300 – Rethink what WooCommerce Subscriptions can do with the Subscription Force plugin

DEAL ALERT, 30% off Subscription Force. Use the coupon code ‘wpbuilds’ to get 30% off on any package. The coupon is valid for 3 months, so it runs out on 20th January 2023!

Interview with Marius Vetrici, Andrei Haret and Nathan Wrigley.

It’s no secret that the world is adopting the model of subscription pricing. If you’re my age, then you remember a time when almost nothing was based upon subscriptions. The technology simply made it impractical; there were no credit cards, the internet did not exist, and you just didn’t see examples around you.

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Fast forward (a few decades!), and now they’re everywhere. The banking / payments systems have all been built to make this trivial to set up and deploy to the entire world over the internet.

Music, films, food, it’s all gone subscription.

WooCommerce has a plugin called WooCommerce Subscriptions which will allow you to get started, but it’s limited in what it can do…

Enter Subscription Force, a new WordPress plugin which will put your subscriptions on a different level.

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Today we interview Marius Vetrici and Andrei Haret, who are behind Subscription Force.

Here’s Marius to lay out the idea behind the plugin:

More and more shops are looking to increase their customer lifetime value by starting to deliver physical products on a subscription. Once you as a shop owner start delivering on a subscription, you realise your customers need to amend their subscriptions, by adding or removing products, changing quantities or pausing their subscription until a set date because they go on a vacation.

These kinds of needs and more come under the umbrella of self-service subscription management. They focus on great experiences, not merely on great subscriptions.

The other important problem the self-service suite of features solves is decrease the internal costs with support for managing subscriptions. Instead of having to answer a ticket every time someone wants a new dog treat in their next subscription, customers can add that by themselves. subscriptionforce.com is the only full-featured extension to the WooCommerce Subscriptions Plugin that increases your recurring revenue exponentially and efficiently by keeping your customers happy and active through Self-service capabilities.

Marius Vetrici

So on the podcast we talk about what the plugin can do, how it works and what you can expect in the future. Here’s some more information from Marius Vetrici and Andrei Haret.

Here’s a snapshot of Subscription Force‘s features:

  • Add new products to active subscriptions.
  • Switch product variations, eg: I want a different coffee size pack delivered.
  • Change product quantities.
  • Pause subscription until specific dates; eg: when going on a vacation.
  • Subscribe and save on your first order.
  • Change subscription frequency.
  • Buy once or subscribe; this is especially powerful for increasing customer LTV.
  • Add products to your next shipment.

Here’s some examples of how Subscription Force might work for you in the real world:

  • Pet food: you have one dog and get another one – then you’ll want more dog food -> increase quantity and maybe frequency.
  • Pet food: your subscription is about to be delivered in 2 days and you just realize you need .another dog treat, but only in the next shipment, not in the ongoing subscription.
  • Coffee: you want a larger coffee bag delivered.
  • Coffee: you get on vacation and want to pause your subscription.

The value proposition is:

subscriptionforce.com is the full-featured extension to the WooCommerce Subscriptions Plugin that increases your recurring revenue exponentially and efficiently by keeping your customers happy and active through self-service capabilities.

Andrei Haret

The benefits that you could experience from Subscription Force are:

  • Increase customer lifetime value; because…
  • Decrease churn; because…
  • Personalize the user experience; for example…
  • Give more flexibility to your customers on subscriptions by…
  • Which will decrease the support costs.
  • Upsell product addons; for example.

DEAL ALERT, 30% off Subscription Force. Use the coupon code ‘wpbuilds’ to get 30% off on any package. The coupon is valid for 3 months, so it runs out on 20th January 2023!

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the Worth Rest community. Now welcome your hosts, David Waumsley, a Nathan Wrigley.

Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Once again, you've. Wait for it. Episode 300 entitled Rethink What WooCommerce Subscriptions Can Do with the Subscription Force Plugin. It was published on Thursday the 20th, October, 2022. My name's Nathan Wrigley and a few bits of housekeeping. Just before we begin, Obviously we're on episode 300.

I'm not gonna make a big song and dance out of it, but there's a few people that I would dearly like to thank. Firstly to you, dear listener. Thank you for listening. If you have been listening for any length of time, thanks for any comments that you've made for joining the Facebook group, for subscribing, for doing anything at all.

I really appreciate that. Also, I'd like to thank our sponsors. We've had many over the years, our current one, GoDaddy Pro, for keeping the whole enterprise going. It's incredibly nice to know that there are companies who will back adventures like WP Builds. And also I'd like to specifically mention a few individuals.

It goes without saying, David Waumsley is in that little list. David does the podcast with me every other week. At the beginning of the podcast, it was just David and I and we did it weekly, and then we moved to a fortnightly schedule. Deep thanks to David for joining me and sticking with me. I really do appreciate it.

Also, a few people over on the, this week in WordPress side of things, that's a show that we do every Monday for many years. Paul Lacey joined me each week, and although I mock him about the fact that he left, I'm deeply grateful for everything that he did. We are very good friends still, so thank you, Paul for all of that, but also the current trench.

Co-host for that show. So we're talking about Michelle Frechette, Jess Frick, Remkus de Vries We've also got Taco Verdenshot in there. We have also got Kathy Zant and Ken Elliott. They've been joining us regularly, so thank you so much to those people as well. I really appreciate it. Let's hope we can get to episode 4, 5, 600 in the future.

