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Enfocus: successful switch from software licenses to subscription model

Facilitating the switch to a new business model? That’s exactly what AGConsult did for software company Enfocus. We contributed to the financial and customer service success of the subscription model.

“AGConsult masters the art of keeping things simple. We often wondered ‘Why didn’t we think of that ourselves?’ But we never did. And exactly that is their added value.”

Liesbet Olbrechts, director product management - Enfocus

This decade, a lot of software companies experience a drop in the sales of everlasting licenses. Including Enfocus. That’s why they also introduced a subscription model: customers pay on a monthly or yearly basis, instead of doing a one-time payment.

Partly thanks to the collaboration with AGConsult, the switch went smoothlyand the new business model is a financial and customer service success.

3 years after the launch, the new formula accounts for 5.500 new subscriptions. That’s 20% of the total revenue.

“AGConsult masters the art of keeping things simple. We often wondered ‘Why didn’t we think of that ourselves?’. But we never did. And exactly that is their added value “.
Liesbet Olbrechts, director of product management Enfocus

Switching from licenses to subscriptions

Enfocus is part of multinational Esko. The company develops software for the graphic industry. When the sale of everlasting licenses started to sink into stagnation, Enfocus took action.

Besides the licenses, they introduced online subscription formulas. Like Microsoft, Adobe and other software giants have done before. Now customers cannot only buy software, but they can also lease it on a monthly or yearly base.

Besides everlasting licenses, Enfocus now also offers monthly and yearly subscriptions.
Besides everlasting licenses, Enfocus now also offers monthly and yearly subscriptions.

 

This switch has a big impact on the way customers buy and manage their software products.

Enfocus was convinced that usability had to play an essential role in the new online flow: “We chose AGConsult because their focus is 100% on usability”, says Liesbet.

Working out every flow into detail

Enfocus adapted its business model and switched to a subscription model. Therefore, our usability experts designed and developed an optimal registration, order and management flow. Like this, we helped to implement the new subscription model.

This model took into account every possible scenario in the user flows. Like ordering a subscription for yourself or your fellow worker, managing user rights and of course renewing subscriptions.

The core of the new subscription flow? Transparent information architecture that easily guides the users on their way.

Davy Van Den Bremt, senior information architect at AGConsult: ”When working with Enfocus, we did not just structure content, we worked with them to develop a brand new business model. We had quick and good results, mainly because of our close collaboration. More revenue and fewer calls for the support team: this outcome doesn’t only make Enfocus happy, but also me personally”.

Tackling the technical challenges

Drawing out the flows was not just about usability and conversion. It was also about tackling technical issues. That’s because we were working at 2 levels: management of the online subscriptions and the software itself.

This means that during the design process, we had to take into account that users do not only manage their software online. They can also perform tasks in the software itself, like renewing their subscription.

Enfocus’s showpiece is PitStop Pro, the best selling pdf-tool for Acrobat.
Enfocus’s showpiece is PitStop Pro, the bestselling PDF tool for Acrobat.

 

We had to make sure these 2 levels matched. Without sacrificing usability and conversion. A balancing act, but we succeeded.

Tested & approved at an international level 

User research is an important step towards a user-friendly subscription flow. Our client fully agreed: “The extended and hands-on user testing plan AGConsult suggested, seemed the only and right way to go”, Liesbet says.

The extended and hands-on user testing plan AGConsult suggested, seemed the only and right way to go

We tested the user experience of the new subscription flows in the United States, the UK and Sweden. The tests were performed in Belgium, via remote moderated user testing. Based on these results, we adjusted the flows. Until we had created the optimal version.

By organizing user testing in different countries, we were convinced that the flows are transparent and easy to use for an international target audience. This is a must for Enfocus, who delivers software worldwide.

The outcome: happy customers and more revenue 

Both Enfocus as their customers are delighted with the new subscription flows.

In 2018, the altered formula generated 5,500 new subscriptions. That’s 20% of the company’s total revenue.

Since the introduction 3 years ago, Enfocus didn’t receive any complaint about the new subscription model. They feared that customer service would be overwhelmed with phone calls and e-mails, but on the contrary. This means Enfocus is saving a lot of time and money.

Also, the sales figures speak for themselves. Director of product management Liesbet describes the introduction as a huge success: ”In 2018 the altered formula generated 5.500 new subscriptions, that’s a whopping 20% of the company’s total revenue. This result definitely exceeds our expectations!”

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