The below is a general guide for how MINIBC handles subscription processing, we've broken this down further into sections as listed below to make it easier to follow or skip to a section you want to know more about.
Section 1 - Subscription Creation
Subscriptions can be created via three methods: via the checkout, via our API or imported by the merchant or our Services team. Subscriptions cannot be created via the BigCommerce Control Panel, since the MINIBC scripts cannot run within the BigCommerce Panel.
The most common way is via the BigCommerce Optimized Checkout with your subscription products configured and our MINIBC script installed in your store.
Our API can also be used to create subscriptions, you can find our API details here.
Lastly, and more recently, we have a full import API that can be used to import existing subscriptions from other systems. To learn more about this process, please contact our support team.
Section 1.1 - Automated Subscription Recovery
MINIBC provides merchants with the Automated Subscription Recovery (ASR) system as a safety net to ensure that all subscriptions are created for new customers in the event of an error during the checkout process. A full breakdown of the system and its setup can be found here.
Section 1.2 - Subscriptions and Grandfathered Pricing
MINIBC by default will renew each item within a subscription at the current price within BigCommerce at the time of renewal. MINIBC offers the ability for subscribers to be grandfathered into a specific price so it will always collect the same amount upon renewal. This is done in two ways depending on your dashboard version. MINIBC offers the ability to set grandfathered pricing during subscriber import, manually or via our API.
In our legacy dashboard, grandfather pricing is managed at the product level for all new sign-ups and can also be done at the subscription level by editing a subscribers renewal price. This price, once set, stays in place until the item is removed/canceled or edited again.
In our latest dashboard a similar functionality exists with two distinct ways of providing subscribers with ongoing discounts.
When a grandfather price has been set at the item level, the circular dollar sign icon will be green to indicate that the item will renew at a fixed price.
The second is at the product level, where specific items can be set up as product level subscriptions with the grandfathered price feature enabled. This will enforce the price the subscriber paid during checkout provided that it has not been modified post signup and the grandfathered price option remains active on the subscription product in our system.
Section 2 - Subscription Renewals
MINIBC processes renewals for all our merchants between the hours of 2am and 5am EST unless otherwise specified by the merchant. Each renewal processed by MINIBC creates a new order in the merchants store and will (if set up) trigger the BigCommerce “Order Email” template upon successful payment.
Section 2.1 - Subscription Renewals (Dunning Strategy)
MINIBC will make 4 attempts to collect payment for each subscription before moving on. The below schedule is an example of how these 4 attempts are broken out of a 7-day period.
0 - Scheduled - Sunday
1 - Attempt #1 - Monday
2 - Attempt #2 - Wednesday
3 - Attempt #3 - Saturday
For each failed attempt MINIBC will send out (if configured) the Billing Error email template to notify the subscriber that their subscription has failed to renew and that their attention is required for payment updates.
We consider each 4-attempt cycle a payment attempt and MINIBC will continue to retry a subscription on its scheduled date until canceled.
Section 2.2 - Coupon and Discounts
MINIBC by default does not continue discounts from coupons used on the initial checkout. Subscribers will only receive discounts based on the subscription item itself (if present and setup in BigCommerce) otherwise they will be renewed at the current price within BigCommerce at the time of the renewal.
Section 2.3 - Subscription Automatic Cancellation
For merchants with larger subscriber bases or those who wish to remove subscribers that are no longer interested in their subscriptions, MINIBC offers the Automatic Cancellation feature. This feature can be found within App Settings -> General Settings for our Legacy dashboard and Settings -> Merchant Profile within Dashboard V2. This feature allows the merchant to choose the number of sequential payment attempts to be completed against a subscription before it is automatically canceled.
Should you have further questions about any of the sections please contact our support team.