Thank you so much. The other thing to mention is that we are not far away from Black Friday as we do. Every year. WP Builds has a dedicated Black Friday page. It's at the incredibly difficult to remember. WP Builds.com/black url. So let me just drum that into you one more time. WP build.com/black. It's a searchable, filterable list of all of the Black Friday deals that we hear about, and as the weeks go by, it grows and grows.

Very often it eclipses two or 300 deals. . If you're a plug-in developer, theme developer, if you're into making blocks and you'd like your deal on there, go to that page and click the big blue button to add your deal and we'll get it on the page if you fill out the form there. Also, on that page, we have some sponsor slots.

At the very top, you'll notice there's a few slots. There's a yellow button, and if you'd like to find out more about sponsorship of that page, feel free to fill in that form. And hopefully get you sponsored on that page. We get quite a lot of traffic, so it may well give your particular product theme, block, whatever it may be, a little bit of a boost over Black Friday. We'd love to have you on board.

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Okay, what have we got on this week? We have episode 300. Again, rethink what Wko subscriptions can do with the subscription force plugin.

I'm joined today by, not one, but two guests. I'm joined by Marus Treche and Andre Hart. They are the co-founders of Subscription Force, and essentially it's a plugin which you bolt on top of WooCom subscriptions and it enables you to do a whole bunch more. Then the regular WooCommerce subscriptions does.

It enables you to start repeat subscriptions, pause subscriptions, and set up a whole host of interesting options. And really they go in depth as to what you can do, and it is really a ton a boatload of functionality. If you're into WooCommerce, if you're into subscriptions, this may very well be an interesting listen for you.

I hope that you enjoy it. I am joined on the podcast today by two fine gentlemen. I have got Marus Treche, and I've got Andre Hatt. Hello guys. Hey, how's it going? Yeah, good. Thank you. We've had a, we've had a little preamble chat, as we usually do before these interviews it's always a bit strange to introduce ourselves again, but there we go.

Nice to have you two guys on the podcast Today. We're here talking about something that I, I. Absolutely convinced we've not covered at all before because we're gonna talk about a product called Subscription Force. Now, as is so often the case, because we're a podcast and we're about to talk, we're going to talk about a plugin and a service and the various things that it can do for you.

If at any point join this podcast, you find yourself scratching your head and thinking, Hang on a minute. Not making too much sense to me. Pause the podcast and go to subscription force.com. It's spelled exactly as you would imagine, subscription force.com. It's all as one word. Pause the podcast, go and check that out, and then come back after you've had a good explore, because then you'll fully know what we're talking about.

So I've got Marus on, I've got Andre on. We've had more Marius on the podcast before, talking about various other different things. But first of all, you guys, I'm gonna take Marus first, would you just give yourselves and our listeners a little brief introduction? Tell us how it is you've come to be associated with WordPress.

So Marus first.

[00:06:39] Marius Vetrici: All right, Thanks Nathan, and thanks for having me and us on the podcast. I started working with WordPress at a deeper level about 10 years ago. I started freelancing and I was initially on. Alto Marketplace, probably nobody ever remembers Alto. It was bought by Godde and then it was closed.

And after one year on La Alto, I moved on to Codeable and that was a really great step on, on Codeable. I was able to grow as a professional. And then later on I was able to grow up a team and currently I'm running and have been running for almost eight years. The WP Riders Agency. . And while working with clients we kept seeing patterns in their demands in relation to the way they use WooCommerce subscriptions.

And after we, we saw again and again, the same demand eventually we said why not just build a plugin? And that's how subscription force was.

[00:07:54] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much. Thanks, Marius. Let's move on. Tore, we obviously know that you're gonna be talking about subscription force, but just like Marius did, just give us a little rundown as to how you got yourself into WordPress.

Hi again, Nathan,

[00:08:06] Andrei Haret: and thanks for having us. Compared to Marius, I'm a newbie to WordPress. Many years I've been just a simple user of WordPress, cms. But I am in marketing for about 14 years and about two, three years ago together with Mario's, we decided to embark on this journey to build some extensions.

Particularly in, in WordPress ecosystem, and this is when I actually got to know better WordPress and especially commerce.

[00:08:50] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you very much indeed. So again, this could be to either of you. I don't really mind who answers any of these questions. How is it that you met, are you from the same part of the world?

Did you collide in a working relationship? Are you friends from childhood? Or how is it that you've actually working together? Where did you.

[00:09:10] Marius Vetrici: That's a great question. We know each other for, since a lifetime. We are cousins and we grew up together. Yeah. I have a great great deal of nice memories.

Oh, about

[00:09:23] Nathan Wrigley: Andre. It's a family thing. That's great. Oh, that's a really nice twist. Okay, let's get into what we are here to talk about today's subscription force. I think it's probably best, rather than me trying to butcher an explanation of what subscription force is I'm gonna hand it over to one of you guys, but I'm just at the outset gonna say, This podcast is not about your normal WooCommerce or WordPress subscription service.

This is about something built on top of that. The very basic question, if you like just outline what subscription force is, what's the problem it's trying to tackle wherever you want to.

[00:10:00] Andrei Haret: I could explain what actually subscription force is and then I'm sure might as well be happy to tell more about the market and the pains and how we got actually to build it.

