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4.3: Commerce Subscription Manager

We've recently spoken about how we've brought our Gallery and Blog apps up to date with interface overhauls to bring them inline with the high standards our customers expect.

Keeping this in mind, we're thrilled to announce that we've taken Commerce right back to 2009.

This needs an explanation.

Way back in 2009, Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President. Minecraft was put into beta, Slumdog Millionaire was released to critical praise and we had a product called IP.Subscriptions.

IP.Subscriptions was a lightweight member subscriptions manager that allowed members to purchase elevated permissions via a user group upgrade.

It was a fine little app. However, on the horizon we had a brand new eCommerce app in development. Then called Nexus, now called Commerce (we took months to come up with that).

It made sense for us to merge the products into one app given they both had overlapping functionality. They both could create packages to promote members to a new user group. Commerce was much more developed as an invoicing and billing system.

Everyone was happy.


Commerce has grown to be an incredibly powerful app. It can sell anything from physical products like t-shirts, to digital products such as license keys and it can even manage your hosting set-up.

We use it for our support and billing systems, so we know how robust it is.

While it's an incredibly powerful commerce system, setting up basic subscriptions packages became a little more complex.

Over the past few years we've received a lot of feedback on this.

We've listened.

Commerce Member Subscriptions
We've built a brand new section into Commerce specifically for membership subscriptions.

Let's take a look at this in more detail.

On the front end, there's a very clear and easy to understand page for membership subscriptions.


The main subscriptions interface

Here you can see all the available packages, which one you're currently subscribed to and the upgrade and downgrade options.


A simple way to upgrade

There's several choices for costing upgrades in the Admin CP, here we have chosen to charge the difference between packages.


Get to your subscriptions easily

Your subscriptions are easily found in the user menu.

If the Admin allows, the package you're subscribed to appears as a badge on your profile.



There's also a little widget showing the packages which you can drag and drop to the sidebar for an additional prompt for non-subscribers.



This gives Invision Community a very clear and easy to understand interface for subscriptions which lives outside of the Commerce store and its packages.

Now, let's dive into the Admin CP
The main engine for this feature is the package list. This is in a separate area within Commerce.



The list also shows the number of currently active and inactive subscribers. This links to the list of subscribers.



Other than Bob having a total nightmare, you can easily view which members are currently active. The buttons link you to the Commerce invoice and purchase.

If you wish to add a member to a subscription without charging them (you generous soul, you), then that is easily possible.



Creating a new subscription package is very straight forward. We've built a new form which is stripped down to the fundamental items you'll need for a subscription.



As you would expect, there are several settings to control the system.



A few things worth mentioning here:

  • You can force new members to purchase a subscription on sign-up
  • You can show or hide the profile badge indicating which package they purchased.
  • You can choose to allow upgrades or downgrades.
  • You can choose how you'd like to charge for upgrades or downgrades

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback over the years. We're really pleased to present this new feature and hope that it'll make your daily lives just a little easier.

Let us know what you think!


Edited by Matt

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