is a design studio that creates and curates products that combine form and
Ugmonk first launched Analog on Kickstarter where they raised an impressive
$450,000 within a few days. Since then, they’ve been growing faster and
faster. Notably, Ugmonk’s Analog card set is sent out to subscribers once a
quarter, giving Ugmonk a critical subscription revenue stream.
We sat down with Ugmonk’s Founder and CEO Jeff Sheldon
to dive deep on:
The challenges of switching pre-order sales to recurring subscription
Ugmonk’s experience with Skio’s onboarding process and the platform’s
How switching from Bold to Skio quickly alleviated customer service
The Early Days: Endless Challenges with Bold
After spending hours sorting through the Shopify App Store for a
subscription management app, Jeff settled on Bold out of necessity. The
other option on the market that Jeff was aware of was ReCharge which wasn’t
even accepting new customers at the time.
It didn’t help that Jeff had only ever heard complaints about ReCharge.
So, Jeff opted for Bold as an interim
solution but quickly began experiencing serious issues with its
As a company rooted in design, it was crucial that Ugmonk’s subscription
experience mirrored the brand’s simple and clean interface. Unfortunately,
Bold’s backend and UI served as a stark contrast to Ugmonk’s design
sensibility. It was bare-bones, raw, and far from user-friendly.
Bold’s Clunky Backend Design
As a design-forward company, the lack of visual appeal in Bold’s backend
platform was a major turn-off and left a sour taste in Jeff’s mouth from the
Not only did Bold have little visual appeal, but it also failed to deliver
many of the practical components that the team had become accustomed to as
Shopify users. The platform lacked the functionality that Ugmonk wanted and
needed from a subscription management service.
From a data retrieval standpoint, it was nearly impossible for the team to
pull information that would allow them to forecast or make projections, let
alone access basic customer data.
“To be blunt, Bold’s backend didn’t allow us to do much of anything. We
were especially annoyed because we weren’t able to see how our subscribers
were interacting with our products and subscriptions on our own
Critical Customer Service Shortcomings
In short, Bold’s platform forced Ugmonk subscribers to create a Shopify
account to save their orders or change their product plan. As a result, the
company’s growing subscriber base stalled.
If an Ugmonk customer didn’t go through the process of creating an
account, they had to email the Ugmonk team in order to make any kind of
change to their subscription.
Ugmonk was getting hundreds of support requests related to their
subscriptions in addition to normal customer service requests.
To support this influx of requests the Ugmonk team was working long hours
to help customers cancel or pause their subscriptions.
“Bold would only work if we weren't driving a serious volume of
subscriptions. So, as our subscriber base grew, we also began to outgrow
Bold. We weren’t able to expand and offer subscribers exclusives, one-time
upsells, or more access to their accounts. It just wasn’t working for us,
and we knew we had to leave.”
Pulling the Trigger on Skio
As a founder, Jeff always believed in talking with other founders about the
tools they loved.
So, when other eCom merchants constantly shared reviews of Skio on Twitter,
Jeff was excited to learn more. He turned to his friend Jarod at Muddy Bites
to learn more about his experience working with the Skio team.
Within minutes, Jarod sent over a couple of screenshots of Skio’s backend
UI, and Jeff was immediately convinced. Jarod personally walked Jeff through
how their issues were solved by switching to Skio, one of which was a
similar desire to move towards a clean subscription tool.
Not only was Skio offering compelling solutions to problems Bold failed to
address, but the platform also fit perfectly into what Ugmonk was looking
for from a visual and UX perspective.
Once Jeff saw the functionality and ease of onboarding, he was convinced
that Skio was the best move for his company, especially as their
subscription offering was gaining momentum.
“As soon as I saw the Skio backend that Muddy Bites was working with, I was
sold. Everything was clean, easy, and intuitive from the user’s perspective.
At that point, the cost was irrelevant and I knew I had to make the switch
Skio: Seamless Onboarding from End-to-End
The process of switching from Bold to Skio was smooth and painless for
Jeff’s team, freeing up valuable time to focus on other parts of the
business. More importantly, Skio gave Ugmonk the tools it needed to grow its
offerings through subscriber exclusives and one-time upsells.
Critically, Jeff points out that Skio made it incredibly easy for his team
to transition the Kickstarter pre-orders to standard subscriptions once the
Analog product went live.
Every touchpoint with the Ugmonk brand needed to be rooted in high-quality
design. By making the jump to Skio, the brand was able to maintain its
rigorous design standards while also giving its customers seamless and
enjoyable shopping experiences from end to end.
Since switching to Skio, Ugmonk’s subscriber count has increased by 4x, and
scaling up has been super smooth.
Jeff adds that making the switch to Skio did just as much, if not more, for
their subscribers and an improved customer service experience. After
onboarding, Ugmonk customers could now:
Manage their subscriptions without creating a separate account and new
Directly make changes to their subscriptions with one click of a
Track when their next shipment is arriving through a clean portal
“We optimize every touchpoint with the Ugmonk brand and how our customers
associate that brand with their experience. Our job is to drive a positive
feeling through our products. Ultimately, that’s exactly what Skio allowed
us to do.