Subscription force is full featured extension, build full commerce on top of commerce subscription plugin, and it increases online story carding revenue exponentially and efficiently by keeping Customers happy and active through self service capabilities we've built within this

[00:10:35] Nathan Wrigley: extensions.

Okay. Thank you. Mari, have you got anything you want to add to that?

[00:10:40] Marius Vetrici: Yeah. Essentially clients. They can, those who are on a subscription, those who get pet food or coffee on a regular basis, delivered to their door, they can use our plug in this plugin to change the subscription in every way they want.

For example, let's say they, they go on a vacation. Instead of canceling that subscription, they can just pause it until a specific date. When they're back, the subscription just will just automatically resume and keep going. Besides that, they can add new products. They can switch variations like from one coffee size pack to different one.

They can change product quantities, they can switch the subscription frequency and so on. Now, for example, let's say if you. You have a one dog and then eventually you get another one. Obviously, you want more dog food. What do you do? You just go into your subscription, you change the quantity, and maybe you change the frequency from every month to every two weeks and that's it.

No tickets to be opened. It's a self-service thing. Or for another. For example let's say you are seeing your subscription is just about to be delivered in two days and you realize you need another dog, treat. And then what you can do is you can go into the interface of the website that's sending the subscription and throw that dog treat just in the next shipment without having to change the subscription.

And why is this nice and cool? It's because you'll not have to pay the for the shipment two times. You'll only pay once for the shipment, but you will get that product that you need, the dog trade. only in the next shipment without having to actually alter your subscription. So things like that gives you, give you a lot of freedom and flexibility and essentially self-service capabilities.


[00:12:48] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. That's a really nice description of it. I think we need to dig ourselves into the weeds a bit here and understand the points of it all. So the first thing to mention is it's built on top. WooCommerce subscription. So anybody that doesn't know WordPress automatic own a a platform called WooCommerce and it enables you to do eCommerce, but it's pretty bare bones.

On top of that, you can add all sorts of different capabilities, and one of them is WooCommerce subscriptions. And so your plugin subscription force that service requires WooCommerce with WooCommerce subscriptions. Have I got that correct? Yes. You nailed it. Okay. But I'm assuming I'm not being a WooCommerce user myself.

Very occasionally, but not really digging into it too often, I'm assuming that the regular WooCommerce subscriptions plugin does. Very little compared to well, does very little of the things that you are describing. So could you just, one of you take on what are the limitations of Wko subscription?

Is it that it can do none of this stuff? Marus, you just described that if you wanted to, for example, change the amount of coffee you received, you would have to cancel one thing, start all over again. Exactly. Is that the problem? It just doesn't have the capability to change things and make itself.

[00:14:07] Marius Vetrici: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Precisely. So actually you have to go through the whole checkout one more time. And even if you would change, let's say if you would add another product, you'll still have to go through the whole checkout. But it's n just not able to To pose a subscription until a certain date you can't change quantities.

You can't change variations and so on. Okay. It's extremely limited. Okay.

[00:14:40] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, Great. Okay subscription force is trying to tackle all of that. Now, interestingly, both of the examples that you use there, you mentioned dog food and you also mentioned coffee. They're both. Real world products.

So they're, there's something I'm expecting to come through the mail for want of a better word, Something's gonna arrive at my door. Is that primarily where this is pitched? Because my association with subscription is basically online. I have a subscription to Netflix. I have a subscription to all sorts of different things.

Google Drive and things like that. And they're all. Nothing's coming through my door, but it seems from your description that you are aiming this at like real world businesses who are packaging off and shipping things, or maybe that was just a coincidence. And this could equally be tied to online subscriptions coming through WooCommerce subscriptions as

[00:15:37] Marius Vetrici: well.

It would work with both physical as well as virtual, let's say goods. However, our products are aimed at physical products at delivering physical products.

[00:15:52] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, so that's where you are pitching it. Okay. So let's imagine a scenario and let's just stick with the same scenario throughout this podcast as best as we can.

Let's go with the pet food one. You described that. Okay, I'm a dog owner. I have one dog. Let's say that I'm getting a pack of dog food every single week. You are delivering one on a weekly basis, but then something in my life changes. I go on holiday, I. I dunno. I have to look after a second dog.

Or like you described, another dog comes along or, I don't know, maybe I give my dog to somebody for a week. The point being that life isn't always the same every single week. There are variations in my life, and that's what subscription force does. It enables you to accommodate the variety that that I might need from my subscription?

[00:16:43] Marius Vetrici: Yes. That's exactly where it fits in. As life unfolds, you are free to just go in when with a few clicks adapt. Your Your preferences. Yeah. In terms of what are you getting, how frequently, when are you getting charged, maybe your payment, your check payment days have changed and things

[00:17:09] Nathan Wrigley: like that.

Okay. Yeah. So what are the things that I'm able to change? So we've just highlighted the fact that I maybe changed the date that things come on. I maybe change the quantity of things that arrive. The word like pause, I think you mentioned you could pause things for a certain amount of time. Are you able to run through the features that you offer?

Because that feels like the whole point really. That feels like where all the juice of this plugin comes in. The features that you offer, what can be changed and how. Yeah.

