items along with Normal Items on your Shop?

You cannot really sell many subscriptions if your visitors don’t know you offer them, so your plugin should give you the ability to display your subscription options alongside physical items on your shop pages. The ability to filter these and compare them with other subscription options is also quite helpful.

What about Prorated Charges and Renewal Synchronization?

If your customer chooses to sign up for a subscription mid-month, you have two options. You could bill that customer for the rest of the current month and set up renewal synchronization, so the customer is charged again on the same day every month. On the other hand, you could choose to bill that customer for the rest of the current month and a month in advance through proration. The former option is almost always better than the latter, and this is especially true if you offer a free trial period.

Can Customers Subscribe to Virtual Products?

Finally, while it might sound silly, you need a WooCommerce subscription plugin that will allow visitors to sign up for memberships for virtual products. Not all of them do, and this can be quite frustrating once you figure out that you must have a physical product going out to your customer in order to use the plugin.

Choosing the right WooCommerce subscription plugin might seem like a challenge, but all you really have to do is think about what you’re offering, how you want to offer it, and what would benefit your potential customers the most. Then, choosing the right plugin is as simple as comparing features and cost.