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  • Writer's pictureSebin George

How to build customer loyalty in the subscription economy?

Updated: Feb 3

build customer loyalty - neointeraction design

The rise of subscription-based services has brought forth the importance of user experience (UX) design in ensuring sustained user engagement. In this article, we will look into effective strategies for designing user experiences that keep users committed to subscription services over the long term.

"Loyal customers, they don't just come back, they don't simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you". - Chip Bell

Strategies for designing user experiences

1. Onboarding Excellence

Designing an intuitive and informative onboarding journey is crucial in ensuring users are engaged from the start. Successfully onboarding a user affects the retention rate of a product or service. According to quettra On average 60 to 80% users are lost in the first 7 days due to poor onboarding.

A good example would be how Duolingo onboards its users by giving them a feel of how easy it is to learn a language before committing to sign up for the application. The users are asked a few simple questions to personalize the experience and is asked to choose a language they wish to learn the learning starts before the signup; this gives the user an idea of how easy it is to learn with the application.

90 plus my tuition app had a substantial increase in its user acquisition due to the revamped design and onboarding.

Onboarding mobile design - Neointeraction design

2. Creating Personalized Journeys

Personalization emerges as a key strategy in retaining users. Effective UX design tailors experiences to individual preferences, creating a sense of connection. When tailoring to a specific user it becomes important to strike the right balance between customization and user privacy. Personalisation is based on collected user data and applications like spotify and netflix collects data regarding what their users are listening or watching to and constantly updates and suggests new playlists and movies. Spotify’s curated playlists are a delight to listen to, They have playlists for almost every emotion or action a user is undergoing. Some examples are chill mix to unwind after a long day, daily drive to listen to while driving, dance hits to bring out the hidden moves, power hour for your gym sessions etc.

user journey maps - neointeraction design

3. Predicting User Needs

Successful subscription services go beyond meeting existing needs; they anticipate and fulfill user needs before they arise. Predicting and showcasing the necessary data is important in creating user experiences that exceed expectations.

Netflix predicts user needs based on a combination of machine learning algorithms and user data analysis. This helps them to suggest new content to the users. Which in turn keeps them engaged on the platform.

Netflix show prediction - neoiteraction design

4. Seamless Cross-Platform Experiences

People are nowadays on multiple devices at the same time so it is important to consider cross platform support so that users can be engaged with products and services according to their needs.

Hotstar can be watched on mobile, tablets, laptop & smart TV. This allows users to watch wherever they want.

Cross platfrom ux design

5. Feedback Loops and Continuous Improvement

User feedback acts as a valuable tool in refining subscription services. It has become essential to consider the feedback path to continuously improve your product and services. Google Maps is a good example for this. They ask users for ratings and reviews of business the user has been to and users can report inaccuracies in location data. They try to constantly improve and bring in new features which helps users navigate better.

ux design feedbacks

6. Building Emotional Connections

User loyalty often stems from emotional connections. Hence subscription services can tap into it by incorporating design elements that resonate with users on an emotional level, which helps cultivate lasting relationships.

An example for this would be Headspace which is a mindfulness and meditation application. One way they build an emotional connection with their users is by providing personalized guided meditations.

building connections ux design

7. Gamification for Engagement:

Gamification adds a layer of interactivity to the user experience. Incorporating game-like elements can enhance user engagement and contribute to long-term retention.

The fitness app Strava uses gamification techniques to encourage users to compete with themselves or others for recording the fastest time and maintains a leaderboard

You can read our blog on how gamification can encourage financial discipline here.

Gamification ux design

8. Data-Driven Decision Making

Data analytics provides valuable insights into user behavior. Designing with a data-driven approach allows for informed decision-making, ensuring that user experiences are continually refined based on real-world usage patterns.

Amazon is famous for being data-driven to optimize its operation and customer experience. It collects user data, popularity trends, past purchase history, etc.


In the subscription economy, where choices abound, designing for customer retention requires a strategic and user-centric approach. By embracing personalization, perfecting onboarding experiences, and staying in sync with user feedback, UX designers play a pivotal role in creating experiences that not only attract users initially but also encourages long-term engagement. As the subscription landscape evolves, Neointeraction Design expertise in crafting digital experiences can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of the subscription economy.


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