[00:17:40] Andrei Haret: Thank you we have a core of self service capabilities, features, which are the customers of the online store. They can add a new product to an active subscription.

They can switch the product variations. For example, if for any reasons you want to change the flavor of the food for your pet you can go and easily just choose another type of package and you'll receive it as you did before just with a. Few clicks. Then as we said you can change the product quantities.

You can pause the subscription until a specific date when you know you'll be available again. Also customers can change their payment date and they can change subscription frequency which also is very handy. And. Feature we think is very cool. You can add a product to just your next shipping.

So you, you imagine, you you want one of treat for your dog. And you don't need it, in your subscription forever. So you can just grab it in the next shipping. And then we have some other features for the admin or store owners. They will get backend notes for every subscription changes.

They need to be updated with everything their customers does do. And then. Another very useful one which will sure increase the recurring revenue of the online stores is buy once or subscribe, basically with a couple of clicks from the backend, you can turn any standalone product into a subscription.

So if, you know there are some products which customers are buying regular you can turn them into a subscription products so they can, keep receiving, feeding them. And you also will have a regarding revenue based on that. And one more which will help upsell more products.

It's a free shipping progress bar. Which the admins can configure in the backend setting a total sum for the card. And once customers add more products, they will visually see how this progress bar is. Progressing. And once they reach to the to the sum and they fill in the entire bar they will be they will receive free shipping.

So basically these the features we currently have for sure, we are planning to release more. This features are separated into. Packages basic, advanced and professional. And also we thought and build a package for agencies and freelancers, which include all the features and you can use them on 50 websites.

You have basically 50 licenses. Okay.

[00:21:22] Nathan Wrigley: That's what we got. Yeah. Let's dig down into that because you went through that list really quick and gave us a great 10,000 foot explanation for each one. But I wanna dig down a little bit if that's all right into most of those. So the first one you mentioned is the ability to add products.

I guess that's a given, you want to be able to visit a website and say, Okay, let's stick with the example. Pets and dog food and all of that. I wanna come to your website example.com, and I wanna be able to quickly throw things into a cart and so on and so forth. But you also say that you'd be able to, on the fly, add product variations.

So you mention there that. If I wanted the superior dog food, I could do a few weeks on the superior dog food and then go back to my traditional dog food, change the flavor from fish to beef or whatever it might be. Terrible examples. I do apologize, but all of that can be done on the flight.

My customer, I'm the store owner. My customer can log into their account and just do this whenever they want.

[00:22:31] Marius Vetrici: I just do wanna. Yes as a customer, they are free to do that day or night whenever they want. Without any intermediary, without a shop owner having to poke their fingers into the subscriptions without opening tickets, without any kind of waiting.

They just, yeah. This is,

[00:22:55] Nathan Wrigley: It sounds so obvious when you say it, but at the moment, That kind of capability isn't really there, is it? It's really a case of waiting until what I've got either expires or canceling and then begin the whole process again in this, because this just feels like the whole thing feels like a massive upsell.

What I mean by that is you're just creating incredible convenience. For customers and obviously, hopefully for store owners as well, the fact that I can come and just make those changes on the fly, that really I hope would create some kind of stickiness between me, the customer. And you, the store owner.

That really feels like the, the whole premise. You're giving me choices. Choices that I would have on the high street. I could wander down the high street on any day of the week and choose whatever kind of food I want, but you are making that easy for me to do from my laptop, from my mobile phone, and that.

That's really great. Obviously you mentioned that you can change the quantity, for the next week I want two instead of one. You mentioned that you could pause things, so I want a couple of weeks off. How does this all work in terms of billing? So let's say for example, I'm paying the pet website.

I don't know. Let's go for a hundred dollars a month. How do we, how does it calculate things in terms of, if I pause it for a week, does it have to get to the end of the current week before it starts to pause it? Or can I pause it from tomorrow or from the moment that I've done it and if I change the quantities?

When does all that begin? What I'm trying to figure out here is how do you fiddle with the pricing based upon all of these multitude of changes that you can. Yeah.

[00:24:36] Marius Vetrici: Yeah, that's a great question. So about the posing is you have a certain, as a customer, you have a certain billing cycle. Let's say it's every every month.

And if you pose a subscription, and if, let's say your card charge, your billing should. During that pause, you will just not get charged and your package will not get sent. After your pause is done, the subscription will resume and the cycle will be kept. So let's say if you have been billed every on the 10th of every month and you skipped one, one billing and one shipment because.

Between the fifth and the 15th of that month, you've been on a vacation and your subscription was posed. Then the next month on the 15th, you will get charged again. Ah,

[00:25:36] Nathan Wrigley: okay. So it's taking that 10 days and it's adding it on to the next month. So it's instead of beginning on the fifth, that's beginning on the 15th.

Let me I probably mis messed up the numbers. So let's say I am getting build. On every 10th of the month, and it's January 10th and in February I decide to take a vacation between February 5th and 15 on. So then in FE on February 15, I will not get charged. And then on March 15th I will get charged again and on it on April 15th.

[00:26:11] Marius Vetrici: So we are not adding anything, we just keep the same billing date again and again. And if it's, suppose we just skip.

[00:26:20] Nathan Wrigley: Got it. Okay. But basically from the perspective of somebody owning a sh owning a store I'm gonna be buying your plugin primarily to, to make it so that my customers have got loads more options.

