Running a subscription business presents a number of different challenges compared to standard eCommerce or SaaS businesses.
Persuading customers to purchase a pair of novelty socks with well-timed ads is one thing, but convincing them to subscribe to a monthly novelty sock subscription is a completely separate challenge.
Inventory management, retention strategies, and business and pricing models all change when you offer subscription purchases, and having subscription management tools to help you stay on top of everything is essential.
In this post, we’ll look at 7 of the best subscription management tools for 2023 and 2024.
Why You Need Subscription Management Software
The field of subscription sales is a whole different ball game compared to standard eCommerce or B2B businesses, which focus on driving one-time purchases through clients. Retention is a goal but monthly purchases put on auto-pilot are not part of the equation.
The fact is that you’re looking at a completely different selling model and because there are other technical and data challenges to consider you need to have dedicated subscription management software.
It’s imperative to track subscription-focused key performance indicators (KPIs). You’ll also need to enable certain features like auto-enroll and auto-pay so that subscriptions can be automated and you aren’t sending invoices for customers to pay manually each month.
Types of Subscription Management Tools to Consider
There are plenty of different types of subscription management tools. Some tools include different types of features, while others focus on one aspect of subscription management and do it extremely well.
Some of the most important types of subscription management software include:
- Subscription analytics, which is any dedicated analytics platform that specializes in subscription metrics and KPIs
- Subscription plan management
- Subscription payments, invoicing, and charging
- Subscription accounting
Top 7 Subscription Management Tools for 2023
Are you looking for the best subscription management tools in 2023?
There ultimately isn’t quite a one-size-fits-all approach. Certain tools will benefit certain businesses more than others, so let’s take a look at some of the top subscription management tools and what they do well.
1. Subscription Analytics for Startups: Baremetrics
The first subscription management tool that any company should look at is subscription analytics.
For startup businesses, the best subscription analytics tool on the market is Baremetrics.
Here at Baremetrics, we offer one-click, zero-integration setup to gather financial data from payment processes like Stripe and Braintree so that you can get insights instantly without manual data input.
Our reliable and accurate data won’t just give you a list of KPIs and metrics, we’ll give you insights into what’s happening with your customers with over 25 SaaS metrics and information about what they all mean.
- Cancellation insights, which help you to understand why customers are churning and what you can do to change that; this is invaluable for startups who are looking to improve their offerings and boost customer retention
- Trial insights, which help you understand how trial users behave and convert so that you can improve your onboarding, trial, and sales processes
- Failed payment insights through Recover, which helps you learn about why payments aren’t going through and what you can do about it
We also offer email reports and notifications so that your team can stay updated with daily, weekly, or monthly financial summaries, whatever your team prefers. And for the urgent stuff, like important metrics or anomalies, we’ll shoot you a Slack message so you’re always in the loop.
See how it works here:
Ready to learn more about your subscription management business and what makes your customers tick? Start your free 14-day trial here!
G2 Rating: 4.5 stars
- Detailed insights into 25 SaaS subscription metrics
- One-click, zero-integration setup with popular billing tools
- Reports and notifications are automatically sent to email and Slack
Starting Price: Pricing varies based on your monthly recurring revenue; see more here
2. Subscription Plan Management & Charging: Chargebee
If you want to convert your business from one-time purchases to a subscription billing model, Chargebee should be a tool to consider.
They offer tools designed to help you shift to a subscription model, with features that can help you migrate product catalogs, test subscription pilots, roll-out new processes, and migrate customers, all while retaining or increasing value.
Chargebee also offers billing and charging, so you can charge customers the same way as you were before, just on a subscription basis.
G2 Rating: 4.5 stars
- Shift-to-subscription features
- Migrate customers to subscription models
- Pilot test subscription model with small batch audiences
Starting Price: Free base plan available
3. Subscription Accounting Charging & Analytics: Billsby
Billsby is a subscription billing and accounting solution that offers advanced customer pricing models.
