Subscription Pricing

Last modified July 13, 2018

This article applies to Contextual Commerce. (Looking for Classic Commerce documentation?)

This article discusses how to set up pricing, billing frequency, and other options for subscriptions. You can access the Pricing dialog for a subscription by clicking the Pricing field on the subscription's details.

Example of a subscription's detail page with the Pricing field highlighted

  1. The Subscription Type section of the window lets you configure options regarding the subscription duration and frequency of billings.

    The Subscription Type section of the Pricing dialog

    1. The Standard option at the top of the section is selected by default. This will be used for all subscriptions that have automatic billings. If you select Managed, the subscription billings will not occur automatically, but you will have the option of triggering each charge manually or via an API call. For more information about managed subscriptions, please see Managed Subscriptions and Usage-Based Billing.
    2. Charge Interval lets you control how often billings will occur if the Subscription Type is Standard. Click the drop-down and select how often the purchaser will be billed.
    3. In the Free Trial Days field, you can optionally enter a number of days following the transaction date during which the purchaser will not be charged for the transaction. If you enter a value here, the purchaser will have to enter payment information (e.g. a credit card) even though no charge will occur initially. The transaction will initially be free to the purchaser and a charge will only occur after the specified duration has passed.
    4. In the Length section, specify whether the subscription billings will continue indefinitely (e.g. until cancellation or a failed billing has occurred), or only for a pre-defined number of billings. Rebill indefinitely is selected by default, but if you select Rebill for X periods, you can enter a number to specify the total number of charges that will occur (including the first charge).

      When would you use a fixed number of Rebill periods?

      Suppose the product is offered with a payment plan. Purchasers are allowed to make several payments instead of paying a single price up front, but once they have made the pre-defined number of payments, the product or license is theirs perpetually and no more payments are required. For example, if you wanted to collect 12 monthly payments of $19.95 each rather than a single payment for $199.95, you could make it easier for customers to afford the product while earning more revenue in the longer-term from customers who choose this option.

      You could set this up by specifying a Standard subscription with a Monthly Charge Interval, any number of optional Free Trial Days, and the Rebill for X periods field set to 12.

    5. If you are participating in the beta test for the Advanced Subscription Scheduling feature, selecting Rebill for X periods will present with a drop-down selector to let you control what happens after the final billing.

        Click here for an example
      The Pricing dialog of a subscription, with Rebill for selected
      • If you want the subscription to end and be deactivated after the final billing, leave the default value of stop selected.

      • If you want the subscription to automatically renew into a different subscription product (e.g. with a different price, charge interval, or number of billings), select then renew into different product. The Renew Into field will appear and you will be able to specify the subscription product into which subscriptions will renew following the final billing period. For more details about this feature, please see Advanced Subscription Scheduling.

  2. The Notifications section of the window lets you control when e-mail notifications will be sent to purchasers prior to each billing and in the event that a payment is overdue.
    1. Send payment reminder - Selecting this check box causes pre-billing reminder email messages to be sent to the purchaser. It also causes the field configuration to change, to provide you with options for controlling exactly when pre-billing reminders will be sent. Enter the number of days, weeks, months or years in advance of each scheduled payment that reminder messages will be sent, and then click the drop-down selector and specify the corresponding unit of time measurement (DaysWeeksMonths or Years). The default value is 1 Day.

      Send payment reminder check box, selected with options displayed

      Important note about payment reminders

      It is strongly recommended that you enable payment reminders. In some jurisdictions, sending advance notice of new charges may be required. In addition, sending payment reminders may help reduce the occurrence of disputes and chargebacks from purchasers who would otherwise have forgotten about the subscription, and might be taken by surprise when an automatic charge appears on their payment account.
    2. Send payment overdue notification - If you select this check box, email messages will be sent to purchasers whose subscription payments have failed. The purpose of these messages, by default, is to give purchasers a chance to resolve the payment issue before the subscription is cancelled. Selecting this check box also causes the field configuration to change, to provide you with options for controlling exactly when payment overdue messages will be sent. In addition, the Cancellation section below will take into consideration the values entered here. Enter how often these messages will be sent by specifying the frequency and unit of time measurement (e.g. Every 2Weeks). You can also control the total number of notices that will be sent before the subscription is eventually canceled automatically. The default values are to send notifications every 2 Weeks for 5 times total.

      Send payment overdue notification check box, selected with options
  3. The Cancellation section of the window lets you control how long a purchaser's subscription can remain active following a declined billing - or following a series of payment overdue notification email messages.
    1. If you have not selected to Send payment overdue notification messages above, enter the number of days, weeks, months or years that the subscription will remain active following the failed payment, and then click the drop-down selector and specify the corresponding unit of time measurement (DaysWeeksMonths or Years). The default value is 2 Weeks.

      Cancellation section of the Pricing popup window
    2. If you have selected the option to Send payment overdue notification messages above, enter the number of days, weeks, months or years that the subscription will remain active following the last payment overdue notification, and then click the drop-down selector and specify the corresponding unit of time measurement (DaysWeeksMonths or Years). The default value is 2 Weeks.

      Cancellation section with Send payment overdue notification selected above


  4. In the Unit Price field, enter the amount to be billed in each transaction, in at least the field of the base currency for your Store (usually USD).

