Imagine this, you are browsing through the social media page of your favorite brand and you come across something that you are interested in. If you contact their closest outlet, chances are you might not find it there. You might then think about getting in touch with them through their social media handle or email to buy that product, but more time than not, you will end up getting ghosted. So what can you do in those circumstances?
Drumroll Please. Enter Plug&Paid, your very own Moneymaker.
Plug&Paid is a plugin that can transform any website or social media page into a comprehensive shopping spree. Plug&Paid is a SaaS startup that brings the capability of converting any social media page or a website that has opted for their plugin to be converted into a shopping portal. Mostly, it’s limited to your own website so whether it’s your social media page or your own blog, if you pick this up, you can sell it.
It’s cross-platform friendly, so it does not matter which system you are using, it will work in the same way in all of them. So, if you don’t want to spend money on building a full-blown e-commerce solution for your website, you can add Plug&Paid to your website, and voilà, you have your very own selling solution. Here is everything about what they do.
Who is at the helm of the Plug&Paid?
Plug&Paid was founded in 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany by 4 people, spanning the entire European Union. The company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Emy Carlan who is the first of the co-founders. He is an Automation Engineer by qualification, and in the 13 years that he has in his belt, he has been a serial entrepreneur and adorned many senior position hats in corporate jobs as well.
Next in line on the managerial board is Antonis Dimitriou who serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company. He launched his first startup at the tender age of 20 and since then, has donned several hats in financial market jobs ranging from business development to marketing to operations. In all of his years of experience and his own stint as an entrepreneur, he brings his own outlook to handle the operations in Plug&Paid.
Silviu Panaite is a business analyst and a serial entrepreneur like the rest of his peers. His experience as an editor, manager, and entrepreneur has helped him understand all the various sides of looking at a product and its uses which he brings as the Lead DevOps engineer and Co-Founder of Plug&Paid.
No business can sustain without sales, and that is precisely the forte of George Spitaliotis. He has been a sales and marketing specialist for a tech conglomerate and hence brings his own flair for business development and sales to the table of Plug&Paid.
With a full circle of entrepreneurs who also have their own knack for doing things, the team of Plug&Paid has grown to 14 people including the founders. The entire team comprises people from all over the European Union and various countries, which makes this a unique proposition of how multi-disciplinary people can truly work from cross borders to bring something to fruition.
Thanks to the working in unison approach, the platform is now available across 180 countries, in 21 languages and 51 currencies (talk about diversification).
How does Plug&Paid work and what makes it so useful?
Now that you have a fair bit of idea about what Plug&Paid is made for and who are the people that are working to make it a success, your interest might have been piqued because you have made it this far. There are a lot of features that make Plug&Paid a very valuable and indispensable tool. Those features are:
Accepting payments made easy as you can truly cross borders and offer your services to international clients using multiple modes of payments. And the best part, there is no limit on the payment amount and you can manage it all from a single place.
Each product can have its own checkout process and you can customize the journey a user will take in order to buy the product. You can customize the template of each product category to make sure it fits your definition of perfect.
If you have a SaaS product, then chances are that you might have a subscription plan or recurring payment plans from your customers. To make sure that you can accept recurring payments for any type of product or offering, the platform comes with the requisite tools to handle them all.
Invoices & Taxes
Handling the invoices generated has never been easier as the platform provides you with a quick and powerful way to generate new invoices with just a few clicks. You can even find all the previously generated invoices in one place.
Like any business, growth is something that everyone yearns for. With various tools for marketing your product, you can easily make sure that your business is growing at the pace you want to. You can even manage the marketing and promotional campaigns here and track their progress in real-time.
In the digital age of the modern-day, it’s easy to understand if you have a digital product to offer, like an e-book or software. Another aspect that Plug&Paid can handle as it can release the goods on its own after the payment has been made successfully.
With the customer portal available, your customers can easily toggle between subscriptions, one time payments, or pay as you buy plans. It will also provide billing management functionality without you ever needing to dive into it.
In the growing business circuit, you cannot get anywhere with a monotonous approach. With multiple presences comes the ability to have integrations. So you can integrate Plug&Paid with any website you want to. Just make sure that it has HTML 5 support and you are good to go.
One of the most tried and tested methods of raking in new business is through affiliate marketing. This means that you can use affiliate tools in order to multiply sales. Make sure that you have the pages with the content copy ready and the checkout process ready as well, and you can then invite affiliate partners to market for you and earn a commission in the process. A side earning for your customers indeed.
Just because you are using Plug&Paid does not mean you have to use their branding for your business as well. You can seamlessly integrate the platform with your own custom domain, setup custom order pages, custom emails, all with your branding to promote your brand in the market out there.
