Per Rhett's request, I will post my suggestion(s) here.
Nexus is a great product when used as a store front, but the subscription management needs some help. This would be a pretty big re-work, but I bet that it would result in a lot of sales. Basically turning Nexus into a Membership management portal instead of a store front. This might require the need for a completely new addon, but Nexus has most of the framework in place.
As is, Nexus is item driven (i.e. shopping cart style). I've been managing a membership website since 2007. I've used everything under the sun. I 'think' with a little tooling, Nexus could be a very powerful membership management portal. IP suite provides all of the tools needed to run and maintain a membership site, with the exception of a back-end payment/management solution (that's a pretty big exception, lol...). I'll try to explain in 2 basic categories:
1. Subscriptions - a subscription should not be an "item or product". Rather, a subscription should be a controller or group for "items and products". This gets confusing to coders because the "subscription" still needs to be an "item" in the checkout process. Think of a subscription as an advanced "bundle" of items.
Quick example: if we have items 1 - 23 in our system and then we decide to create a new "subscription", we should be able to assign only items "1, 4, 13 and 21" to our subscription. In addition, the "item" creation needs to be more flexible. Using our example, item "4" might be an area on our server (a directory or folder). When the item is purchase or included in the subscription, the member that purchases this subscription would then have access to the assigned directory or folder (i.e. Membership Area on your server). Trying to either use existing IP code to customize the portal pages and/or adding some new hooks to the code, is not realistic for most membership website owners. Unless, item "4" could be a set of pages generated by the "Content" addon. That would make sense.
You already have the features for managing groups (which is also critical to membership management). Each subscription would either create or be assigned to a specific group. This would help with support issues and a ton of other membership related problems.
Bottom LIne - a subscription has to be able to perform all of the following:
- Protect/manage items
- Protect/manage web pages and directories
- Protect/manage special permissions on the forum (access, permissions, features, etc...)
- Protect/manage feeds (yes really, this is huge for membership sites)
- Protect/manage a dedicated chat room
- Protect/manage calendar events and information
- Create or assign a user/member group
- Create/update recurring billing (see below)
2. Recurring Payments - This is HUGE. This is the single biggest problem with membership software. The payment side of the script has to be able to "report to" and "report from" the merchant account payment processor. The best way to explain is to use an example. If "newguy" signs up for my "subscription1", I should get a notice via email and in the admin (yes, basic). However, I should have admin options for all of the following per sale:
- Create a custom "thank you" landing page per subscription (the membership area is covered above)
- The ability to "upsell" each new sale via a sales funnel during signup
- The ability to "upsell" existing members based on time frame, product purchased and product expiry date
- The ability to "resell with coupon/discount" anyone that decides to cancel their subscription
- The ability to generate coupons that are subscription specific (not a generic 30% off anything coupon)
- The member should have access to detailed reporting; payments made, product details, invoice download and the ability to cancel any/all subscriptions from their membership portal.
- The admin side needs detailed reporting; payments made (with details), new sales charting, bounce rate from sign-up pages, bounce rate from sales funnel and (this is key for membership sites) projected sales based on active subscriptions.