L What features are you expecting to see on our next release?
A There are a few of things; 1. usage based licensing 2. the ability for Salable to host the pricing table on behalf of the vendor 3. the capability to upgrade and downgrade subscriptions 4. a grace period for licence end dates.
L So how will each of those things work? And what are the advantages for the customer?
A For the new grace period, the vendor will have the ability to set the number of days that the customer can continue to use their licences if payment has failed or the end date of the licence has been reached. It means their customer won’t lose access to product functionality, that could be vital to running their business
L Will the vendor be able to choose the number of days that make up their grace period?
A Yes, that’s the aspiration….but not initially. The vendor and customer benefits, it’s about an improved experience. Maybe their customer wants to renew the licences, but you don’t want to just cut them off right? That’s a bad user experience. They may have just forgotten they want to renew. They may want to increase the number of licenses and so you shouldn’t just shut them off….
L…then you could lose that customer. It’s great — provide a grace period to allow them to catch up and become compliant again.
A Yes and currently it’s a standard grace period for the next release…later releases will allow the vendor to set the number of days.
L How about usage based licensing?
A Having usage or consumption based licensing is all about the price of the licence being tied directly to the value you’re receiving. You’re paying for the actual features of a product you use…if you don’t use them, you don’t need to pay for them. For the end customer it provides flexibility and they can experiment with new features and functions. It’s a bit like car hire; you only pay for the time you’ve got it.
L So it means customers can test out each feature and just pay for that feature? And also the vendor can better understand their customers’ behaviour?
A Yes..for example a vendor will know which features are being used by their customers…what kind of usage pattern that customer has. I know this type of feature is becoming more important to end-users and app developers…in a recent monetisation report (software models and strategies for 2022), consumption based licensing was showing the strongest anticipated growth…41% of the respondents expected to increase their overall software licences within the next 12–18 months.
L So it’s a desired feature?
A Yes…more and more SaaS providers are looking to incorporate this, probably being driven by their customers. What I’ve seen is that you pay upfront, use a product and it withdraws from that amount…
L So you pay £10 (for example) and then as you use it, it takes a pound off for each day of usage?
A Yes, it could work like that. There’s also ‘feature flagging’ where you opt to release or restrict certain features to customers. So you can test features out. Like if a vendor had a new feature, but they only wanted to offer it for a limited number of customers to try it. They could ‘feature flag’ for any of those customers which gives them feedback. If the feedback is positive, they release it to everyone else.
L Sounds really useful! What about the new Pricing Table feature?
A So having a pricing table hosted on Salable takes away the need for the vendor to have it on their own website…like a landing page that they can then sell from.
L But it’s not a storefront…?
A No, it’s basically their pricing table, usually 3 columns showing 3 tiers of pricing (for example; freemium, premium, enterprise). So rather than having to create that and then copy/paste into their website, we can host it for the vendor.
L And then what happens?
A Their purchaser can click on it and it takes them to their website to do the transaction. But the idea here is that you don’t have to spin up your own pricing tables on your own website. If you’re a small vendor and you don’t have a proper website, you could host your pricing on Salable…with your own logo’s too.
L And finally let’s talk about subscription upgrades and downgrades.
A The idea is that for most vendors, a lot of their customers will stay on the lower product tier because they may be testing out the product. And when
ant to use the extended features and functionality ‘now’. This new Salable feature will allow that — you won’t have to wait until your annual subscription has expired before you upgrade or your monthly billing cycle is complete.
L I’m guessing that vendors will want to upgrade customers as soon as possible, because you want to start generating revenue…by allowing customers to use a feature on the next tier immediately?
A Yes…you can jump to your tier upgrade immediately and from the next billing cycle you’ll get charged the new fees. And you just pay the difference between the price of the tiers — based on the number of months you’ve already used and how many months are remaining.
L And what about ‘downgrading’?
A The opposite is true; where customers are downgrading, they pay the new cost of the lower tier.
L It’s a great feature! It gives flexibility…as do all the new features.
That’s quite a full house of features! Watch this space, when we announce they’re live…