by Stephanie Watson
Published on 8 November 2012
Recurring billing can be a recurring headache for small businesses and new startups. One company has stepped in with automated billing and subscription services. Today I am reviewing ChargeBee, a company that is focusing on subscription and billing management. These tedious but essential jobs are not my strong point, tasks that many small Internet businesspeople don't like. So this will be a very helpful review for me to do. Let's get started.
ChargeBee can automate the entire billing cycle, from signup to invoices to collecting the money, even internationally. They make it easy to offer special promotions and various fee schedules. They provide an easy-to-use dashboard that gives you a current snapshot of users and revenue.
Letting ChargeBee handle the money end of your subscription billing and recurring payments means you have more time to concentrate on what you do well, which is run your business and deliver a good product. Do you want to introduce a new pricing plan but keep your old users at the original price? No problem! Do you hate dealing with card charges that fail? Let ChargeBee handle it.
ChargeBee lets you offer your customers flexible billing dates, up-sells and coupons, all of which makes happy customers who spend more. ChargeBee makes it easy to send email notifications for sales, end of trial period and renewals.
When you are trying to figure out what to offer your customers, you can test it and work out the bugs in ChargeBee's test environment before any notifications are sent out. They offer copy/paste code for payment pages. You can change the prices, give discounted fees and run special promotions without the need of a developer.
If you do have in-house developers, they will love ChargeBee, which is at home with numerous computer languages and provides copy/paste code for payment pages.
Here is the dashboard for ChargeBee. You get a practical snapshot of current revenue and subscribers.
You can check over your users on this screen.
Here you see how it easy it is to check over the plans that you are offering your subscribers.
It's easy to see what coupons are currently available.
The best feature of ChargeBee is the fact that you don't have to worry about the nuts and bolts of how to bill your subscribers, how to offer special deals, how to handle credit card problems and international billing. ChargeBee automates it and offers expert advice to you.
ChargeBee can also transact via multiple gateways. As an example, businesses using PayPal can de-risk dependency on one processor by signing up with Stripe / BraintreePayments (available in Europe too) and process via multiple processors without any additional effort or money. They don't charge extra to have this extra feature.
In terms of integration, ChargeBee recently released a Mailchimp integration to send newsletters and they are planning a SalesForce CRM integration to be released soon.
ChargeBee offers a free trial. If you like the service, you pay a monthly fee plus a charge for each transaction. Support is offered in a substantial KnowledgeBase, video tutorials, forum, plus online and phone support.
If you are a subscriber-based small to medium size online business, ChargeBee can simplify your monthly billing. In addition is makes it easy to offer personalized promotions that increase sales and customer satisfaction. We also like the fact that they have a free sandbox environment with demo data, to explore the solution and find out if the product meets the business needs.
Ratings: ease of use 5/5, features 5/5, value 4/5 and ease of deployment 4/5