With so many benefits, you are pretty much all set to go about your journey to turn your social media page or your website into a full-blown customizable shopping cart. Each product can have its own identity and its own method of appealing to the customer through the process it takes, and even cater to upselling them. So, as long as you play your cards right, you are all set to go about your journey of garnering 10x more sales than you already do.
Pros and Cons of Plug&Paid
In the grand scheme of things of building your business, the true essence of whether a product is beneficial for you and your business or not can be lost very easily. However, it becomes majestically easier when you go through the rave reviews of what the customers have said about using Plug&Paid for their business. Here are the Pros and Cons of using the platform from the mouth of the customers themselves:
- Faster Selling
- Facebook Syncing
- Country Wise Tax structure is already present
- Quick and Timely updates
- Fast query resolution and customer support
- Very Professional in its approach
- Cross-Platform usability
- Onboarding and User Interface is easy
- Allows selling without a dedicated payment gateway
- Logistics calculation is not included
- Learning curve is slightly complicated
As can be seen evidently, the pros far outweigh the cons 4.5 to 1. With so many benefits of picking up the product and using it for garnering more sales, you can easily find a way to jack up your sales easily.
The pros that it comes with is also the reason that the platform now has over 5,000 paying customers from all around the world, can be used in 180 countries, in 21 languages, and can be adapted to 51 currencies.
Plug&Paid Onboarding Process
With raving comments of its own prowess to the game, Plug&Paid has certainly floored its users and buyers and certainly compels you to get your juices flowing and get on with it. So if you want to join the bandwagon of generating revenue from your very own social media handle, then here is how you can do it.
The first step would be to go to the homepage of Plug&Paid which will be a blue page with their tagline “Meet your Moneymaker” front and center. You will find various menus going from the center of the page towards the right. At the end of the menus, in the top right corner will be a blue CTA, “Get Started”.
Another button with the same function will be at the bottom left side of the screen in a green-colored CTA saying “Demo Our Cart”. Click on the green “Demo Our Cart” button, and you will get a pop-up screen that will ask you to put in your email address and country. This is basically the button you click when you have decided fully to commit to the program and get started with it right away by paying a fee of $19.
You can either click on the “Get Started” CTA on the top right corner or you can click on this link, www.plugnpaid.com/login, and you will be redirected to the sign-up page for the platform. This page actually serves a dual purpose as the login and signup page in one. If you don’t want to go through the conventional method of signup or login, then you can take a shortcut of connecting your Facebook profile from which the platform will automatically pick up the requisite data it needs.
That being said, we would still recommend you to go through the conventional method as it allows you to keep your work life separate from your social life and also takes only a few minutes to set up.
Once you enter your email address, the platform will send you a 6-digit verification code or what you call a One Time Password (OTP) to make sure that the email address is valid and not a bogus one. Sometimes it can also end up in the Spam folder of your email, so make sure to check that folder as well.
Once you have entered the verification code, it will automatically open up the page where you will have to put in your personal details like your full name, and your country, so that the platform will be personalized to the features and functions that it offers in your country.
After you’ve given your consent to the platform, you will automatically be redirected to the dashboard of the platform where you will be able to see the key metrics of your business done through the platform in one shot. There are a few shortcut buttons to going to other functions and setting them up, but the overall metrics of your Total Revenue, Active Customers, and the number of products sold will be displayed right on the dashboard.
To access the other features of the platform, you will have to click on the menu button in the top left corner next to the “Dashboard” icon. Once that menu opens up, all of the other menus open up and you will be able to dive deep into each aspect to get to know about each business metric more easily.
If you want to increase your inventory and Add a Product or Service, you can simply click on the CTA with the same name on the dashboard screen. A popup screen will open up from where you will have to choose the category of the product/service you are adding and then move into making all the changes needed for it.
If you want to Create a Checkout flow, i.e. the steps that a customer has to follow in order to pay for the product they want to buy, you can click on the CTA with the same name and then create your unique checkout flow for each kind of product category.
Before the customer starts buying stuff from you, they would want to know about your business and where it is based out of. To add those details, click on the “Setup Business settings” on the dashboard and you will get a popup screen where you can enter all the requisite details about your business.
In the side menu, you will get the option to go through pending orders, i.e., the ones that you received while you were away. You can choose what to do with each of them as per your own convenience through the “Pending Orders” page.
On the “Invoices and Orders” page, you will find the key metrics of the sales that have happened so far. Ranging from the number of customers you have had to the total revenue you have generated to the number of products sold and the average number of products per order. You can even add products through this page.
Each customer is different. Some of them might be repeat customers while some might be one-timers. Depending on what kind of customers they are, you can keep them in your repository or delete their details through the “Customer Management” tab.
In today’s world, affiliate marketing can work wonders for you if your product is good. If there is a product that the people constantly come back for, you can start an affiliate program for it where the person who has referred could be given a special discount, and the one referee would get a different kind of discount. Handling all of these programs for any and every type of product can be done through the “Affiliates” tab.
