Managing upgrades and downgrades can be done by two methods:
- Cancelation product list: A group of subscription products set up in the Commerce Assistant considered to be substitutes for each other. When a customer purchases a particular subscription product, the products set up in the cancelation product list are canceled.
- Subscription API: Upgrades and downgrades are managed using functions of the Subscription API.
|Upgrade and Downgrade Characteristics||Cancelation Product List||Subscription API|
|Implementation and Maintenance||Non-technical users can set up and maintain.||Developers must set up and maintain.|
|Time to Market||Can be set up in minutes.||Requires hours of development, testing, and implementation.|
|Supports Immediate Change||Yes.||Yes.|
|Supports Change at Next Billing Interval||No.||Yes.|
|Flexibility||Inflexible: Always applied to the purchase of all products in the cancelation product list.||Flexible: Applied selectively to each subscription purchase.|
|Granularity||Always applies to all items in a subscription.||Can be applied to one or more items in a subscription.|
|Customer Experience||Customers must complete the checkout process (more steps, so a higher potential for abandonment).||
Allows "one-click" upgrades and downgrades, improving customer experience and minimizing abandonment.
The number of clicks depends on the client's implementation.
|Possibility of Unintentional Cancelation||Existing customers who buy a second subscription in a cancelation product list may want to keep the first subscription, but it will be canceled when the second is purchased.||Unintentional cancelation can be eliminated with a well-planned approach.|
|Reporting and Tracking||No relationship is maintained between the original and the new subscription; each is treated as a separate transaction with its own unique subscription ID.||The tie between the original and the new subscription is maintained; the subscription ID does not change.|
Based on the comparison table above, for most clients the best practice is to use the Subscription API to manage upgrades and downgrades due to:
- Superior flexibility
- Optimal customer experience
- Enhanced tracking and analytics
However, since client business needs vary, clients can use the following lists to select a solution.
Subscription API Required
If any of the following are selected, you must use the Subscription API to handle upgrades and downgrades.
|Items in a multi-item subscription will be added and replaced individually.|
|Upgrades and downgrades are effective at the next billing interval.|
If a customer purchased subscription product A and subsequently purchases subscription product B, the solution should allow:
|Other functions of the Subscription API are required, such as usage billing, quantity changes, and next billing date changes.|
Subscription API Recommended
The more statements selected, the better the Subscription API is likely to work with your upgrade and downgrade needs compared to the Commerce Assistant cancelation product list.
|The client's upgrade and downgrade approach might change in the future to include the required functionality described above.|
|Upgrade and downgrade transaction revenue and/or transaction volume are a significant part of the client's business.|
|Upgrade and downgrade tracking and reporting is important.|
Commerce Assistant Cancelation Product List Viable
The cancelation product list option is viable if all of the following are true.
|Customers are subscribed to one subscription product at a time.|
|Upgrade and downgrade are effective immediately.|
For More Information
For additional information, guidance, and a personalized recommendation, contact Client Experience.