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    2. Member Engagement Strategy and Membership UX Evolution

      Nick Liu - Vice President of Design


      When the demographic dividend begins to decline, we should think about how to keep valuable users from establishing longer-term connections with them.

      We changed our thinking from "flow" to "retention", redefining and designing the UX in membership bonus system, including Currency System, Bonus system, Users Level System, Game Task System, to make better brand recognition. 

      In recent years, when we talk about some concepts like New Retail or Full Link, we always focus on the interaction between users and products. Nowadays we find that requirements from our customers have shifted from the interaction entry-point to the design of business logic behind these products or services. 

      We believe that the operation system, services platform system and the supported systems will also directly or indirectly affect the overall UX. Therefore, as UX designers, we began to think about how to apply UX within a business framework, to create a superior relationship between users and corporates. 

      Increasing the risk of being replaced.

      The advantages of the service itself to consumers are being tested. The homogeneity of products is increasing in today’s market, which makes the risk of being replaced is also raising now, and users may be transferred to use other products at any time.

      For example, one of my colleagues likes to use a bank APP to take a taxi, because the APP can call a taxi from multiple platforms at the same time, and she will choose the fastest corresponding one. In this case, there is no loyalty for a colleague in taxi choosing, and she can be transferred at any time 

      In the environment of higher substitutability, we need to establish a long-term relationship between users and corporates, rather than focusing on the interactions with services or products themselves.

      Consumers’ numbness in decision making.

      According to our research on more than 3400 users of a credit-card App, we find that consumers gradually have a numb sensation on marketing and preferences. The numbness means users’ awareness of products or services becomes more insensitive, and the only remaining influenced factor is the price. Consumers have less loyalty to corporates. 

      The corporation has invested a lot of budget on membership rights and benefits establishing, hoping to retain users, but users can not perceive it. The result of our survey shows that 30.5% of inactive users consider the rules of reward application are complicated, while 32.3% of slow users show no interest in the reward in a system. Moreover, there are 28.4% of snow users are not familiar with how to use the bonus in a program.

      Exploring the pain points of the membership bonus system.

      To solve the problem of consumers’ numbness, we re-analyzed several membership systems in the market from the perspective of UX and found some common pain points of theses membership systems.

      1. A low-grade benefits

      The rights and benefits provided by the corporation are in low value, which makes senior users unwilling to waste time on it. However, repurchase rates for users who prefer to use membership rights are depressed, and they may leave straightforward when consuming all interests.

      2. The complicated bonus system

      Some membership bonus system has complicated and changeable rules of operation, which makes uses can not figure out how to calculate the bonus. So that the user’s overall perception of the value of the membership bonus is confused.

      3. The way of participation is limited by function. 

      In some bank App, the core business is used less frequently in daily life. If the bonus operation is closely related to the usage of theses function, the scale of membership rights and interests will be limited as well.

      4. The separation of reward content from core services.

      The bonus provided by corporations is not what users needed. Users will leave when they consume the low-grade bonus, without accessing the core services.

      The efficient membership bonus system in the market.

      In addition to the pain points, we have also seen some efficient membership system from the market. They import the way of the game into the membership system to improve user activity, or through the growth of members to form the difference between bonus. And they try to use reward subscriptions to feedback the core business, to create more chances for users getting touch with the products.

      For example, Starbucks’ rule of membership is easy to understand and follow, which links all the rewards to coffee. The accumulated consumption amount of consumers can be exchanged for small stars, and the number of stars can promote different membership levels. The whole process of upgrading is clear and visible.

      Starbucks's membership system creates a challenging goal for consumers, to accumulate stars and then upgraded. Every level has corresponding rewards for consumers which makes them feel valuable, rather than an unlimited accumulation. 

      The sense of achievement and satisfaction from upgrading drives consumers to participate in the system voluntarily for a long time.

      Re-thinking the mode of Membership Loyalty Experience.

      To improve the UX of the membership bonus system, the first step is to establish an efficient Currency System and Bonus system. Also, users need the feeling of growth in the system to improve their activity. Therefore, we design a new model of membership bonus system with a Game Task System, Bonus system, User Level System, and Currency System.

      Users get the currency from the game task system, then consuming the bonus related to the core business. So that users can have more possibility to contact with other businesses or products, thus forming a closed-loop service.

      The driven forces to enhance users’ reward awareness.

      To make users’ participation in the membership system more active, we utilize different forces to stimulate the perception of users at different levels.

      For users who have just entered the system, we design to make a sense of success as a driving factor. Because users at the initial level can not enjoy the rewards with higher value, but they pat more attention to the goals at a higher level and enjoy the process of growth.

      For users in the middle stage, the driving forces would be the price. They prefer the affordable goods and services provided by corporates.

      For senior users, emotion is the most important factor in retaining them. For example, I’m getting used to buying a coffee at Starbucks every day, due to they can accurately grasp my needs. This subtle emotional connection kept me continuously buying coffee at Starbucks.

      Generally, when thinking about how to create the Membership Loyalty Experience to maintain users, we need to make an intimate relationship between corporates and users, not only from the view of products or services.

      ETU hopes to reform the membership bonus system from the perspective of UX, using easily perceived forces to increase the emotional link between users and corporates, while inducing the investment cost, and ultimately realize the transformation from “traffic” to “retention”.

      ETU’s Membership Loyalty Experience program addressing underperforming member engagement issues with an innovative approach in the UX perspective. By completing the process of membership experience redefine and redesign, a member is willing to embrace a business’ brand and engage in their product/service on another level.



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