Usage billing is available, meaning you can choose customers only for what they’ve used, as are flexible plans based on custom plans and business rules. The customer self-service and account management tools are also intuitive and rated highly in a number of reviews, and ultimately, the customer experience is vital.
G2 Rating: 4.8 stars
- Different pricing models are available, including usage billing and flexible pricing
- Self-service and account management tools are rated highly
- Email automation for subscription businesses
- Invoice automation with dynamic invoices
Starting Price: Free base plan available
4. Automated Subscription Management: Zoho Subscriptions
Zoho Subscriptions is a strong automated subscription management tool.
It starts with a scalable and exceptionally easy-to-create product catalog that allows you to test different pricing options. You can automatically set specific prices for different audience segments or unique products, and there’s also a wide range of customizable discount options.
This tool also comes with automated invoicing and expense management features, so your accountant will be delighted.
This is a full-service subscription management software that accounts for the entire customer lifecycle, including setting up free trials, managing subscriptions for clients, and even payment re-try features.
G2 Rating: 4.3 stars
- End-to-end billing and subscription management options
- Outstanding customer experience throughout the entire life cycle
- Automated invoicing and streamlined expense management
- Automated price optimization
Starting Price: Subscription management features start at $39 per month
5. Converting One-Time Orders to Subscriptions: Ordergroove
Ordergroove is a big-name subscription management software used by big-name brands like L’oreal and Dollar Shave Club.
There’s one feature that they have that we haven’t discussed so far: They have features that allow customers to convert one-time purchases into ongoing subscriptions.
For businesses that have a traditional eCommerce selling model but who want to incentivize subscription purchases of specific products, this could be a winning tool. It encourages users to subscribe to certain products, increasing retention and revenue at the same time.
They have other great features worth noting, including encouraging value add-ons, product bundles, and dedicated support.
G2 Rating: 4.4 stars
- One-time purchase to subscription conversions
- Flexible API
- Bundle and value-add on options
- Great support
Starting Price: Contact sales for pricing
6. Best for Larger Clients with Big Budgets: Maxio
Maxio is a great subscription management tool, specializing in SaaS subscription business features. They’re a billing and financial operational tool, allowing you to create complex sales catalogs, leverage value-based pricing, and improve customer onboarding.
It is, however, an incredibly expensive tool, making it a good option for large clients with big budgets, but not many others.
G2 Rating: 4.3 stars
- “No code” subscription management
- Flexible product catalogs
- Value-based pricing
- Invoice consolidation + customized invoice templates with self-service billing
- Self-service upgrades or downgrades
Starting Price: Basic plan starts at $599 per month
7. Subscription Management Automation: ProfitWell
Subscription automation software can help you reduce churn and optimize pricing, and ProfitWell is another great tool to help with this.
If you need help determining the ideal pricing for your subscription products, this is a great tool to look at. They offer features like price localization to sell more depending on the customer’s location, persona and market mapping to guide pricing, and competitive monitoring.
They also offer tax-compliant automated billing, flexible multi-product subscription options, and easy-pay options for customers.
G2 Rating: 4.9 stars
- Automated pricing information and optimization
- Automated billing
- Flexible product subscriptions with multi-product options
- Easy pay and simple checkout experiences
Starting Price: Pricing varies depending on the products you’re interested in; see more here
Final Thoughts: What to Consider When Choosing Subscription Management Software
When choosing your subscription management software, there are plenty of options on the market.
Keep the following criteria in mind when choosing subscription management tools:
- Does it align with your current monthly or annual budget?
- Does it allow you to scale beyond your current monthly recurring revenue or customer base?
- Does it have the features you need now and that you may need in the future?
- Is there flexibility with different subscription options if needed?
- Does it have strong reviews?
- Is the interface easy to use and easy to understand?
- Is the customer service strong?
It can help to narrow your options down based on what you need, and then to test out the remaining choices with free trials or demos.
Ready to start your free trial with our subscription management analytics? Try Baremetrics free for 14 days today!