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Improve conversion with upgrades from non-consumables in-app

In this article we will cover how you can structure your offerings in a way that makes it easy to upgrade a user who has chosen a…
Luca Garbolino
November 25, 2022
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In this article we will cover how you can structure your offerings in a way that makes it easy to upgrade a user who has chosen a non-consumable purchase. Adding this strategy to your offerings in-app can greatly impact your ability to grow revenue and using Glassfy it is simple to setup. Keep in mind that there are many best practices on what type of offerings you should try based on your specific industry and set of services, this is just one strategy that we believe is under utilized.

First, let’s quickly get our definitions correct because this can be very confusing if you are new to the subject.


  • Consumable — Purpose of this offering is that it can be purchased and used in its entirety. Examples: Tokens in a game or a health and fitness app offering access to lessons.
  • Non-consumable — Purpose is for this to be used just once and is associated with the user’s store account and kept for the life of that user. Examples: Unlocking a level in a game, accessing a specific course of an education app, or removing ads from an app.
  • Auto-Renewable Subscription — Lets a user access content over a determined period of time and once that time is over it will automatically renew unless the user cancels. Examples: Social network app giving premium access and unlimited ‘swipes’ or a Media application providing premium access to all parts of the app and articles.
  • Non-Renewing Subscription — User access content same to auto-renewable subscription but it has a definitive end date and cannot automatically renew.

Pro tip: Google does not have separate offers for non-consumable and consumable in-app purchases, Apple on the other hand requires developers to choose the specific option.

The use case

Why would I want to have this monetization strategy? The answer is simple, user demand and behaviors are mercurial and ultimately differ (even slightly) by user and cohort. You should strive to offer as many options as possible (as long as you can make sense and manage it) to accommodate and find the best ways your service monetizes.

  • App Category: Health and Fitness
  • App Name: GlassfyFit
  • Stores: App Store, Play Store, and Web
  • What we do: Offer a variety of fitness classes virtually on our app (Yoga, Cycle, etc.)

Today we offer a Auto-Renewable Subscription in our app which allows a user to subscribe and receive unlimited content access for an annual subscription renewing every year.

We see that we have a lot of users drop off after initial download and free trial. We also know that Health and Fitness is a seasonable industry and in addition people tend to be wary of commitment. We know that we have a great service if only people could try it.

In this case we want to great three product lines:

  1. Auto-renewable Subscription — Recurring access to all our fitness content
  2. Non-Consumable — Access to one specific course

We want to offer this additional form of purchases both because it is a new revenue stream but additionally its a way for a user to test out our solution.

This now gives us the structure to provide an “upgrade” experience so that when a user is enjoying their consumable offering they can elect to upgrade to an Auto-Renewable Subscription which is the ultimate objective of ours.

How to build it

Structure of upgrade process

Allow the user that purchases a Single Yoga or Cycle Sessions non-consumable to upgrade to an Unlimited Sessions Subscription for a discount.

Here is the logic you implement:

Create a SKU with products on AppStore and PlayStore called ANNUAL_SUBSCRIPTION_PROMOFOREXISTING_USER_A that is identical to ANNUAL_SUBSCRIPTION_A but has an introductory offer paid upfront for $29.99 annually.

This allows the user that purchased a Single Yoga or Cycle Class to purchase ANNUAL_SUBSCRIPTION_PROMOFOREXISTING_USER_A   $29.99 annually instead of ANNUAL_SUBSCRIPTION_A.

With this configuration the user will pay the subscription 29.99$ first year and 39.99$ the next years.

A similar logic applies to consumable and we will write about that workflow next. If you need any help implementing this or would like to test Glassfy, you can build for free anytime.

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