Digital transformation was once just a trend. But as more and more businesses benefited, digital transformation became now as important to a business as their cashflow. And with the internet's rapid growth, there's a deeper, lasting effect on how businesses operate and how consumers perceive brands. This doesn't just apply to enterprise businesses with multiple corporate offices, but to any and all businesses, including small and medium businesses (SMBs). For SMBs and freelancers trying to establish their digital footprint, the journey starts with owning a website that reflects their brand.
That's where UENI comes in. Based in London, UENI is a tech company focused on empowering businesses to get online and find the tools they need to succeed. "Not every business owner is tech-savvy and they don't need to be! Take professional services for example— electricians, plumbers, landscapers—they might be excellent at what they do, and with a little help to establish their online presence, they could enjoy huge benefits in terms of revenue and growth. That's what we do at UENI: We help small businesses get noticed," said Gilles Groven, Product Manager at UENI.
UENI stands out among other website builders because they offer a wide range of services including website creation, domain hosting and maintenance, SEO, and more. They decided that a subscription billing model would be ideal for their business as their services are provided to customers on a recurring basis. Read on for some excerpts from our interview with Gilles Groven of UENI:
UENI offers the most popular subscription pricing model: a free plan to start with, followed by tiered pricing plans. Customers begin their journey with the free plan. If they are a new business and their main focus is to establish an online presence, they can stay with the free version. As they grow in scale, they can choose one of the paid plans to meet more advanced requirements regarding branding and customization. Once they choose to upgrade, they are provided with an option of online payment to complete the transaction.
"We knew that developing our in-house subscription solution would be a nightmare. It might take a year or two just to get the basics running. Then, we have PCI compliance and other factors to consider when collecting online payments. So, we started looking for a subscription billing platform that has taken care of these already,"Groven said.
Groven began looking for a recurring billing tool that offers value and with a rich API library, as they needed seamless communication between their own interface (where customers perform all actions regarding their plan) and the billing platform. After comparing several recurring billing platforms, he chose Zoho Subscriptions.
Within a few days, UENI was up and running on Zoho Subscriptions and had things fully integrated with their existing systems.
UENI offers monthly and yearly subscription plans and has a wide customer base crossing the US, UK, India, Latin America and Southeast Asia. But they've had no problems managing their subscriptions smoothly—Groven, without a second thought, credits the automation connecting their interface with Zoho Subscriptions.
"We leave most of the recurring billing processes to Zoho Subscriptions' APIs and webhooks—while we focus on our business" Groven said.
Their subscription automation cycle begins when a customer purchases a paid plan through UENI's interface. Once the payment is successful, a customer profile, as well as a subscription, is automatically created in Zoho Subscriptions through APIs. Whenever a change is made to a subscription by the customer in their own portal, whether that's upgrading or downgrading plans, it flows to Zoho Subscriptions and their profile and subsequent subscription plan is updated automatically. This automatic exchange of information continues until the customer cancels the subscription.
For any subscription company, renewal failure due to non-payment is a frustrating loss of business as it leads to involuntary churn. Groven and his team are very fond of the dunning management system in Zoho Subscriptions, which drastically reduced payment failures for UENI. Instead of having to manually call customers and request they update their card information, Zoho Subscriptions automatically informs the customer via email and updates their card details. UENI configured both email and SMS notifications for their customers about payment failures.
"Scalability is another aspect of Zoho Subscriptions that we love," Groven said. After they started using Zoho Subscriptions, their business expanded rapidly to multiple countries, dealing with foreign currencies and languages. Zoho Subscriptions' capability to fetch exchange rates automatically and customize the communication language of each customer made this a breeze.
UENI has proved that with the right subscription billing tool in place, businesses can scale their operations across the globe without having to worry about compliance, tax regulations, and other factors.
Groven sums it up perfectly: "As we operate in different countries, the market needs vary, and so does the payment options preferred by customers. We needed a solution that can scale our business volume and offer solid integration with major payment gateways in the global market. That's exactly what Zoho Subscriptions does, and we love the value it offers!"