There's just tons more options. It's gonna make it sticky. And in the current economic climate where everybody's trying to tighten their belts, hopefully, you know you're gonna retain customer. By offering all of these different variations maybe you're gonna keep them on a lower tier of whatever it is, but you're gonna keep them, and I'm going to assume that you take care of all the finance on the back end.

Is there any sort of complicated, weird stuff that I need to know about as a store owner? As an example, when I set up a subscription with something like Netflix, I'm enter into, I'm entering. Binding agreement. I get an email and it tells me what the expectations are, how much I'm gonna be charged, and then every month they're gonna give me an email to say, You are about to be charged.

You have just been charged, and all that kind of stuff. I guess that your plugin takes care of all of that. Does it send out, emails to alert people that their subscription has been updated in case it was an accident, and when their next billing is gonna be? Handle all of that?


[00:27:32] Marius Vetrici: The answer is three s to all of those. Nice. When a subscription gets updated, a couple of things happen automatically. Number one, the total gets updated. And further to this, things like taxes, they get recalculated. And further to this the billing. Let's say if you change the quantity from five to two and instead of $100, your subscription is now $40, then the.

Subscription total will be automatically recalculated from 100 to 40 on the spot and the next order, and the next car charge will be for $40. And every time a subscri, you as a customer, you update a subscription you get an email letting you know. That, Hey you've done this. You've done that on the subscription, and at the same time, the admin will see a backend note on the subscription.

It's a regular WooCommerce backend Note that you can see on the right in the sidebar. Okay,

[00:28:38] Nathan Wrigley: so there is a paper trail, for want of a better word, right inside the WooCommerce website, which alerts me as the store owner that something has been amended. Do I, as the store owner also receive updates? Is there an option for me to say, Hey store owner, somebody's downgraded their subscription, or somebody's upgraded.

Do I get that or do I have to log in and look at the notifications inside the.

[00:29:03] Marius Vetrici: Yes, you will see that in the admin, in the backend notification system. Currently there's no, no email going out for this

[00:29:12] Nathan Wrigley: part. Okay? Okay. And I do this buy once and subscribe option. That's got me intrigued.

So this is the ability for a store owner to basically turn any product. Obviously, the limitations are. Whatever the product is if you're selling cars it, maybe there's not quite a subscription model there. I dunno, Maybe you could rent the cars out, but the point being that you could take any product which is currently in your inventory and turn it into a subscription model.

With all of the different things that you've just mentioned.

[00:29:44] Marius Vetrici: Yes. But you would be surprised. People are selling t-shirts on the

[00:29:49] Nathan Wrigley: subscription, a regular delivery of T-shirts. Of course, yeah. , of

[00:29:53] Marius Vetrici: course. People are selling water, playing steal water on a subscription. Pampers For babies?

Yeah. And so on.

[00:30:03] Nathan Wrigley: The, I guess the thing here is if you've got the capability to do this, it might just be worth having a punt on it. It might just be worth giving it a try and seeing, do people want a regular subscription to t-shirts? Do people want a regular. Subscription to whatever it may be.

And it may be surprising because to me, the world is turning into a subscription service. Since the advent of the internet, things, which I never, ever imagined I would subscribe to, are now subscription based. I used to buy CDs. I don't buy CDs anymore. I don't buy vinyl. It's all Spotify and I just subscribe.

And this could be repeated for hundreds of different things. Lots of people are subscribing to meal services in the UK where you pay a monthly fee and every month a, a package of food, which you've still got to cook, arrives, and you know the premises, there's less waste cuz you just get exactly what you need and nothing else.

And it does feel like the world is turning into a subscription model. So if you've got a WooCommerce store, maybe. Maybe it's just worth having a look through your inventory to see. Yeah that's quite interesting. T-shirts. Yeah.

[00:31:13] Marius Vetrici: I would start by just asking two or three customers of my store.

First I would look at the data, do I have repeat purchases? And then if those are irregular, that would probably, Talk to two or three customers. Just have a chat with them like 20, 30 minutes about the product, did they like the product and so on. And then touch upon this recurring thing because a subscription, it's a very convenient thing for the customer if they're buying again and again, the same thing irregularly.

Then just by merely knowing that the stuff will come to their door without them having to think about it, without them having to pull up their card and given the fact given, assuming they, they actually need that stuff. Having the subscription in place is, it's very convenient. Now, with this feature by one so subscribe, you can actually do a bit more, You can go one step further in order to entice customers to go on a repeat per chase basically.

And this is a feature in the plugin use as a shop owner, you can configure certain discounts. For the customers, for when they are subscribing? No. For example, if I buy a product for $100 it's a once, one time per purchase, but if I subscribe to that product, then I'm going to get a 10% discount.

Oh, nice. Yeah. And you can immediately see the discount right there. It's like a radio button. Switch between then and hey, am I willing to pay $100, or what if I just subscribe because I'm I'm buying this product anyway. Then I'll just get $10 off. Every order. Can I

[00:33:11] Nathan Wrigley: ask a question about that?

Because immediately my, my, my sort of cheap skate head is thinking, I bet I know what happens. I bet loads of people will subscribe, get the $10 off and then pause it. What I'm saying is, are there any things built into that to prevent people from abusing the 10% off that you've just offer?


