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Different States for Auto-Renewable In-App Purchase
Different States for Auto-Renewable In-App Purchase

Back-End / Front-End / Subscription / In-App Purchase / Auto-Renew

Jeff Grang avatar
Written by Jeff Grang
Updated over a week ago

Understanding All States for Auto-Renewable In-App Purchase

Back-End / Front-End / Subscription / In-App Purchase / Auto-Renew

Understanding the different stages of a Subscription for In-App Purchase and connecting them to your user lifecycle is a complex thing. We know, we've been there.

This article aims at clarifying these and connecting them to Users journey with Auto-Renewable In-App Purchases, Subscription in short.

One of the best ways to approach it is to reflect on what would be the steps or decisions you would make yourself as a User. To make sure you still don't miss one, we've listed them here.

Granting and Revoking Users Access Rights

From a back-end and access right granting perspective there are only 2 relevant states to know :

  • Active
    Means you can grant Access Rights to the User

  • Expired
    Means the User Access Rights should be revoked

This being said, there can be more steps and intermediary states which are useful to differentiate for your business from a User and Subscription Lifecycle point of view and Revenue Management perspective.

Understand the states of a Subscription from Lifecycle and MRR perspective

  • No Subscription

This is when you target Users to convert them into paying Subscriber by displaying Paywalls. These Paywalls can be personalised and set at different touch points of the App to maximise further conversion.

Depending on your Business Strategy requiring or not Users to Login or Register to access any type of content, you will decide to either connect them in your CRM, or handle them as Anonymous Users.

  • Active Subscription
    Congratulations, you have converted a new User.

    Depending on your set-up this new User might not bring MRR right away. If you have set-up a Free Trial or Promotional period for example, the Subscription is Active but not bringing any or full MRR potential.

    An Active Subscription can evolve through a user Lifetime, when exploring your Product offer for example. The following actions are only performed within a given Subscription Group :

    • Upsell

    • Downsell

    • Crossgrade

  • Cancelled Subscription
    A cancelled Subscription is when an existing user has actively decided to stop using your product. When a Cancellation happens it means your user has Churned.

    When cancelling, the User keeps access to your content until the end of the initiated period. It is also possible for a User to request a Refund. In this case Purchasely is notified and you can revoke access rights immediately.

    A Cancellation can occur on 2 more instances :

    • if you increase your Subscription Price in one of the Stores. Your Subscribers are notified and need to actively agree to the Price Update, if they fail to do so, then the Subscription is cancelled.

    • in case of Payment failure.

  • In Grace Period
    A Grace Period is not mandatory but a good Sales and Customer Care practice.
    It is initiated by a Payment failure, usually linked with Credit Card expiry.
    Instead of immediately cutting access to content, you leave time for the Subscriber to update their Payment information to avoid Churn. Make sure to proactively communicate to your Subscribers details on how this will run.

    Note that the Grace Period is directly managed and set via the different Stores. Each OS AppStore has set default duration with Android providing room for customisation (more details here for Apple and Android)

    Please note in Grace Period you still have an active Subscriber but no MRR generated, and can't charge back anything to the Users when updating

The 4 stages described above are the 'founding' blocks of understanding your business, Users Lifecycle stages and associate opportunity and the main cash-flow. The stages presented after are looked at in the light of how each Stores approach and charge fees.

Stores fees will evolve depending on the Lifetime of your Users, this is why some aspects of re-engaging a Churned User within a year is key.

  • On-Hold
    A Susbcription is set on-hold when no Grace Period is set, Android leaves the User the opportunity to update their Credit Card details for 30 days after the last period they paid for was finished.

  • Paused Subscription (Android Only)
    Android released in its Android 11 launch this new feature to Google Play to leave users to Pause their subscriptions from one week to 3 months (please check the value). It takes effect only at the end of the initiated period, and at that time Users should not be granted access to your App content.
    Pausing is enabled by Default to all Applications on PlayStore.

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