We have launched Orderla Plus exactly 2 months ago, which means the first (and still active) subscribers will renew today for the second time.
This is my first SaaS type of business which is quite cool. Aside from previously app-related business, I have been using ads, in-app purchases, and paid apps, but never a subscription basis.
The difference is that the service must have the value of being subscribed in a period.
Compared to utilities apps I made such as FaceClock, it's one time purchase to get workable software forever ( or the longest time ). Nevertheless, developer also needs to maintain the compatibility for the apps for the latest hardware. However, the revenue always comes for new customers.
The long time value (LTV) is quite low. In fact it's static without any additional products offerings.
SaaS is (Software as a Service) and usually based on the subscription.
In Orderla case, we provide a platform for the business owners to make money buy let their customer order items via WhatsApp. That's the basic premise. But Orderla offers more than that, even in free Basic tier.
A business owner can manage their orders, get a total of sales, and also special features like check-ins.
Yes, even free tier can actually helps them to make money.
But, if business owners want more, we have Orderla Plus as for offering.
Evolution of Development
At launch, I don't have the Plus at the beginning. I just open up Orderla at first with pleasant UX for public to use it. It has to be good enough so that people want to use it. It must bring value to people.
And people are giving feedback. People want this and that.
Yes, I can help with something, but there is request that I identify as 'power-request', means that they are quite good and want more to facilitate their business.
Yes, I can help them. But lets make another plan so that they can subscribe and have more 'power features'.
Then from then I started add the 'power features' into next tier plan, then launched it. That's it business model for Orderla and it also give people good deeds by helping free plan users by subscribing to Plus plan.
Because I don't get any revenue from free users. So with Plus users, they are helping others indirectly to support the maintenance cost.
Orderla will have it's own mobile app. It's on the final stage of development for V1.0. I don't want to make it too complicated as has to serve as 'push notification' hub. And yes, it will support for Plus plan as well. Big bonus. But will consider to raise the Plus price in the future because I have already so much add-on to Plus.
And to make multi-plan also need some development bandwidth as well.
As I mentioned before, I might open up some more plans. But managing subscription is quite challenging, I am quite new in this segment and still learning.
At first, we just open up for people to subscribe via Stripe. And Stripe SDK / API is comprehensive and the integration with the system is key for making the subscription system works.
I just need to keep record of their subscription ID, then I can checkout their payments invoice / receipt via Stripe API.
This make more transparency for customers as well, they can access their payment records at their My Profile / Subscriptions.
*** Users can 'cancel' their subscriptions anytime. But their Plus plan remains until the subscription period ends.
After a month of subscription, subscribers will be charged automatically via debit/credit card via Stripe. Users will happily continue using Orderla Plus without downtime.
However, there is case where payment don't get through. The status will change from 'active' to 'pending_due'. If the issue persist user plan will be downgraded to Basic. When the payment get through again I update it back to Plus version.
So by that, I need a special 'rooms' for monitoring the status for each subscribers. All in semi-auto, or manual.
When creating the system, I must understand all the possible flow.
This business is incepted at the early of 2020, but accelerated quickly as there is a need & demand for this kind of system when there is a crisis where people cannot go outside.
And this business is without a doubt is supported by people who are using this to help their business running smoothly. This service has been proven to help businesses. And I believe it has its value and could be big, and even bigger.