[00:33:35] Marius Vetrici: customers haven't seen that, that pattern. Great. And we Oh, I'm pleased to hear it. Yeah, we have a handful of, we have a few, I think probably crossed close to 200 people using this particular feature by once to subscribe. 200 stores. Yeah. And. We just didn't get this complaint. Oh,

[00:33:57] Nathan Wrigley: that's good.

Yeah, that's nice. That's good. And then the other, the very last thing, which you mentioned, and then we'll get onto your packages and pricing and you can describe the benefits back to us as well because we haven't really dug into that, is this free shipping progress bar. And the way that Andre described it was that the more things that I add into my basket, I have a use, I have a shop store, configurable.

Free purchase, sorry. Free shipping option. And let's say that I've set the threshold at, I dunno if you subscribe to a hundred dollars worth of stuff each month from us, we're gonna ship all of it out for free. Is that the idea? That I would see, I've added $20. The progress bar slides up 20%. I'm up to $80.

It's on 80%. In other words, it's like a, it's just encouraging people to go that little bit further to get the things shipped for free. That's neat.

[00:34:45] Marius Vetrici: It's even. Even switches the color from red to green. And then

[00:34:51] Nathan Wrigley: you what point

[00:34:54] Marius Vetrici: when you hit the threshold then Oh, nice. Yeah. And then you get like a happy message saying free shipping unlocked.

[00:35:01] Nathan Wrigley: These kind of things though. I really do think that, I mean we're recording this at the end of 20, not quite at the end, towards the latter part of 2022. I dunno what it's like where you are, Marus and I dunno what it's like where you are, Andre, but in the UK really everybody is cutting down on their spending.

They are trying to. Find savings, wherever savings are to be made. And so all of these little options, especially things like the pauses as opposed to cancel they just they just speak volumes for the kind of environment that we're in. If you can retain a customer just because you've offered the capability to say, Look, you can have this, but will, you can pause it for as long as you like.

That just seems like such a credible thing to have at the. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:35:47] Marius Vetrici: It's very handy and yeah, very useful. But speaking about the progress bar, I've seen my wife so many times buying some books and then going around the house asking my children and asking myself, Hey, do you need any more books, , I need two more to money.

Yeah. To get free

[00:36:05] Nathan Wrigley: shipping. Yeah. And if the shipping is an expensive part of the deal, if it's, if it, if adding one extra thing, reduces the, in other words, if the shipping is cheaper than the last object that you need to put in, then that's the point. Exactly. Yeah. You might as well have the last thing in.

Okay. So tell us about the benefits. Obviously we've, we, I think this question might, I dunno who's gonna tackle this. Maybe it's Andre, maybe it's Mars. But


[00:36:31] Andrei Haret: Before the benefits, if I can jump in a note if I remember right. Being customers are not allowed to pause forever.

Because Nathan mentioned that

[00:36:47] Marius Vetrici: oh yeah, you're right. We got somebody asking us, Hey, can you limit that time window? So that people will only pause within a certain interval in for these days, I think, Yeah. Into the future. So they can't basically pause the subscription until the next year.

Okay. Okay.

[00:37:09] Nathan Wrigley: So there's a, Yeah. Is that user configurable? So as a store owner, could I say they can pause for a month or five days or two? No. That's a fixed time

[00:37:16] Marius Vetrici: window. Okay.

[00:37:16] Nathan Wrigley: That's a fixed time window. Okay. So it basically just stops people. Abusing the system there. Just having something set up but never making any use.

Small thing. Yeah. Got it. Got it. Okay. Thank you Andre. That was good. Good interjection. Let's go to the benefits then, because whilst we've been listening and I've been trying to figure out the benefits for myself and highlight them as I saw fit, it's probably best to to hear it from the horse's mouth.

So whichever one of you is gonna go through the benefits, list them off as you see them. Yeah.

[00:37:44] Andrei Haret: Generally we see one of the biggest benefits of of our product as increasing the customer lifetime value of of customers. Of your customers. And this is done by. Small benefits.

So for example, the self-service capabilities will give more flexibility to the customers. They will feel, empowered, they will feel in control. And I think this is something very important now when usually you have, to do something with just. One click and then when you want to change it a simple thing like let's say, increase the quantity or decrease the quantity and you would expect, you can just tap on a arrow up or down, but Actually you have to, I dunno, write a ticket to the support or maybe cancel your current subscription and create a new one.

And it becomes frustrating. So these self-service capabilities we talked about they empower customers and they spend less time managing their subscriptions and actually in return, this is a win benefit because not just customer. Feel empowered. But also they write less support tickets, right?

So this is right less work for the support team. So you have as a owner, you spend less money for your team. And then. Less friction of course, and better user experience will decrease your turn. As you mentioned it's better to have somebody pause a subscription than, cancel it, and then you never know will they return back or not to you.

So all these small things they add out into a a better and increased customer lifetime value. Which we see also what we already mentioned, like other benefits are the upselling of products. For example, with a free shipping bar. And of course you you can turn one of revenue.

Recurring revenue using features the by one or subscribe feature. So these are the main benefits store owners will receive just by using. Our extension, which we

[00:40:27] Nathan Wrigley: think is great. Yeah I think the piece that you said at the beginning there about it was all around giving sort of agency to the customer.

