FoxyCart for an SAAS

cfncfn Member
in Help edited August 2008
We're launching a software-as-a-service online product (don't want to say too much about it just yet), but I'd like to use Foxy as our payment/subscription system.

Here's what we have going on so far. Its not perfect, so I'd like suggestions on how to make it work more effectively for us.

1) Customer reaches our signup page; the 'signup' button is hardcoded to add the membership to the customer's cart. We'll probably change this so as to immediately take them to the checkout page.

2) Customer checks out; pays the membership fee; enters all their pertinent info into the checkout page. A monthly subscription in Foxy is initiated.

3a) When they press continue they come back to our login page.

3b) Our database matches the login input with the Foxy datafeed (checks their email addy and password and that they are active.)

3c) The new customer logs in to our portal, but, they have to wait a minute to be able to log in the first time. My programming partner mentioned to me that the data can only be pulled from Foxy once a minute; is that accurate and is there any way around it?

3d) Once the customer logs in, all is well and they have appropriate access to their personal portal. They can update their info (self-service using the appropriate link); if they wish to cancel they have to email us and we have to manually cancel the subscription.

Wish/Fix List:
a) The minute lag before the Foxy userdata becomes available
b) A way for the user to cancel their subscription in a self-service way
c) A monthly reminder email to go out 1-3 days before the amount is pulled from their credit card (not necessary, but I think its a cordial thing to do, I know I appreciate it from all the services I use.)

Thanks for your input!

- John
Comments
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Thanks for posting, John. All of the points you mentioned are things we're looking into and will probably solve in the future. I'll comment on them briefly:

    a) We're experimenting with ways around this. Our main concern is that if the checkout for the customer takes too long, they are not going to be happy with your store. If the checkout includes talking to your server via the datafeed and waiting for a positive response... that could be a long wait, especially if your server has to talk with some other servers (such as campiagn monitor to do email subscription list updating). The batch process we do was the best short-term solution we could come up with to not slow down the most critical part of the process... actually collecting money from your customer. For now, I'd recommending adding a note to your documentation and to the receipt page.

    b) There are a lot of posts in the forum about a subscription user API. It's definitely on the list: http://wiki.foxycart.com/feature_requests

    c) We've tossed this one around as well and for now, it's something you'll have to manage on your server using your customer data. In the future we may add another email template for this to work with, but we haven't worked that all the way through yet. Since each company has completely different requirements for how they want to remind their users, deny access after failed payment, vary the grace period, etc... it's a little difficult to build a once-size-fits all solution. We're WAY against those type of solutions. :) We use FoxyCart subscriptons to run FoxyCart, so we're fully aware of the current limitations in our subscription system. One of things we're looking to include is a new error datafeed which would let you know right when a subscription failed so that you could take appropriate steps based on your individual requirements.

    Hope that helps and gives you a glimpse into where we're headed.

    If you haven't already, you'll probably want to take a look at this integration to get you started: http://wiki.foxycart.com/integration:modx:usersubscriptions
  • cfncfn Member
    edited August 2008
    Cool. I'll probably use that MODx plugin on another completely separate site for a client that is in the preliminary planning stages. It looks like a very cool plugin.

    This particular app we're developing currently does not use MODx at all, its an independent platform.

    Thanks also for the responses (a) and (b). One of the reasons I like Foxy is that you guys are constantly developing, and you pay attention to user requests, and you keep us informed about them without excuses. So, I like that.

    The best solution I personally can come up with for a temporary fix to the datafeed lag - is - to take the customer to a special "thank you" page that shows them a video or slideshow... to buy about a minute of time :)

    Another possible way to solve it would be for our system to send them a "your account is now live" email after a one-minute delay.

    A third way would just be to default into allowing any anonymous user an unchecked first use, and if there is ever a second login, that login would have to be checked against the datafeed. We wouldn't tell anyone about that though :) And I don't know how possible it would be for our database to do that, thats a question I'll have to bounce off our programmer.

    - John
  • a9ka9k Member
    Re: a "your account is now live" email after a one-minute delay.
    You can do this from your XML datafeed processing. I do this to send MP3 + datafile links. The customer gets a receipt email sent by foxy with note that the access keys are sent in another email and then the access keys email is sent by my xml data feed process.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    I'm not sure exactly how you're planning on handling this, but fwiw you could have FoxyCart handle the actual user creation/information collection, then create the user in your system (including a password, if you're able to use a simple md5 hash on your end).

    That way the user only has to enter their information once, and it's effectively synched between FoxyCart and your system (even if only initially at this point, until we add some user API functionality to allow true synching).

    That's what I've done on a few projects and it works quite well.
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