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Maximising business freedom - Takeaways from Zuora Subscribed 2017

Last week, some of the GoCardless team headed to San Francisco to attend the Zuora Subscribed 2017 event.

Freedom was the overarching theme for Subscribed this year. Discussions revolved around the move from a world where customers bought products to a world where subscriptions to services offer maximum freedom for the end-customer.

In the past, people would buy a new car outright, which would often become obsolete long before they could afford another new one.

Or they would buy a DVD of a new film, but once watched it would sit on the shelf gathering dust. In reality, there was no need to own the film, only to watch it. And no need to own the car, only to drive it.

The shift to a subscription economy capitalises on these changing needs and allows for more freedom.

As well as for the consumer, maximising freedom is also good for businesses, as freedom leads to growth. The conference focused on championing the ability of businesses to adapt to a subscription model.

“Subscription businesses require a whole new architecture — billing wasn’t the only thing that had to change” – Tom Krackeler, SVP Products, Zuora

Caterpillar, the 92-year-old manufacturer of tractors and bulldozers, adapted its traditional approach to start offering a growing line of subscription data services.

Using this data, customers can get tailored information directly from over 500,000 Caterpillar machines around the world, helping them understand how to run mining and building projects more effectively.

Another big name, iconic guitar maker Fender, is currently undergoing an evolution from simply selling products to offering digital services alongside them. These are just two examples among countless others.

Similarly, GoCardless offers businesses the freedom and flexibility to grow. as they are not wedded to one payment method such as credit cards.

For global expansion, subscription businesses need a payment method that’s not only widely used in their target markets, but also built for recurring payments.

What could fit that bill better than Direct Debit? Not only is Direct Debit the preferred way to pay in many markets, but it also helps businesses cut down involuntary churn and improve acquisition.

In 1970s UK, Direct Debit was built for use cases such as paying for utility bills. But with the rise of the subscription economy, Direct Debit is more relevant than ever to support the goals of today’s modern subscription businesses.

“To run your subscription business you need an entirely new set of key metrics that will drive your business: churn rate, lifetime customer value, average revenue per user, and more.” – Matt Darrow, VP & GM, Zuora

Alongside this, GoCardless helps subscription businesses to access multiple territories and their corresponding Direct Debit schemes, via a single convenient access point (using our API).

And we also offer pre-built integrations with many popular platforms, such as our partnership with Zuora, to deliver Direct Debit payments for the subscription economy.

Find out more about how using GoCardless with Zuora can help your subscription business reduce churn and boost growth

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