App Store devs can offer discounts to win back subscribers

App Store devs can offer discounts to win back subscribers

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App Store subscriptions
There are three new subscription options to choose from.
Photo: Apple

Apple is giving iOS, macOS, and tvOS developers the ability to offer discounted subscriptions in an effort to win back past subscribers.

A new article posted to App Store Connect details the change and explains the three options developers will have to choose from — including a free trial period like those offered to new customers.

Subscriptions have proven incredibly successful on Apple’s platforms for a variety of reasons. They’re great for both developers and end users, and more and more app makers are choosing them over upfront fees.

Subscriptions give users access to their favorite apps for a small monthly fee, rather than a large upfront cost. What’s more, subscribers get access to the latest versions of an app — including big upgrades.

Subscriptions also give developers a regular, stable income. And now it’s going to be easier for developers who use subscriptions to win back previous customers.

Apple gives developers new subscription options

“Apps with auto-renewable subscriptions will soon be able to provide a discounted price for a specific duration for existing or previously subscribed customers,” Apple explains in a new App Store Connect article.

“You can use subscription offers to help win back subscribers who have canceled their subscriptions or promote an upgrade to another subscription at a special price. Customers can accept the offer even if they’ve already completed an introductory offer.”

The three options available to developers include:

  • Free: Customers get access to a subscription for free for a specific duration. The standard renewal price is applied when the trial ends.
  • Pay As You Go: Customers pay a promotional price for each billing period for a selected duration. For instance, developers can offer three months of access for half price, then charge the full cost after that.
  • Pay Up Front: Customers pay a one-time fee for a specific duration. Developers can use this to offer six-month or one-year plans.

Not just for old subscribers

Although these options are designed to help developers win back past subscribers, they can also be offered to new and existing customers. So, introductory prices can be offered to those who have never subscribed before.

Developers will also be able to see which users have disabled auto-renewal, giving them the opportunity to extend a promotional offer before their subscription comes to an end.

The new subscription options will be available with iOS 12.2, macOS Mojave 10.14.4, and tvOS 12.2 and later. Developers can prepare for the change now by downloading the Xcode 10.2 beta and implementing the new StoreKit APIs.

Developers can also start creating new promotions in App Store Connect. Apple is allowing up to 10 different promotions to be active at any one time.