WOVN.io is a Tokyo-based startup. We localize websites: we make them available in any language and assist our users in the process.
Late last year we made a dramatic decision. We were finding success in Japan, with media coverage and big names in our client list. We are not the next unicorn but a healthy zebra: we were growing steadily. WOVN.io was doing what every startup was doing, we were offering a service with four different types of monthly subscriptions, from free to enterprise, with variable prices and features, and it was working. So why did we change it?
From evolving monthly subscriptions plans to free
Monthly subscriptions plans are easy to understand for users – they are almost expected – and they enable services to offer adaptable plans. As for every startup, finding the right price range had been a struggle: our plans had evolved since we started, from the features offered to the pricing.
Our final result was four different plans: Free, Startup, Business, and Enterprise, and we were offering phone customer support to all our paying users.
Our cheaper plans offered more limited features, and our Enterprise plans meant customized and personalized service, almost 90% of our revenue, but to which we couldn’t dedicate 100% of our time. So, were we offering the best experience to all of our customers?
WOVN.io’s aim is to make website localization as simple as possible, from the selection of features to the end result, to anyone who wants to localize their website. And our pricing system didn’t seem in line with that purpose. We want to localize the Internet and make it available to all, and so we did. We made it free.
Make it sustainable: WOVN.io PRIME
Making a product available for free already implies a huge change in your business model: it influences how to offer your service and how to use your internal resources. But, how can offering a free product sustain a business?
As mentioned earlier, our Enterprise users made almost 90% of our revenue, and this is precisely what allowed us to become free.
Most of our features are now available for free to everyone. You just need a website. And for a more customized service, we launched WOVN.io PRIME.
Ranging from utility companies, internationally known toy store chains, ramen restaurants or e-ticketing companies, PRIME allows us to work closely with clients who use larger and more complex websites and offer them the technical support and guidance they need.
Our older customers have the choice between maintaining their old subscription plan or switching to the new one. Our Enterprise customers are automatically PRIME users; some of our Startup and Business plan users have decided to keep their plans and not move to the new free version.
Of course, we cannot predict the future but, at the moment, we are already seeing positive results and are working hard to keep it that way. And if it goes wrong? We keep evolving.
WOVN.io is a website localization service; it enables you to multilingualize your website in less than 5 minutes without the help of a developer. For inquiries or comments, please click here.