And whilst that feels it may be not such a big deal to me that would make a really big difference. That, the example I'm thinking here is Netflix. So I dunno how it works in. The part of the world where you live, you can upgrade it and you can downgrade it and it, you can do it literally instantly.

You just log in on your phone and, you decide that you're gonna, I don't know, the family's intending to watch a bit more and you wanna see it in higher quality cuz you've got a better telly or something like that. You just click a button and. Boom. It's just so straightforward and simple.

And I think the same is the case here. You, if you've got a, if you've got the capability to do all of these things, as you said, you're gonna be able to decrease churn, hopefully keep customers sticking around for a bit longer. They get the feeling that they can configure what it is that you are doing.

And I do the fact. That you can add into the subscription. So rather than it just being dog food it could be dog food, cat food treats, Everything could be rolled into one subscription, and I could modify that every single month depending on what I was planning to do. It just feels Yeah, it just gives agency to the customers that are coming to the store.

I'm hoping, and I'm sure that you're gonna tell me that this is the case, but I'm hoping that all of this, as you've described it, it sounds wonderful. Is it fairly straightforward for a Woo commerce store owner? Is it pretty straightforward to get this soft set up? Do you have tutorials and a knowledge base to help me if I decide to go for this and set it up with the store?

I've currently. We do

[00:42:16] Marius Vetrici: have an onboarding video that would appear right after you, you install the plugin. We have a presentation video on the website. There's a knowledge base on our website. There's an faq and it has been most, probably most importantly, It has been designed to work out of the box.

It's the Apple , the Mac for newcomer subscription. It just, you turn it on and then it works. And then if you need to adjust some settings here and there. Sure you can go into the settings, but otherwise it just works.

[00:42:56] Nathan Wrigley: So you've got some fairly sensible defaults that would work for most people.

And then there's a settings page and you can go in and adjust what's needed. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Dare I ask , are you using subscription force on the subscription force.com website?

[00:43:12] Marius Vetrici: That's a great question. We use a different system for licensing because of WooCommerce. Subscriptions. Doesn't manage licensing.

No activations, and that's why we,

[00:43:24] Nathan Wrigley: You need something like Ed d or something like that. Don't we use free use? Ah, yes. Yes. Yes, of course. Okay, let's talk about the future and then finally we'll talk about the pricing. Give us an indication of, obviously you've described all of the different things that is capable of doing right now.

You alluded and hinted that there will be some other things that you were planning into the future, but are you able to able to give us a bit of an insight into what's

[00:43:46] Marius Vetrici: planned? So we are looking into eventually integrating the plugin with commerce payments as. Because Commerce payments provides subscription capabilities as well, and it is free.

The downsides to this is commerce payments is only available in the US for now. Yeah. But it's something that will expand the market. We will keep developing new features for the eCommerce business in general. And yeah. Andre, if you want to add anything to this, We have a

bunch of coming soon features on our pricing page.

[00:44:32] Andrei Haret: But we are still in the face of, customer discovery. We are trying right now to focus on what we developed. We are selling it and looking into feedback, and we want to see. Like how much does the market resonate with what we thought we should add to the packages. For example, we have staff plan, like subscription cancellation reasons, so the online store, it means could get the reason behind why somebody canceled and then maybe they can.

Fix that problem. Or for example, subscribe and save on your first order. I think that the name is self explanatory. Or for example, create your own mix and match subscription boxes and so on and so forth. Like we, we have couple of them. But again, I'm pretty sure this year we'll focus on what we've got so far.

And then on the next year, we'll analyze all the data, all the feedback, and decide what's the, our roadmap for

[00:45:42] Nathan Wrigley: next year. I always think it's quite nice when you get in on something early and you have the cap capability because it hasn't grown to the point where support is. You're basically just dealing with a company which is so large that they haven't got time to listen to their customers anymore.

If you get in early, like you are suggesting you have an opportunity at this point to. To influence what the plugin's gonna be doing in the near future, maybe next year. Yeah, jump on board. Speaking of jumping on board, you mentioned earlier three packages, and obviously that's bound to pricing as well as features.

Do you wanna just run through that again? You mentioned basic, advanced, professional, and then there was an agent. C tier, are you offering different amounts of sites for that, or does the price only include one site and are you offering different features? Just run through the whole range of what it is that the different tiers offer.

Sure. So

[00:46:38] Andrei Haret: we have the basic advanced and professional effects, which each one of them are for, has a license for one website. It's for one single use. And then only the agency and freelancers is for 50 websites. Do you wanna tap also into

[00:46:58] Nathan Wrigley: the prices? Yeah. So I'll just quickly run through the prices and then if you could tell us what the difference is.

So they, they're all for one site except the agency one. But se at the minute, Kaga mTOR may change at the minute it's seven $80. Let's say it's 1 cent off $80 for the basic one, it's a hundred dollars 99 99. For advanced and then 1 41 3 9 99 for the professional. But what's the difference between those?

If they all do one site? There must be different features brought to. Sure.

[00:47:28] Andrei Haret: So we've got in the basic package, we have five features. Add new product to active subscriptions, which product variations change product quantities for subscription until a specific date and backend node for subscription changes.

And then this is the first one which you can start with. Then the next one, the advanced one will of course include all the features mentioned in the basic pack. And on top of that, you'll get buy one, subscribe, change the payment date, and change a subscription frequency. If you need more like on top of that with a professional.

