Mobility service providers like TIER, aboDeinauto, Meetse and more use circuly to manage their product subscriptions. Continue reading to learn from their experience and see what subscription management looks like for them.
TIER is a startup that launched in 2018 and grew very fast.
Probably everyone in Europe knows them and knows what they do. Their basic business model is to provide last mile mobility and is more in the sharing e-mobility space.
Their growth has been an inspiration - huge funding and investment and acquisition of other companies etc are all positive signs of growth.
In 2021 they entered the subscription space and launched a monthly subscription service for their e-scooters and mopeds in selected locations.
Subscription service launch.
TIER decided to launch a monthly subscription service because their investors wanted a stable revenue stream.
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is crucial and becoming increasingly important for all stakeholders of a company. It is also considered to be more attractive and valuable to investors and customers. MRR indicates stability and companies can use it to predict annual recurring revenue (ARR).
What was crucial for TIER?
#1 a return handling process.
Crucial for TIER was a dedicated return handling process.
In a product subscription business model, subscription products come back to the vendor after the end of the subscription period.
Since the profit earning potential of a subscription product is dependent on the number of subscription cycles it can be pushed into, it is super important that returned products get pushed back into stock as soon as possible.
Unlike digital products or subscription boxes, in product-as-a-service business model, products come back to the vendor and often do not get pushed back into stock for further rental cycles as no one has an overview of what is being returned, when it is being returned and where it is.
With circuly’s digital return and repair feature TIER is able to push products back into stock so that they can be rented again.
circuly helps you to manage your product returns and repairs digitally so you don't lose track of valuable product data.
- Automate product returns and the workflow thereafter.
- Attribute & track additional costs incurred.
Read more about the digital return & repair process.
#2 complete asset history.
For a product subscription business, a 360-degree view of the assets is a must. TIER wanted to track the history of every single scooter.
Important questions on their list were:
- which customer has rented which scooter,
- how many rental cycles a scooter has already gone through,
- what repair process the scooter has gone through,
- what was the cost of each repair,
- What is the current location of the scooter (with the customer, in stock, in repair, lost/stolen, or depreciated?)
Tracking everything in a spreadsheet can become quite complex as the business grows and you increase your customer base.
With circuly’s asset tracking feature, TIER could look at a product from multiple different angles and use the information for actionable insights. Everything about a product is tracked and is accessible in a simplified manner in the circuly software. There is no need to make manual entries in a spreadsheet as everything works on auto-pilot.
Never lose track of your assets. Using circuly, you always have an overview of where your products are, in what condition they are in and when they will come back.
- Know the commercial KPIs in your subscription business.
- Know where your products are and when they will come back.
Read more about asset tracking.
#3 ability to swap products.
The thing about physical products is that they can break down. TIER wanted to give their customers the possibility to swap/change a product, get a replacement product in case something breaks down and keep their customers happy.
The real challenge was being able to replace a product with:
- minimum effort on the side of the customer,
- the ability to pause a subscription (i.e. not charging the customer for x amount of months or changing the amount of the recurring amount in the month that the product broke down and could no longer be used by the customer to keep the customer happy)
- and the possibility to track all these changes on a product level in the software.
Since circuly tracks and keeps a record of all products, orders and subscriptions, TIER could easily pause/start a subscription, change the recurring payment amount, swap the product without disturbing the existing subscription and see which product was replaced with what.
Read more about product swap.
Easily swap products and keep your customers satisfied while retaining all important data about the product, customer and subscription.
- Automate subscription swap process.
aboDeinauto is a young startup founded in 2020. They are a team of industry specialists, serial founders and mobility enthusiasts that connect car deals and end-users. They make car subscriptions easy and flexible in an all-inclusive monthly subscription plan.
They are what you expect from a car subscription company.
challenges faced by aboDeinauto.
aboDeinauto already had an existing subscription business model for their cars but faced some complexities with their existing solution. aboDeinauto was challenged with providing a simplified e-commerce-like checkout flow to their customers. Their existing solution just wasn't doing it for them.
What was crucial for aboDeinauto?
#1 one-time payments.
