With the deep-rooted penetration of smartphones and the Internet into mainstream life, the marketplace for goods and services has pivoted sharply over the last few years. Moreover, with the pandemic impacting the world in unprecedented ways, standard industry purchasing trends have further undergone a steeper pace of change. Unsurprisingly, mobile-app subscriptions have emerged as one of the leading consumer models thanks to the myriad of benefits they introduce to consumers and merchants alike. Statistically speaking, consumer spending on mobile apps has reached new heights, along with the revenue generated by mobile app subscriptions.

Data suggests that global consumer spending in the top 100 nongame mobile app subscriptions has soared from $9.7 billion in 2019 to $13 billion in 2020, marking a steep year-on-year growth of 34%. It is expected that mobile apps are going to generate to the tune of over $935 billion in revenue by 2023. 

These numbers, with such a promising growth trajectory, reflect the potential of the mobile-based subscription industry and offer good reasons for subscription merchants to dig deeper into mobile.

Why are customers choosing mobile app subscriptions?

Customers prefer to spend on good quality products or services with a reasonable price tag and a stellar customer experience. Since the dawn of subscriptions to print newspapers, milk bottles, and DVDs, subscription-based business models have historically introduced quality and price effectiveness in buying. Now, consumers are subscribed to everything from e-books and streaming apps to monthly supplies of groceries and rentable designer wear or cars.

Additionally, as a result of the pandemic, consumers have figured out new ways to satisfy their needs by way of e-commerce. While the endemic is becoming more prevalent each day, this habit of wanting everything online has now been solidified as a part of the new consumer lifestyle. 

Almost 20% of e-commerce revenue comes from digital subscriptions. With mobile app subscriptions, consumers get everything they love about subscriptions–the customer experience, reasonable prices, great quality–plus:

  • The unmatched convenience of subscribing to any good or service in a matter of a few simple clicks on a handy device

  • The benefit of auto-replenishing their needs once they set up subscriptions on their mobile devices, making routines even more straightforward

  • The option to cancel subscriptions as easily as starting them, empowering customers with significant control–something every buyer desires

Why are merchants offering mobile app subscriptions?

For merchants, subscriptions offer a source of stable, recurring revenue, empowering them with greater predictability and smooth cash flows. Mobile app subscriptions further these efforts with more opportunities to grow your business, such as:

  • Providing subscriptions via mobile apps allows merchants to reach prospective customers promptly and exactly where they like to buy from. This creates an effective way to target a broader market across different geographies in the hyper-connected, 24/7 digital world.

  • Leveraging a model clearly preferred by customers allows for maintaining a sharp edge over any competition that hasn’t forayed into mobile app subscriptions.

  • With the extensive user data that mobile apps collect, it’s easier to identify patterns and buying behavior to pivot and adapt business models for success.

  • With more simplified and easy-to-manage subscription payments available now, merchants can securely streamline payments to ensure business is conducted smoothly and efficiently from anywhere in the world.

Today, apps cater to a variety of consumer needs–from entertainment and travel to fitness and daily essentials. Merchants who want to venture into mobile app subscriptions will discover endless opportunities to create more revenue streams for their business. 

Actionable tips for businesses to successfully run mobile app subscriptions

While mobile-app subscriptions offer a compelling business case for merchants to explore, they still present the classic woes of subscriptions, such as the difficulties of customer acquisition and churn. Some essential tips to navigate through these include:

  • Drawing a meaningful pricing policy by offering flexible plans spanning freemium models, monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription plans.

  • Investing sweat into continuously converting prospects to customers through promotional campaigns, dunning campaigns, etc. 

  • Upselling additional features to existing customers leveraging interactions via in-app popups or value-oriented marketing campaigns.

  • Providing reliable billing systems to minimize failed in-app transactions, prove dependability, and foster long-term trust.

  • Offering excellent customer experience at all times, right from robust onboarding to personalized in-app experiences and continuous app upgrades to stay relevant.

The popularity of mobile app subscriptions has increased significantly over the last few years, making it a top choice for both consumers and merchants. The key to success in the mobile app subscription industry lies in offering customers an excellent, meaningful, and dependable experience. For businesses, mobile app subscriptions will remain a smart strategic decision as the consumer population grows more and more dependent on convenience and accessibility.