Auto-renewable subscriptions for iOS

Part 1 : Setup an auto-renewable subscription in iTunes Connect

Balaji Malliswamy
May 16, 2018 · 5 min read

Auto-Renewable Subscriptions

Auto-renewable subscriptions give users access to content or services from within your app on an ongoing basis. At the end of each subscription duration, the subscription will automatically renew until a user chooses to cancel it.

Why subscription business model?

A subscription business model offers a host of advantages. It creates economies, retains customers and simplifies a lot of business processes, making them easier in the long run. Some of the key advantage of this model

  • Simplicity
  • Higher customer retention
  • Opportunities for marketing
  • Better cash flow management

Simplicity: A subscription model simplifies the business process and makes it very easy for both consumers and the business. In this model, the consumers do not have repeat the purchase every year and the business does not have to solicit any orders from existing customers.

High Customer Retention: A subscription model ensures that the business is retaining a larger number of customers on a consistent basis. The model gives an opportunity to get upgradations and increased revenue opportunities from the existing customers.

Opportunities For Marketing: The business model ensures that the clients can be reached out to and engaged with on a regular basis. E-mail campaigns ensure up-selling and cross selling opportunities.

Better Cash Flow Management: A subscription business model offers much higher payment safety for your business. It helps in realising automatic online transactions to receive regular payments for the products and services sold. This ensures not just regularity of business but also the cash being generated from it. The model provides overall stability to the business.

Stages of Auto-Renewable Subscription

  • Setup an Auto-Renewable Subscription in iTunes Connect
  • Implementing Auto-Renewable Subscription in the App
  • Testing Auto-Renewable Subscription

So, lets dive into them.

Setup an Auto-Renewable Subscription in iTunes Connect

Setting up auto-renewable in-app purchases is not similar as other in-app purchase types. Here we are going see about how we can setup the auto-renewable in-app purchase

Create an app on iTunes Connect by clicking on the *+* button and selecting New App from the dropdown menu

Creating new iOS App

Create app with your project bundle identifier.

Once the app is created click the Features tab in the app details page on iTunes Connect My Apps section.

Creating Auto-Renewable In-App Subscription

Select the In-App Purchases option and click on the *+* button to create in-app purchase.

Create a new In-App purchase

Pick the Auto-Renewable subscription from the ‘Select the in-app purchase you want to create.’ popup.

Select Auto-Renewable Subscription type

Enter the following values:

Reference Name : The reference name will be used on iTunes Connect and in Sales and Trends reports. It won’t be displayed on the App Store. The name cannot be longer than 64 characters.

Product ID : A unique alphanumeric ID that will be used for reporting.

Click *Next* and you will ask to create *Create Subscription Group*

Subscription Group Reference Name : The subscription group reference name will only appear on iTunes Connect and in Sales and Trends reports. It won’t appear on the App Store.

Click on *Create* will create the subscription group and in-app purchase product. This process will take some time to create the product

After creating the product we have to configure the in-app by giving these information on the in-app configuration screen

  • Check the Clear for sale box
  • Select the duration from dropdown
  • Select Subscription Prices
  • Add Localizations
  • App Store Promotion (Optional)
  • Review Information: Screenshot, Review Notes

Subscription Prices have multiple things to taken care

  • Select Currency
  • Select Price

After selecting this you will see the prices by the Territory.

Once the create the Subscription price, we can give the Introductory Prices for the subscription

  1. Select the Territories for introductory price

2. Select the Start/End Date for introductory price

3. Select the Type of Introductory Price

  • Pay as you go: Customers pay an introductory price for each billing period for a selected duration (for example, $1.99 per month for 3 months for a subscription that has a standard price of $9.99).
  • Pay up front: If you select Pay Up Front, customers pay a one-time introductory price for a selected duration (for example, $1.99 for 2 months for a subscription that has a standard price of $9.99). The duration can be 1 Month, 2 Months, 3 Months, 6 Months, or 1 Year.
  • Free trial: If you select Free trial, customers access the subscription for free for a selected duration. The duration can be 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year.
Type of introductory price

Configure the Subscription Group

Select the subscription group from side menu then add *Localizations* for the group by click on *+* button.

Adding Localizations to Subscription Group

Finishing up the entire setup of the Auto-Renewable In-App Purchases in iTunes Connect.

Next part : Implementing Auto-Renewable Subscription in the App



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Balaji Malliswamy

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 developer, Chennai & Writer at Swift India https://about.me/balajimalliswamy , https://unsplash.com/@blahji

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