Besides the monthly subscription amount there can be additional expenses that can arise while the customers are subscribed to a product. In case of car subscriptions, additional expenses like speeding tickets, repair support, damage charges, entry fee payments are quite common.
aboDeinauto wanted the possibility to charge the customer for any additional expenses without sending a “please for for xyz reason” request to the customer. Additionally they wanted to inform their customers about any such charges without putting any manual effort into it such as writing emails.
With circuly’s charge one-time transaction feature, aboDeinauto could easel charge the saved payment method of the customer and automate the communication process thereafter thus reducing the time spent in subscription management operations.
Charge one-time transactions and automate the process thereafter such as sending invoice and maintaining record.
- charge one-time fees with just a few clicks.
- no need to send payment requests to customers.
Read more about one-time transactions.
#2 discounts and vouchers.
Discounts and vouchers are an important part of a company's customer acquisition strategy. The ability to offer customized offers to the customer is a desired feature among subscription business models.
Subscription payments or recurring payments are special. Unlike bought products, discount and voucher logic for subscription products can vary based on product type, cart value etc.
With circuly, aboDeinauto could create customised voucher codes which they could further customise to suit their business needs. They could decide for which products the voucher code was valid, if it was only applicable to rented products or also for bought products or if it could be applied to all recurring payments (as part of some special marketing offer) or only initial payment.
Easily create vouchers and discounts in the circuly backend and customise them as per your needs.
- customise vouchers and make them valid/invalid.
- exclude/include products that the voucher code is valid for.
#3 change recurring payment amount.
A recurring payment is the subscription price at which the product is rented by the customer.
Payment service providers (PSP) like stripe, Braintree and Adyen can typically collect recurring payments but that’s where their capabilities end. Bigger topics like changing recurring amount and duration are typically not addressed by most PSP therefore there exists no possibility to have flexible recurring payments.
With circuly, the recurring payment amount can be altered as per the need and desire of a subscription provider like aboDeinauto with just a few clicks. circuly takes PSPs and makes them smart for product subscriptions.
circuly makes PSP smart for subscriptions.
- have the flexibility to change one or all recurring payments.
- automate the communication process thereafter.
Read more about editing recurring payments
#4 keep existing tools and integrate new tools.
No two subscription companies are alike and often have needs that they solve with their choice of tools. And since they’ve already invested in those tools for some time now, migrating to a different solution or adopting one that works smoothly with their existing tools is easier said than done.
For aboDeinauto is was super important to perform credit checks on their customers before they would start the subscription. For that they used a self built API to SCHUFA that enabled them to perform credit checks. Since credit checks are a part of the checkout process, they wanted a solution that could easily integrate with their self-built API.
circuly's subscription management software is 100% API driven which means that it only needs to connect to the shopsystem and the payment service provider to become fully functional. It can also easily integrate with additional tools as long as they integrate with the existing shopsystem and PSP of the vendor.
Keep your existing tech stack and simply connect your shop system and payment service provider with circuly - you can build your custom ecosystem around it.
what is mobility-as-a-service?
Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a concept that represents a shift from personally owned modes of mobility towards mobility provided as a service. MaaS puts users at the core of the transport services.
For example, customers who still want full-time access to a mobility service and flexibility to change or ‘pause’ their usage (car, bike moped) are flocking towards mobility subscription services who often bundle a vehicle, insurance, maintenance and other costs in exchange for a monthly fee.
This kicks long-term leasing arrangements and personal contracts out of the door.
how big is MaaS as an industry?
The mobility ecosystem is expected to grow over 1 trillion by 2030 according to a report by KPMG.
vehicle types included in MaaS.
Basically anything can be offered on a subscription basis but popular choices of vehicles include car, e-bikes, e-scooters, electric cars, vans, travel vans etc. As you can guess, the opportunities are endless. It’s just about finding your target audience and solving a problem.
An important part of the mobility landscape are car subscriptions.
circuly is the add-on for your shop system to scale your subscription business - for any product from cars, bikes, baby stroller to consumer electronics and many more. But that’s only scratching the surface. Find out what powerful tools and services you unlock once you sign up for circuly - and how they can push your product subscription business to the next level. 🚀