Subscription services have become a key component of the contemporary commercial landscape. One recent study found 16% of ecommerce companies polled would implement subscriptions in 2021, with a further 30% evaluating the possibility.
At a time in which consumers are keen to embrace greater convenience and personalized services, subscription is a route to gaining engagement and maintaining long-term patronage.
Yet, this growth in popularity creates challenges. With more companies catching on to the benefits of subscriptions, this results in a growth in competition. Simply having a lower price or a better product selection isn’t the whole solution here. You need to make the time your consumers spend interacting with your platform optimized for their needs, wants, and challenges. This is where a great user experience (UX) can set you above the rest of the crowd.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you should approach optimizing your subscription service UX.
Plan Your Practice
Just tacking some common UX actions on top of your current processes isn’t the most effective route. You don’t have the same subscription product base as the majority of other companies, even within the subscription industry space.
As such, your customers are going to have different desires and priorities. You need to plan your approach specifically for your model.
Though your end goal is a subscription UX tailored to your business, this doesn’t mean there aren’t templates you can formulate around. Getting started in UX can benefit from some design thinking methodology. This can take you through empathizing with your consumers to understand their UX needs and pain points.
It will also include structured ideation that looks at different solutions for how to engage with subscription service users while also serving your business model. As with all well-planned business processes, you should also be using a prototyping and testing system to establish how this new UX fits into your subscription model and how consumers are responding.
One of the pitfalls for subscription UX is limiting the interactions of your consumers. Remember, at its best, a subscription service becomes part of your customer’s lifestyle. As such, you need to design your platforms to reflect how they prefer to use online spaces. Putting effort into optimizing your mobile presence can be a step forward here.
This can’t just be limited to making your desktop site mobile compatible. It’s worth taking the time to learn how consumers interact with touch screens and mobile platforms. This gives you better tools to effectively design and build UX features encouraging a greater level of engagement. Consumers’ mobile behavior and even the environment in which they’re interacting with you can impact their overall experience with your brand.
Tapping into this can help ensure not just ease of use but also improve customer service. This goes beyond converting customers to subscriptions, encouraging them to stick with you for longer.
In some cases, it can be wise to create a mobile app for your subscription service. This is particularly helpful if you have different levels of subscription you can offer consumers to move up and down on. It helps to make their journey easier and can be a route to helping create a personalized experience that is increasingly popular.
Utilize Your Data
You can’t go into improving your UX for your consumers blindly. Not only is this inefficient, it’s also entirely unnecessary. We live in a more data-rich landscape than almost any other time in human history. Every time your visitors and subscribers interact with your platform, they leave a trail of breadcrumbs. You should be using this to frequently reassess and adjust your UX approach.
Look specifically at how your subscribers interact with each of your assets. Their behavior can tell you a lot about what they get the most value from with your website or app. Are there certain types of content leading most people straight to your sign-up page? Do you find pop-ups requiring subscriptions before users can access some items encourage conversions? Look at where they drop away from engagement, as this can signal areas in your UX consumers find to be a hurdle.
It’s also helpful to use active forms of data like consumer surveys, too. One of the things to remember about a subscription model is it can be a customer service trap. So, encouraging periodic feedback from consumers helps you to get real-time insights on the hurdles in your UX and helps show subscribers you’re paying attention to them.
There are a lot of subscription services on the market. You may even find several in your particular niche. This can lead to uncertainty for consumers at a time when they are looking for simplicity. As such, one of the ways you can optimize your service’s UX is by improving the presence of clarity.
It’s always worth reviewing the way you present your subscription levels in this regard. It might seem impressive to have a huge range of options and alternatives, but this can muddy matters. Often just a few clear levels can help consumers to feel like they know exactly what to expect. The same goes for providing a little space on the homepage of your site to detail step-by-step how your process works.
Remember, providing clarity on minimum subscription periods and your cancelation procedures is a positive thing, too. Make this easy for them. This keys into a psychological need for consumers to feel in control of their subscriptions. It’s a small adjustment in the overall UX of your site, but it means that if consumers feel they’re not being locked in, they may be more comfortable coming back in the future.
Keeping subscribers engaged with your services can come down to providing them with an optimum user experience. Take the time to plan improvements and wherever possible drive these with your data. Elements like updating your mobile presence and prioritizing clarity can set you above the competitive subscription marketplace.
Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer covering topics related to Technology, AI/Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, Politics, Business, and Marketing
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