Sam's Club is one of the largest retail warehouse clubs in the United States with a highly diverse consumer base. In recent years, it has been pushing for an online-first shopping experience. Providing exclusive offers, items, and experiences available only with a Sam's Club membership is key to attracting, retaining, and renewing our members.
Since 2019's final quarter, I've been working on - and, eventually leading - the user experience to add popular subscriptions with free trials on Sam's Club's digital e-commerce platforms.
END-TO-END SENIOR PRODUCT DESIGNER WORKING WITH A LEAD DESIGNER AND CONTENT DESIGNER
PROVIDE SUBSCRIPTIONS WITH FREE TRIALS AT A DISCOUNTED PRICES TO ALL SAM'S CLUB MEMBERS
OCT 2019 - PRESENT
Existing product and issues
Subscriptions as a product were a recent addition to Sam's Club's cohort of digital products. Any Sam's Club member with a Club (basic) or Plus (premium) membership can get popular subscription services at reduced, 'members-only' pricing.
Member can add the subscription as an item to their cart, check out and manage the subscription on their account - a unique solution in the e-commerce space!
However, none of the subscriptions had a free trial. Most potential partners had free trials and product feedback indicated that members wanted to 'try before they buy'.
While we had the existing experience to work off of, it was critical that we effectively message and communicate the specifications of the free trial, the subscription's benefits, pricing models, limited-time offers and more, to prospective customers
Hence, we analyzed popular subscriptions with a free trial. Some key players included Hulu, HBO Max, Spotify, and Amazon Prime.
We found that most subscriptions highlight the free trial time period first, followed by the monthly or annual price that's charged after the free trial expires.
A new user is immediately drawn to the free trial highlighted on the landing page's POV. 'Try up to one month free' specifies the trial length. Users can also see the plans that come up with a free trial. 'Get first month free, then $5.99/month' focuses on the free trial, and the price of the plan post-free trial expiring.
Spotify and Apple Music
Spotify and Apple Music both have a single plan with a three month free trial. While Spotify emphasizes the free trial time period, Apple Music additionally calls out the monthly price after the free trial expires.
While Showtime was one of our first subscription partners with a free trial, the design team emphasized the need for an experience and content framework that could be scaled for any subscription with a free trial.
As the product and content teams explored solutions, we kept these considerations in mind, based on the current purchase flow and market research insights.
FREE TRIAL PERIOD should be immediately clear to the member
MONTHLY OR ANNUAL PRICE should be shown after free trial time period
CONSISTENT MESSAGING will need to be shown across the purchase flow
The same string should be shown below the line-item price in cart and in the subscribe section below the item in checkout
'Until you cancel' should always be appended at the end
PLP and PDP: Try (plan type) free for XX days
Cart and checkout: After your free trial ends, you'll be charged ($XX.XX/mo or $XX.XX/yr) (condition) until you cancel