    Unit Price section of the Pricing popup window

    1. The currency fields available here are based on the configure for your Store (not a Storefront).
    2. Prices entered in USD will have sales tax added to them where appropriate, based on the purchaser's location.
    3. Prices entered in EUR will have VAT deducted from them where appropriate, based on the purchaser's location, so be sure to enter a price large enough to offset the expected average VAT amount. Purchasers in countries with VAT will pay only the price specified in EUR; VAT will not be added to the purchaser's order subtotal. Instead, the VAT amount will be deducted from the amount your account earns for the transaction.

      Beta Testing Note

      Net pricing mode--in which non-U.S. taxes are added to your specified non-USD product prices rather than deducted from them–is now available in beta testing. If you would like to participate in the beta test, please see our article Gross Pricing Mode vs. Net Pricing Mode for Non-U.S. Taxes.
    4. Any currency field left blank here will still be available to customers who select their country via the Country and Language selector on the Storefront (unless you have chosen to suppress the selector on your Storefront), via automatic currency conversion.
    5. See Currencies, Conversions and Taxes for more information about currencies, automatic conversions, and VAT and sales tax.
  5. In the Default Quantity field, enter the quantity that will be added to the cart when a purchaser selects this item, and for which the customer will be charged each time a recurring billing occurs.

    Default Quantity section of the Pricing popup window

    1. The Editable radio button is selected by default. If you leave this selected, purchasers will be able to change the quantity being purchased during the initial transaction.

      Note

      The Editable option applies to Web Storefronts and some implementations of the Store Builder Library . Popup Storefronts do not display the quantity or allow it to be changed.
    2. Selecting the Locked radio button will prevent purchasers from changing the quantity at purchase time. They would only be able to purchase the Default Quantity in each transaction. The total price paid by purchasers for this product or bundle during the original purchase and for all subsequent billings would be equal to the Default Quantity multiplied by the Unit Price.
    3. Selecting the Hidden radio button will remove the Quantity field from the checkout process entirely, so it will not even be visible (or changeable) for customers.

  6. The Discounted Price section contains optional fields that allow you to offer quantity-based discounts as well as temporary (or permanent) discounts off the Unit Price specified above. You can also specify whether any discount configured here will be applied to all subscription billings, or only to the first X billings.
    1. If you want to enter discount amounts (or percentages) based on the quantity being purchased, select the Use Volume Discount check box. The field configuration will automatically change to allow you to configure the quantities that must be included in a single order to receive the discount.

      Use Volume Discount section of the Pricing popup window
    2. The Percent Off drop-down selector lets you specify whether the discounts will be percent-based or will be specific amounts. With Percent Off selected, you can enter a discount percentage up to 100% (if you enter more than 100%, it will automatically be reduced to 100% upon saving your changes). If you want to provide specific discount amounts, click the drop-down selector and choose Amount Off. The field configuration will change again, to allow you to enter the discount amount in each currency supported by your Store.

      Use Volume Discount section of the Pricing popup window, with Amount Off selected
    3. In the quantity field beneath the Percent Off / Amount Off selector, enter the minimum quantity that the purchaser must be ordering in order to receive the discount. Orders with a lower quantity for this subscription will not receive the discount.
    4. Optionally, click + Add Quantity to specify one or more additional quantity thresholds at which the discount per quantity will increase. For example, you might offer a $5.00 discount off each quantity for purchasers who purchase 2 or more, and a $7.50 discount off each when purchasers buy 5 or more.
    5. If you do not select the Use Volume Discount check box, you might still want to offer a temporary or permanent discount for the product or bundle.
      1. As an example, you might want to offer temporary reduced pricing for a promotional event.
      2. As another example, you might want to enter a discount that will not be temporary if you are editing the pricing for a product variation that will be offered with a discount as a cross-sell with other products.
    6. The Amount Off / Percent Off selector still applies and lets you control how the discount will be set even when Use Volume Discount is unchecked.
    7. The Discount Duration field lets you specify whether any discount configured here will be be applied to all subscription billings, or only to the first X billings. By default, the discount will be applied to All billings throughout the course of the subscription. However, you can enter a number in this field to specify the total number of billings that will receive the discount, starting with the very first / initial charge. For example, if you enter 1, the discount will only be applied to the initial charge. As another example, if you enter 2, then the initial charge and the first recurring billing will both have the discount, but the second recurring billing (and all future charges thereafter) will be at full price, with no discount.

      Discount Duration section of the Pricing popup window
    8. Whereas the Discount Duration field lets you control how long a discount will last following the initial purchase, by contrast, you can use the Date Limitations section to control when the discount will be available for new purchases of the subscription.  If you want to specify a limited date range for a temporary discount, select the check box labeled Limit Discount Availability Dates. The field configuration will change to allow you to specify the beginning and end dates.

      Date Limitations section of the Pricing popup window
    9. Optionally click the Start DateStart TimeEnd Date and/or End Time fields and specify dates and times from the built-in date and time selectors. You are not required to specify all four values. The discount percentage or amount entered above will not be available before the Start Time on the Start Date, nor after the End Time on the End Date. Outside of the specified date range, the discount will be ignored and the normal pricing for the subscription will be used.

      Enter the Start Time and End Time (if any) in GMT. For example, if you want the discount to begin or end at 12:00 am Central Daylight Time, enter 5:00 am since CDT is equal to GMT - 5 hours.
    10. In the Reason field, you can optionally enter a purchaser-facing explanation for the discount. For example, if you are configuring a temporary discount for a holiday promotion, you might enter Holiday Sale! in this field. If your Store supports multiple languages, you can click the language drop-down and enter the explanation in each supported language.
    11. When you are done with all fields in the Pricing popup window, click SAVE at the bottom right-hand corner to save your changes.