Ecommerce glossary > Subscription management

Subscription management

What is subscription management?

Subscription management is the overseeing and handling of subscription lifecycle operations for your customers. Subscription management actions can include things like offering discounts, issuing refunds or account credits, and making mid-cycle subscription changes to a customer’s service. It is a crucial aspect of a subscription business’s customer retention strategy that focuses on ensuring customer satisfaction.

Subscription billing vs management: What’s the difference? 

Subscription management is not synonymous with subscription billing, though the two are closely related and each play a crucial role for the subscription business model. Subscription billing is an automated, recurring process. Subscription management, however, involves non-recurring actions relating to the customer experience that occur due to recurring payments. In other words, subscription plan management takes your company beyond transactional commerce and moves into relational commerce, particularly as it pertains to customer relationships and customer success: reducing churn, improving retention, and increasing customer lifetime value.

Takeaways for recurring revenue businesses 

This process matters for subscription-based businesses at every stage of the customer lifecycle. Before and during signup, subscription pricing adjustments like free or discounted trials are part of subscription management, and having the capability to extend those trials or discounts can help retain customers. While using your subscription products, customers may need subscription management actions like upgrades, downgrades, account credits, order refunds, and communication around these actions.