In a market where subscription services continue to gain popularity, offering personalized experiences can set your business apart from competitors–becoming a unique selling point that attracts and retains customers in a landscape where differentiation is crucial.

Over the last year, once-familiar concepts like pricing, payments, and personalization have gained newfound significance in the subscription industry. Heightened economic uncertainty has made consumers exceptionally price-sensitive, leaving the subscriber experience vulnerable to their critiques of payment options, customization features, and more.

Consequently, businesses find themselves in a race to meet–and exceed–these evolving expectations. And for 2024, a stellar subscriber experience is the competitive advantage all businesses should strive to have. 

Through our benchmarking and trend analysis in the 2024 State of Subscriptions report, I’ve identified three fundamental pillars for this endeavor. Let’s review each of them!

Flexible and personalized customer journeys

An exceptional subscriber experience entails granting subscribers co-ownership, enabling them to create a custom subscription that aligns with their specific needs and desires, while also allowing for adjustments as preferences evolve.

From free trials to pausing options to payment alternatives, consumers seek the convenience that custom subscription offers can deliver. In fact, 74% of consumers rank personalization as their top motive for subscribing, while 65% would likely reconsider canceling a subscription if they can customize their plan to their needs.

When subscribers are allowed to tailor their memberships and plans to fit their preferences, they are more likely to perceive a subscription as valuable, helping you build a stronger relationship with your customer base.

Seamless and convenient subscription payments

With the current economic landscape, payment trends continue to play a crucial role in accommodating shifting consumer behaviors that directly impact the subscriber experience. 

The never-ending task of balancing convenience and security in recurring payments continues, and companies are constantly looking for the right combination of payment alternatives, gateways, and fraud management tools that help deliver a seamless payment experience.

While the most popular payment method in subscriptions was debit (45.5%), the alternative payment method adoption across the direct-to-consumer industry caters to varying consumer preferences, enhances payment flexibility, reduces friction, and provides a competitive edge for businesses operating globally.

Effective and timely retention strategies

As consumers become more particular with their spending, they deliberate more extensively on their purchases, so they’re less likely to churn, leaving a consistent 4.1% median churn rate in 2023.

For 2024, the subscriber experience will remain the pivotal force behind customer retention. Successful subscription businesses are now built upon the foundation of intelligent retries, credit card updaters, dunning campaigns, and decline management techniques that help them achieve sustainable growth.

In addition to personalization, payment strategies, and churn management, the growth toolkit should include loyalty rewards, competitive pricing, discounts, gifting, and more. This marks the era of the subscriber, wherein their experience and perceived value directly translate into profitable revenue.

Benchmarks and industry trends are a good place to start when designing an unforgettable subscriber experience. Our 2024 State of Subscriptions report gives you the latest insights of over 2,000 subscription brands and more than 56 million unique subscribers, plus a fascinating take on our predictions for the future of subscriptions.