We currently offer two different gift subscription types. There is a one time gift, and a recurring gift. I'm trying to figure out the best terminology for the user to understand what a recurring gift is. (auto renewed). As an example, a user who purchases a 3 month subscription, would be auto billed for the next 3 months until they cancel their gift.

  • It's a gift or are you charging people? What is a "recurring gift"? How do you want to clearly explain your users a non-sense? Either it's a gift, either you're charging your users, it can't be both things at the same time, so your question has no possible answer – Devin Jul 15 '15 at 2:41
  • It’s not completely clear what you mean by a gift. Is this about charity, a gift to someone else, or a gift the subscriber receives for being a member? – jazZRo Jul 15 '15 at 7:25
  • Why is the one-time gift a "subscription" at all? To me, "subscription" suggests that it is a recurring service. So to speak, "subscription" is the opposite of a "one-time purchase". For comparison, I wouldn't "subscribe to a single issue of a magazine". I would either "order a single issue of a magazine", or "subscribe to the magazine" (to recurringly get the latest issues). Or is there something I am missing as a non-native speaker of English? – O. R. Mapper Jul 17 '15 at 7:43

You're wondering how to differentiate between two types of gift subscriptions:

  • A one-time subscription.
  • An automatically renewing subscription.

In both cases, the subscription will go to a third party, as a gift.

I can see that, at a glance, the two offers would seem similar or identical, which would be confusing until the user reads the description. Consider this example: enter image description here

One of these choices is unclear. And the more mental work the customer has to do, the less likely they'll complete a purchase, wouldn't you agree?

Another approach

What if you change the mental model. Perhaps there's only ONE product: the subscription. The variable is the duration of that subscription.

Let the customer choose the one product you offer, and then ask the customer to choose the duration, as a secondary decision:

  1. Three months.
  2. Three months with automatic renewal.

I suppose it would help if there's an incentive to choose the option 2.

I'm looking forward to the other answers you get. There must me several ways to solve this problem.

  • 1
    I am going to examine the automatic renewal concept. The big issue I've been having is does the word "recurring" mean anything to the user. I think the term "renewal" is a more universally understood word. – user17059 Jul 16 '15 at 15:42
  • Yes, language is so important to shaping the mental model—the user's idea of how it works. – JeromeR Jul 17 '15 at 5:26

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