You'll get add products to your next shipping and the free shipping progress bar we talked about. So this is how the features are separated. Got it. And you get more and more with each

[00:48:25] Nathan Wrigley: bag. Okay. Yeah, it's interesting pricing cuz often you see pricing based upon the number of installs. This one. There's three different tiers, and if you want the full suite, you're gonna be on the professional one, but if some of those features are not required for you, then you can be on the basic or the advance.

Okay? So it occurs to me that the prices that I've just read out for to you are not going to be the prices that you are gonna get, but dear listener, The the guys over at subscription force ha have found a way of making it unbelievably even cheaper because the price that I've just mentioned is going to be expired by the time that this podcast airs.

However if my mental maths is up to anything, the prices that I've just mentioned, you are gonna be able to get that cheaper if you use the coupon code WP Builds, cuz you're gonna get 30% off. Think that the 30% of it's gonna be cheaper than the new higher rate that you're gonna put in.

Anyway, that coupon code is gonna be valid for three months. So that's WP Builds and we'll talk with Marus and Andre to make sure that that it expires three months, hopefully after the podcast airs. But yeah, so 30% off. Hopefully you'll be able to get it a little bit cheaper. I think that I have covered everything that I want to cover, but I'm always conscious that maybe I asked too few questions or the wrong kinds of questions.

Marius or Andre, anything we missed? Anything you wanted to cover? Marius, do you

[00:49:51] Andrei Haret: want to mention the Philip?

[00:49:54] Marius Vetrici: We can do that. Go for it. Yes. Yes. We do have an affiliate program, but just to close on the pricing discussion, we are trying. Fairly interesting thing. You can see it everywhere. You mentioned Netflix, but in the WordPress space, it's not that widely used.

We're going to offer our plugin with monthly prices as well. Oh, nice. Yeah. They aren't listed yet on the website. But if you press the buy now button, you already get into the checkout popup, you'll get the two prices, the monthly ending annually. Okay. Yeah. Essentially the annual the monthly prices.

Divide are the yearly prices divided by 10

[00:50:42] Nathan Wrigley: for now. Okay. All right. Okay. Thank you. That's good. Now onto the affiliate scheme. You've got a, you've got a system. If anybody's listening to this and they fancy, pitching your product to their audience. How do we sign up to all of that?

What's it all about?

[00:50:57] Marius Vetrici: Yeah. We have an affiliate program and we do pay. 20% commissions for each sale that you refer. And in order to sign up to this program, please go to the subscri subscription fors.com website. Scroll down to the bottom, and there's a link called the Fill eight program.

Where it says quick links, basically in the footer menu, you just Yeah, I got it. Click on that one. Yeah. Yeah. If you have a community, if you have a newsletter, if you have something related to WooCommerce or to commerce subscriptions. . I'm sure your audience will find this very very useful and for you might be a pretty lucrative


[00:51:47] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, if that's the case, I think we've covered subscription force. As I said, go and check it out is subscription force.com. If you've got any comments that you want to leave, please do we'll make sure that Marus and Andre get their hands on any of those comments. And for now, guys, all the best.

I hope it's a successful product in the near. And long term. But thanks for coming on the podcast, both Marus and Andre. Cheers. Cheers. Thanks for the opportunity. I hope that you enjoyed that. Very nice to chat with Marus and Andre, all about subscription force and the way in which it can improve your WooCommerce subscription powered website.

Loads of different options. And if you've got anything you want to add to that, there's a couple of places. Head over to WP Builds and search for episode. Wait for it 300 and give us a comment there. Alternatively, go to our Facebook group, wp build.com/facebook, and you can leave us a comment there by searching for episode number 300 as well.

The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by GoDaddy Pro. GoDaddy Pro, the home of managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain ssl and 24 7. Bundle that with The Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients, and get 30% off new purchases. You can find out more by going to go.me forward slash WP Builds. And we do thank GoDaddy Pro for their continuing support of the WP Builds podcast.

Couple of things to mention just before we go. The first one is that this coming Tuesday, so that would be Tuesday the 25th of October, I'm going to be having one of our monthly ui UX sessions with Peach and Mary.

She dissects some websites, which our user submitted and gives them a bit of information, gives them a bit of a critique from her expertise being a I X specialist. And if you'd like your website to get one of those free critiques, you can go to WP Builds.com forward slash ui. And submit your url.

We're also looking for some dark patterns, things on the web where you think things have been done for nefarious purposes. They're trying to trick you into doing things cuz we're gonna try to feature those over the weeks as well. The other thing to mention would be our Black Friday page, WP Builds.com forward slash black.

Go and bookmark that and use it as your resource for Black Friday. All WordPress things, and if you've got a deal that you want to put on there, use the blue button and if you'd like to sponsor that page and get your products noticed, use the yellow buttons. Okay. That's it. That's all I've got for you this week.

We'll see you next week, hopefully, perhaps for the this week in WordPress show. That's on Monday, 2:00 PM uk time, wp build.com/live. If we don't see you there, maybe we'll be back next week for a podcast episode with David Waumsley. Stay. Have a good week. I'm gonna fade in some cheesy birthday music considering we're on episode. Wait for it... 300.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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