Stripe is indispensable to ordinary online businesses. It provides many different tools, reports, and custom features to power online payment processing, but it is not without limitations.
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For example, the Stripe analytics dashboard is lacking the needed depth for SaaS businesses that rely on recurring revenue. Here is where Baremetrics becomes a great additional tool. The automated processing of raw Stripe data with top-of-the-line data visualization gives you the ability to put all of that customer information into action.
In this article, we will continue our series on how Baremetrics and Stripe work in tandem to maximize the value of your SaaS enterprise.
For more discussion on this topic, check out the rest of the series on using the dynamic duo of Baremetrics and Stripe to automate the calculation of your customer lifetime value (LTV), churn, and customer acquisition cost (CAC). In addition, we’ve recently written about why you should use Baremetrics to get the billing history of your Stripe customers.
Before we jump into the benefits of combining Baremetrics with Stripe, we’ll take a quick look at what Stripe is, and the advantages of using Stripe as your payment processor.
What is Stripe?
Billing has become one of the most difficult aspects of running a business. There was a time when you could invoice with a pen paper and the customer, standing right in front of you, could simply hand you cash.
However, those days are long gone. Even in person it is no longer efficient to write up complex invoices by hand. There are too many to write, and the chance of error is too great.
The Internet brings further complications, where the distance between customer and supplier has grown, customers are using a hundred different currencies, and recurring payments means repeating the process every month.
That’s why CRM (customer relationship management) software and online payment processors have become such an integral part of any company’s success. And in the competitive market of payment processing, there is one clear champion. Of course, this is Stripe.
So, what is Stripe? Well, Stripe is a complete suite of payment products. It brings together all of the payment processes required to build websites, apps, and online stores that accept payments. Furthermore, it can send payouts globally.
While Stripe’s tools were designed and implemented to power payments online, it also works for brick-and-mortar retailers (or those running both online and in-person sales channels). Stripe can also be used to run software platforms, marketplaces, and subscription businesses.
In addition, Stripe performs many of the other necessary tasks found in payment processors. For example, it can help prevent fraud through fraud checks, generate and send invoices, provide financing, and manage a business’s budget. It even offers virtual and physical corporate credit cards.
What are the pros and cons of using Stripe?
When choosing your payment processor, it is important to look at all the products provided to determine whether the company meets your needs. The price, per month, transaction, and/or as a percentage of sales, is also a key point. That’s why we have recently evaluated many of the popular payment processors on the market, including Stripe. Here, we will just mention a few of the main advantages and disadvantages of using Stripe.
The advantages of using Stripe
Stripe offers many benefits to the SaaS enterprise:
- It is easy to set up recurring payments
- Stripe enables you to offer your customers discounts and coupon codes
- You can set up subscription payments
- Stripe allows you to prorate your charges when customers change their subscription in the middle of a billing period
- It offers a reminder system
- There are no refund fees
- The simple checkout system reduces the chance of stranded shopping carts
The disadvantages of using Stripe
While the advantages are clear, Stripe does have a few downsides:
- There can be issues with frozen or cancelled accounts
- If you also have a brick-and-mortar shop, there are limited options for in-person payments
- A lot of Stripe’s customization requires technical skills or a developer
- The Stripe analytics dashboard is very limited
This last point is why it becomes necessary to use a third-party analytics dashboard when you choose Stripe as your payment processor.
So, let’s discuss all the amazing features you can find on Baremetrics, a tool that fully integrates with Stripe and brings the data to life in a way that is easy to interpret and act on.
Since your SaaS company uses a CRM and/or payment processing software, the data required to compute these core metrics can be all over the place. Integrating innovative software that can cull MRR values from CRM and payment processing systems is a valuable shortcut.
Why Baremetrics is the best Stripe analytics dashboard
First, let’s look at the Baremetrics dashboard. The Control Center provides you at a glance all the important information you need about your business. It automatically calculates and displays your MRR, net revenue, average revenue per user, MRR growth rate, user and revenue churn, LTV, and so much more. It also gives you a breakdown of your numbers, including your new trials, customers, expansions, and reactivations. Finally, it gives you a live feed of all the money coming in.
Unlike the Stripe analytics dashboard, Baremetric’s People Insights allows you to segment your customers into super fine detail. You can separate customers across multiple different characteristics simultaneously.
Dunning is such an important part of any subscription revenue company. When you are earning money through recurring revenue, keeping your customers happy month on month is the only route to profitability.
While churn due to dissatisfaction is frustrating and needs to be addressed, there is nothing more upsetting than losing happy customers due to credit card issues. Recover can help you keep your happy customers signed up. It provides a suite of tools, from dunning emails to in-app reminders and paywalls, to recover your failed payments. Baremetrics is so confident in its Recover tool that the first $1000 in recovered payments is free.
A pair of tools, Trial Insights and Cancellation Insights, helps you refine your funnel process and platform to get more potential clients to convert to paying customers on the one side and keep them active on the other.
Free trials are a great way to onboard new customers (we use it at Baremetrics), but not all free trials are designed the same.
Determining how long you should allow potential customers to use your platform is one element that can be refined. If your platform requires two months to show its value, then a seven-day trial is probably not going to be enough time for a customer to understand the indispensability of your service. Conversely, if your trial is too long, then it might incentivize customers to cheat through using multiple email accounts to keep using your platform for free.
There are also decisions to be made around whether you should require a credit card number to access the free trial, whether the free trial should include the whole site, and, importantly, how you should focus your free trial period marketing campaign.
Indeed, a good set of emails that points customers to your best features, teaches them how to use them, and gets them to integrate your platform into their daily work processes during the free trial will help you hook those leads.
Figuring out how your trials are working with Baremetrics will help you refine this process.
Conversely, getting customers to tell you why they are leaving with Cancellation Insights will help you refine and improve your platform to both prevent further cancellations and win-back your lost customers in the future.
While there isn’t space to mention every great feature Baremetrics has in one article, it would be incomplete without mentioning Forecasting. The Stripe analytics dashboard is sorely lacking in forecasting ability, and this is something that every company must do to be successful. The forecasting alone is reason enough to add a third-party Stripe analytics dashboard to your software repertoire.
Finally, in researching this article, we went through dozens of “best Stripe analytics dashboards” lists online. While we are happy to see that all of the independent raters and our competitors agree that we are among the best, there is an error found on every single list that must be corrected. Baremetrics does not cost money for young companies! We aren’t sure where this misconception originated, but Baremetrics is COMPLETELY FREE until you reach an MRR of $5000!