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Managing successful online communities

Matt

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.

Almost.

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.

Front-subscriptions.thumb.jpg.6ce76dcc29f9ccbdace522e2483b0b1a.jpg

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.

Front-upgrade.thumb.jpg.cecac51c6062adcd332d99b5dec38d89.jpg

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.

Front-user-menu.thumb.jpg.fed49cdef53f724d9b1619684e68c590.jpg

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.

Profile-badge.thumb.jpg.ac64c4a78718e6c05ca21b55d20387d9.jpg

 

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.

Widget.thumb.jpg.04766f3435726706feb248c9bb2ec479.jpg

 

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.

ACP-Packages.thumb.jpg.9824eae5f230d629991d3f27d1070653.jpg

 

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

ACP-Subscribers.thumb.jpg.a15c11f8fc8acf7f3ff967be494db162.jpg

 

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.

ACP-Add-member.thumb.jpg.1b5f8f3ec88963e866a53d65cfb80732.jpg

 

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.

ACP-Form.thumb.jpg.678d420cf2310882eed95223d4fbb2e6.jpg

 

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

ACP-Settings.thumb.jpg.3422e642c330199a57324a89fc331f64.jpg

 

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

Comments

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Question about coupons - say I wanna have a coupon only for the subscriptions and not for any other products. Can I set that somehow?
I could not find that possibility at the moment.

 

Or... a coupon only for one of the subscriptions?

Edited by GabijaCiju
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While I like the idea, is there anyway it can be linked to products that are purchased. As we run membership packs we have to do it through the store, but having a subscription package which can the relate to a store product and update the user would be a nice touch.

I don't feel that Subscriptions has had much thought into it, be great to be able to expand on this new feature.

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On 5/1/2018 at 5:01 PM, americanwx said:

Ok, so what about trial periods?  Have the user purchase with a card or paypal and give them up to however many days to cancel before the transaction is made?  

Yes please!

Would love to have this!

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On 5/6/2018 at 11:05 PM, sbr said:

Is Paypal Billing agreements not available for Subscription Plans?

@Matt I see this is fixed in 4.3.2, great!

However when upgrading a subscription the redirect has a couple of typos:

/index.php?app=nexus&module=subscriptons&controller=subscriptons

So it's giving error code: 2S100/6

Upgrading also does not work unless "Any" payment method is checked. Selecting specific methods result in 

#4X196/3
We are unable to process your purchase. Please contact us for assistance.

Lastly I would prefer another upgrade option where the full price is paid instead of a difference or no price.

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I was hoping to have the subscription page now showing the full payment incl. tax, sadly it's still presented without tax....

Edit, maybe this was fixed need to investigate further if another commerce error gets fixed.

Edited by Ramsesx
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Also, canceling a subscription paid with Paypal Billing does not seem to cancel the billing agreement. Meaning the payments will still be processed but the subscription will expire.

Edited by sbr
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7 hours ago, sbr said:

@Matt I see this is fixed in 4.3.2, great!

However when upgrading a subscription the redirect has a couple of typos:

/index.php?app=nexus&module=subscriptons&controller=subscriptons

So it's giving error code: 2S100/6

Upgrading also does not work unless "Any" payment method is checked. Selecting specific methods result in 

#4X196/3
We are unable to process your purchase. Please contact us for assistance.

Lastly I would prefer another upgrade option where the full price is paid instead of a difference or no price.

 

6 hours ago, sbr said:

Also, canceling a subscription paid with Paypal Billing does not seem to cancel the billing agreement. Meaning the payments will still be processed but the subscription will expire.

If you need assistance with member subscriptions, please open a support ticket.

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