March 21, 2019

Can my product still add value as a layer on top of Stripe?

TLDR: I built a product on top of Stripe, but Stripe is launching similar features. Can my product still add value as a layer on top of Stripe?

I started Checkout Page (https://checkoutpage.co) last year as a layer that works on top of Stripe. Back then, you could only use Stripe by writing server code. That's where Checkout Page came in – I'd make it possible for people to use Stripe without code.

Fast forward about a year, I've grown the product to generate some revenue and have a handful of monthly subscribers.

Now Stripe has been working on their new Checkout (https://stripe.com/docs/payments/checkout) and I feel like the value Checkout Page delivers decreases, relative to Stripe.

For the end customer, I'm happy that Stripe is delivering these functionalities. Where they previously made it really easy to integrate payments and billing into software, now anyone can take payments. That's a huge step forward.

I'm wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation, where they piggyback on a fast growing company, but are ultimately pushed away because they were too late, too small or didn't add enough value? I've been trying to stay positive and find the areas that Checkout Page can differentiate in, but it's difficult.

Sander

  1. 2

    Without having checked out the product, you could add more options such as PayPal to increase conversions for businesses.

    Having both increases conversions.

    P.S. Currently struggling with adding PayPal and Stripe.

    1. 1

      That's a fair point and definitely something that would set the product apart.

      I'm using Stripe Connect to not have to act as a merchant between my customers and their customers. Paypal has similar technology under the name of Paypal for Partners, but access is limited. I'll see if I can get in.

    2. 1

      Ditto to this. I have encountered quite a few customer unable to pay via Stripe, who said they would prefer to use PayPal.

  2. 2

    I am going to ignore specifics here and make a very meta-statement about competition...whether it is from the start or after release.

    Competition doesn't matter if "You have a value prop" and can "reach people to pay for that value prop (with an LTV higher than CTA)".

    Meaning if you offer something Stripe Checkout does or some other reason to use your app AND you can reach prospective clients through some means (ads, blogging, whatever).

    🤷🏻‍♂️

  3. 2

    @csallen, Stripe should acquihire @sanderfish ... 🙄

  4. 1

    Hi @sanderfish, I recently implemented a stripe checkout page for https://stratejos.ai. Overall the implementation was pretty good though it was missing one thing that made it tough for us.

    Our pricing model is per seat tiered i.e. 1-10 users = $x per user, 10-20 users = $y per user etc.

    Implementing this with stripe checkout was a serious pain and required setting up a bunch of different products in stripe and some hackery.

    Not sure if this helps but maybe others have similar issues using Stripe checkout with non-standard pricing models.

    1. 1

      Were you using the Stripe Checkout pop-up?

      Stripe has added subscription support to their beta Checkout last week. I don't know how it works for tiered billing, but it's likely that they will integrate that at some point.

      ^ That's exactly my concern, just building whatever Stripe doesn't have yet has been my route so far, but it's stressful and not a long term approach.

  5. 1

    @sanderfish I've worked and am working in a similar space (ie. headless ecommerce).

    It's a terrible market right now in the sense that the larger players are all clamouring to get into this space with their own solutions (eg. Square's announcement to offer a free online store, Instagram's checkout, Webflow introduced its own ecommerce solutions that's native to its platform).

    My company's product offers some crazy features that are practically purpose-built for 1-2 merchants. If you're going to offer a pure play SAAS, I'd say it's difficult to impossible to differentiate yourself. You'll need to essentially go semi-custom (which we've done) for this to work, which means you will need to build out custom solutions for the clients.

    On top of this, integrations with existing platforms are also getting more and more limited -- see Shopify's recent terms update for their API -- so forget about trying to grow through third party integrations.

    For ourselves, longer term, we'll be converting our product into a customization service. Needless to say, it's a long grind for services vs products.

    Good luck.

    1. 1

      Totally agree. While being easy to build on top of Stripe is exactly how I've been able to create a product like this, it means that it's easy for existing companies too.

      All these big players seem to be moving into e-commerce and building e-commerce into their platforms. I seems like it will become the standard for any customer facing application to be able to take payments. That decreases the market share for independent payment solutions immensely. Which may ultimately be a good thing.

      Would be interesting to read how you deal with those customizations and support for them. Can you share more on that?

      1. 1

        Happy to share and discuss. Ping me on Twitter (see my profile).

    2. 1

      @geetfun I would like to reach out to you about some of your work.

      can you shoot me an email to start a dialog?

      Regards

      Matt

  6. 1

    Hi @sanderfish, sorry but I do not have any comment on how stripe is building out something similar to your product, but I'm wondering if we might be able to work together on what you have built for my gateway.

    Please shoot me an email I will explain in detail.

    My email is in my profile

    Matt