Returnloads.net Gains Competitive Advantage With Recurly

Overview

Returnloads.net is an online freight exchange. Their website connects haulage companies who have empty vehicles with businesses that need goods moved, helping to reduce costs along with the number of empty trucks traveling throughout the U.K.

Returnloads.net’s members range from owner-drivers with one truck all the way up to global logistic companies with fleets of thousands of vehicles all over Europe. And they deliver goods from steel and concrete manufacturers, general retailers—basically anyone who manufactures or supplies goods that need to be delivered.

A Before-and-After Scenario

Returnloads.net operates under a subscription model, and their plans come in three levels—basic, standard, and premium—and are available monthly or annually. Before Recurly, their payments process involved manually invoicing companies every month. Then they integrated with PayPal which reduced some of the manual workload, but this provided no visibility into their customers.

As Matthew Spendiff-Smith, Sales & Marketing Manager at Returnloads.net, describes it, “We couldn’t see how long people have been with us, when they left us, what payment plan they’re on. We had nothing that we could quickly log into and say, ‘All right, we’ve got X number of members paying this amount this month, Y number of members paying this much, these ones are on annual, these ones are on monthly….’ And so we started to look around for a solution that would give us better access to our data.”

They discovered Recurly and “it just seemed to offer exactly what we were looking for—the visibility, the automation, and the fact that if there were any problems with a transaction going through, we can look at the reason why they are being declined.” As anyone dealing with recurring revenue knows, cards can decline for a variety of reasons. With Recurly if a card is declined—and if the transaction couldn’t be repaired through Recurly’s automated Account Updater service— Returnloads.net gets notified instantly so they can contact the customer and resolve the issue.

“Recurly makes it so much easier. With PayPal, if a transaction was declined, we used to just close the account, and that was it. There was no way to get the customer back.”

Returnloads.net’s developers also evaluated Recurly’s API documentation and concluded that integrating with Recurly would be a lot more straightforward than with the other subscription management solutions that were available.

Recurly just seemed to offer exactly what we were looking for—the visibility, the automation, and the fact that if there were any problems with a transaction going through, we can look at the reason why they are being declined.

Matthew Spendiff-Smith,  Sales & Marketing Manager

Analytics Help Address Seasonality

Returnloads.net’s business is also quite seasonal, and they needed a way to monitor customer retention and compare different months to see which are the busiest for sign-ups and which are busiest for subscribers leaving. Having critical subscription and customer data—along with trends over time— easily available in Recurly Analytics allowed them to develop a more targeted marketing strategy based on the signup and cancellation patterns from the previous year.

According to Spendiff-Smith, “the Analytics dashboard is just so intuitive—everything is laid out simply. When we have new staff in sales and marketing, they spend five minutes in it and they just get it. It’s really straightforward. The revenue comparison month-over-month makes it easy for us to see how we’re doing compared to previous periods. We can see at a glance—if the arrow is green and pointing up, we know everything is going well. We love the visual format. We think it’s brilliant, and we use it a lot when presenting to the directors.”

Recovered Revenue Improves the Bottom Line

Recurly also made the process of changing payment gateways completely painless. The gateway Returnloads.net was using didn’t offer any kind of account updater functionality, and they already knew that PayPal didn’t have any way to help them repair failed transactions. They knew they were losing money when transactions failed, and they were very impressed with Recurly’s expertise in recovering revenue.

“Since we switched to Recurly, we’ve seen absolutely fantastic results in recovering revenue. We went from recovering around £300 on average to £2700 in our first full month with Recurly. In the last six months, we’ve averaged over £3625 a month in recovered revenue—and this improvement goes straight to our bottom line,” reports Spendiff-Smith.

Since we switched to Recurly, we've seen absolutely fantastic results in recovering revenue. We went from recovering around £300 on average to £2700 in our first full month with Recurly.

Matthew Spendiff-Smith,  Sales & Marketing Manager

Intuitive, Easy to Use, and Flexible

Returnloads.net also appreciates how intuitive the Recurly solution is, and Spendiff-Smith cites the flexibility of the Recurly solution for things like configuring and customizing different subscription packages, introducing new packages, editing existing subscription plans, updating pricing, and setting different free trial periods. This flexibility is key to Returnloads.net’s ability to experiment and optimize their customer acquisition and retention strategies. And as they have a lot of European customers, they also appreciate knowing that all their customers get charged the correct VAT.

Returnloads.net also needed to change payment gateways to one that had more functionality. Once they made the decision, the process to change gateways was completed within a day. “Really quick and really straightforward, and we haven’t had any problems,” notes Spendiff-Smith.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Returnloads.net feels they get a significant competitive advantage over the competing haulage companies in the U.K. which don’t offer their subscribers the kind of flexibility that Returnloads.net can offer by using Recurly. As Spendiff-Smith reports, “Our members can come and go based on whether they’re busy or need work, and Recurly makes this easy. Recurly automates refunds, stores the necessary information, and easily reactivates the account when the customer calls and wants to rejoin. Our competitors don’t offer that kind of flexibility.”

Returnloads.net has a number of big plans for growing its company including a significant new business partnership and integration. When this occurs, they expect to add 500 to 1,000 new members “almost overnight,” whose data will be managed in Recurly. “Recurly is a significant part of our company’s future growth potential, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Recurly is a significant part of our company's future growth potential, and we couldn't be more excited.

Matthew Spendiff-Smith,  Sales & Marketing Manager

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