In the “Plugins” tab, you will find the various platforms and service providers that Plug&Paid works with and some of them are delivery services. So if you want to integrate your carrier credentials with any of these services, then you can easily activate any and every one of these plugins.
Note: Make sure that you have an ID with the service you are activating otherwise it will just be a moot point as the platform does not provide logistic services.
Overall, the brand has made amply sure that you can unlock all the utilities of a payment gateway without the nitty-gritties of setting them up and solving their glitches, which ultimately opens up new avenues of concentrating on raking in sales and driving your business from the front.
Plug&Paid Pricing Structure
Now that you know what it’s capable of doing and what its customers are saying about it, you might be more than inclined to get in on its action and start using it. To that avail, the platform offers two payment plans to choose from. There is a “Pay as You Go” plan which serves as the basic entry point, and if you have a more “sustaining” sales record, then you can pick up the “Lightning” plan.
With the Pay as You Go plan, you will have to pay 1.9% of the transaction amount and €0.02 per transaction while the Lightning plan will ask for a monthly subscription fee of €39. There is no annual subscription plan available here so those who want to pledge a long-term commitment in one go might be disappointed.
Both of the plans have no difference in the features being offered on the board except the limit of transactions. If you want to get a taste of what the platform can offer, then you can get a 7-day trial period with both the plans as well. The following is a detailed analysis of what you get with each payment plan:
|Plan||Pay as You Go||Lightning|
|Price Per Month (billed monthly)||1.9% of transaction amount + 0.02 per transaction||39|
|Key Features||Unlimited products||Adds/upgrades to Pay as You Go plan:|
|Unlimited shopping carts||Limit of 1000 transactions per month|
|A single brand setup (billing information, logo, etc.)|
|1 GB of storage space included for digital products, unlimited storage at 1.0 per GB per month overage|
|1 GB of monthly data transfer (used when your customers download your digital products), unlimited transfer at 1.0 per GB per month overage|
|Attach your own Amazon web services account, to store the files in your own Amazon S3 bucket.|
The initial plan is the one most businesses opt for as it comes with no limits and offers everything right from the start, but the downside is that the platform will extract its own commission out of every sale made through it. If you are fine with limits and have constant sales and know you are not going to cross the 1000 sales threshold in a month, then the Lightning plan is the way to go. But if your sales are rickety, then best stick with the base plan.
We would recommend you to stick with the Pay as you go plan as it allows you to unlock the full potential of the platform, irrespective of the sales you have. Furthermore, you don’t have to pay a fixed amount per month, so that allows you more flexibility in terms of keeping costs low.
Plug&Paid Customers Service?
Starting up is one of the easiest parts of the business. It’s the building it up, sustainability, and keeping it afloat that is the most difficult part of it. Thankfully, the combined experience of the founders in their own entrepreneurial journeys and the unique outlook of the team have helped Plug&Paid grow to the levels it is at today. One of the most imperative parts of the business sustenance is customers, and how well they are treated when they come up with queries.
With the Plug&Paid team, there are two ways to resolve your queries, first is through the curated library of content in the helpdesk, and the second is through the 24×7 live representative. In either case, your journey begins by reaching the homepage.
As opposed to the conventional approach of putting in a chatbot, the team has opted to forgo it completely. So, what you will have to do is browse to the bottom of the homepage, all the way to the end where you find the Sitemap. There you will find a couple of CTAs, and among them, you will have to click on the “Help” CTA from where you will be redirected to the platform helpdesk.
The helpdesk page will be a white background page with a search bar in the center where you can put in your query. Below it are a couple of articles that contain the majority of the problems and resolutions that people look for in the helpdesk. There are also other various articles that might come in handy or help you explore more about the platform or let you pick up a few tricks on how you can go about your tasks.
While it might seem like a tedious job of sifting through content to find a resolution, it is actually a boon in disguise as you will also understand the right way to go about your task and even make your own little changes to that process in order to optimize it for your personal need.
But if all else fails, you can mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org about your query and you will get a resolution in 24-72 hours depending on the severity of the problem. Easy problems will be resolved within a couple of hours while more complex ones can take some time. In case you want a guide through, there is a 24×7 live representative also available that can help you get the most out of the hand-holding experience.
With Plug&Paid, you might find yourself torn between the conundrum between if it’s good or is it very good. It certainly solves the problem of providing you with a means to generate sales from your very social media page or your website without actually incorporating a full-blown payment gateway, but the absence of a storefront might be something that can turn off a fair bit of people.
That being said, if you are willing to overlook that fact, then the platform certainly offers a very value for money proposition that comes at a very pocket-friendly price and certainly allows your business to soar to new heights.