Rate Plans are one half of the core of Rebillia’s subscriptions builder. They are the parent of “Rate Plan Charges” and are the offers that customers subscribe to.
Introduction to Rate Plans
A Rate Plan is the entity that contains all the different elements of a subscription offer in a product. The relationship between the Rate Plan and the Charges within it are equivalent to the relationship between a product and the SKUs within it. The only difference in this example is that while you can only interact with one SKU at a time, a Rate Plan interacts with all Charges simultaneously. When a customer purchases a Rate Plan, they automatically get enrolled to all Charges within that Rate Plan.
Still hard to understand? – Try this
When purchasing the “Trifecta Plan” of “Cable + Phone + Internet” service from a local provider, the “Trifecta Plan” would be the Rate Plan and the “Cable”, “Phone”, and “Internet” would each be an element of the plan. As we said before, each element will have one or more charges associated with it, so for example:
- “Cable” would have a “140 channels package” = $45/m.
- “Cable” can also have another Charge associated with it, like “HBO streaming add-on” = $7.50/m.
Rate Plan Types
Just like there are differences between a physical product and a digital product (physical products require shipping, dimensions, weight, distribution, fulfillment etc, while digital products normally require login / download etc), so are there differences between types of subscription plans. Each type will provide and/or prevent functionalities and/or permissions that are unique to that plan type. Rebillia supports multiple types of plans, each with its unique set of functionalities:
- Ongoing – This plan type is the most generic, and most used, plan for subscriptions. It does not come with any unique characteristics and allows a variety of configurations to exist simultaneously. Choose this type if none of the others match your specific need.
- Prepaid – This plan type allows Rebillia to engage the customer with a unique interaction – “Opt out of renewal”. While regular subscriptions will offer the customer to “Cancel” their subscription, immediately stopping any future processes, by using the “Opt out” feature, prepaid subscriptions allow a subscription to remain active until Rebillia has finished processing the last cycle before the next renewal – and only then would the subscription be cancelled.
- Contract – This plan prevents customers from being able to cancel their subscription for its whole lifetime, or a part of it, to guarantee the business will bill the customer for at least the contracted portion of the subscription. This plan also allows to set rules for extension of the contract, ending/early termination fees, periodic price rate increase/decrease and more.
- Build-a-Box – Instead of building pre-made plans and letting your customers select between them, this plan allows the business to set the pool of products that participate in this subscription and lets the customer build their own configuration. Of course, the business is able to set rules, such as min/max quantity, discount rules based on order total or quantity and more.
While different types of Rate Plans provide different sets of functionalities, there are some rules and configurations that can be applied to all types and are there to provide the business some more control over their offering. Rebillia offers the following:
- Effective Dates – Whenever you are looking to have a timed offer and don’t want to manually enable and disable it, use Rebillia’s “Effective Dates” rule. This feature allows businesses to prepare a plan ahead of time and pre set a date when this plan will automatically publish itself as well as a date when this plan will automatically terminate. Additional rules such as “Discontinued Plan Migration” are available to ensure the continuity of your customers’ subscriptions.
- Free Trial – Allow Rebillia to properly communicate with customers about their trial status, time left, renewal date and more.
- Post Billing Activity – Some plans are built to provide access to a service while paying it off (like licenses) in installments, but it does not mean that the subscription should end when all payments are done. This feature allows subscription plans to remain active even after all the charges in the plan have finished billing.
Managing Rate Plans
There are three main components to managing Rate Plans –
- Configuration – Rate Plans are separate from Subscription Plans(i), thus they do not affect each other directly. Every part of a Rate Plan can be reconfigured without affecting any of the existing subscribers who are actively subscribed to the same Rate Plan.
- Manipulation – To allow bulk updates to existing Subscription Plans, Rebillia offers the ability to create updates on a product’s Rate Plan and have the update manipulate all existing Subscription Plans that were created from the edited Rate Plans.
- Status – Rate Plans have four (4) different statuses:
Draft – The default status assigned upon creation. This status prevents interaction with any connected and linked Sale Channels.
Published – This status means that this Rate Plan is currently, actively, offered for the public to subscribe to.
Disabled – A “Published” Rate Plan can be disabled, which will remove it from the product page, so that new subscriptions could not be purchased. Important to note that existing subscriptions will keep running with no interruptions.
Archived – Archiving a Rate Plan can only be done after the it has been “Disabled”, and means that all active subscriptions on this plan will terminate immediately.