FoxyCart eCommerce - Selling a Subscription

  • Selling a Subscription

    Other than just the technical aspect of how to setup the system to sell the quota, its a good idea to think about the psychological aspects of why a user would want to purchase your subscription.

    Answer the question in their head "Why would I want to pay for this? What am I paying for?"

    If you can do that, then instead of having a system that is capable of selling a subscription, you will have a system that is likely to sell subscriptions.

    Every site will have something different to offer for the why so we can't cover that here, but its important.

    Here we will cover the technical how.
  • First Setup Subscription Quotas

    The first step is to have a subscription to signup to.

    As the admin, go to:

    and click on "Quota Browser" to get you to:
  • Create a totally new quota, or clone an existing one.
  • The easiest way is just to Clone an existing quota, then make the changes to it that you want.

    Here, I'm going to create 3 new quotas that are all subscription quotas. They are going to be called:

    • Site Supporter Level 1
    • Site Supporter Level 2
    • Site Supporter Level 3

    They represent quotas that are the same as the default quota except that the users who sign up to them pay a monthly donation to the site of 3 different levels to help the site cover running costs. Level 1 is $5 per month, then $10 and $20.

    Once you have those 3 quotas created, all the lights under 'signup' will be green, meaning users can directly signup to them. We want to turn the ones we plan on using for subscriptions to red.

    On the USERS -> USER ACCOUNTS - QUOTA CONFIG page you will see the "Allow Signups" checkbox. (change the "Selected Quota" dropdown to choose which profile to edit.)
  • Un-check the allow signups checkbox for all your subscription sales quotas.
  • Now back on your "Profile Quotas" page you should have all the supporter quotas with red lights under the signup column
  • On the Quota Browser signups are disabled for the paid subscription quotas
  • Setting your Prices

    The prices for the subscription quotas are set on the FoxyCart eCommerce modules "Quota Config" page.

    Change the 'Selected Quota' to one of your subscription quotas, then set the price and length of the subscription.

  • Set each subscriptions length and price.
  • Managing your Subscription

    Logged in users can now manage their subscriptions from the FoxyCart tab on their profile.

    They can change between any current running subscriptions they have. If they have more than one active subscription at any point in time, they are able to swap between those subscriptions from this page.
  • A user can purchase a subscription by clicking on "Subscription Purchase"
  • When the user has purchased a subscription the details will appear in the "Subscription History" section.

    They are able to cancel subscriptions from a button in this interface.
  • Setting up a Subscription Sales Page

    While it is possible to purchase a subscription from the above page, its not really designed to promote and sell the subscription.

    You would be far better off to setup an actual dedicate page to sell subscriptions to educate and convince the users of your site that purchasing is a good idea.

    To add a page to your site, you would create a new template file and upload it to your skins directory.

    eg: If you are using the jrElastic skin, you could create a new page at:

    Then outline all the details of each of your available subscriptions on that page.

    The url to show that template file when the jrElastic skin is the active skin will be:

    So use that in your menu links and promo links to get people to your subscriptions page.
  • basic subscription.tpl page

    A very basic subscriptions page would look like this for jrElastic
    {jrCore_include template="header.tpl"}
    <div class="container">
    //all your subscription promotion code goes in here.
    {jrCore_include template="footer.tpl"}
  • Then throw in some cool advertising for what you get if you sign up
  • Design a proper display for your users to understand your subscription options
  • With this subscription advertising page in place, new users can come to your site and purchase a subscription quota directly. No need to have an account and upgrade, they can go from no account to subscription account directly.
  • Subscription links

    The url for the subscription links is quite long and complicated to look at, but its real easy to create with this smarty function:
    {jrFoxyCart_subscribe_url quota_id=2}

    If you want to make a loop out of all the quotas that allow signups, you can use this code to get the quotas, then create a button for them.
    {jrFoxyCart_subscribable_quotas assign="quotas_that_allow_subscriptions"}
    {foreach $quotas_that_allow_subscriptions as $quota_id => $_q}
        <a href="{jrFoxyCart_subscribe_url quota_id=$quota_id}">Subscribe Now ({$_q.quota_jrProfile_name})</a> <br>
  • Jamroom has the ability for new users to purchase a subscription account directly. They no longer need to create an account, then upgrade.

    To do this put the code above on a page that non-logged in users can see. When they click the button, go and pay, when they come back they will be logged in to their paid subscription quota.
  • FAQ

    Q: If someone signs up for an annual subscription, at the end of the year, is their card charged automatically for the next year, or do they have to manually upgrade and pay again?
    A: The card is automatically charged again

    Q: What exactly does the Expiration Quota mean? Are they downgraded to that quota when they cancel, or at the end of their subscription length?
    A: The "Expiration Quota" means if the profiles subscription expires, then that is the quota their profile is moved to at the end of the subscription term.

    Q: We noticed there is a new module in the marketplace called Subscriptions which is an upgrade to the FoxyCart module. Is this something we should be upgrading to? And if so, since we already have FoxyCart, will we be able to get this upgrade, or do we need to purchase it?
    A: The new eCommerce modules (Payments and Subscriptions) are what we are supporting going forward - FoxyCart is still supported, but Payments is more flexible as it works with merchant plugins (Stripe, PayPal and FoxyCart). Note that Payments is not an "upgrade" for FoxyCart, although it does have an importer to import from the FoxyCart module.

    If you're not a Jamroom Premium user or on hosting then you'd need to purchase the modules.

    Q: Under what conditions does a quota expire? Is it just when a user cancels their subscription?
    A: When the user cancels their subscription or the credit cart fails to be charged.