Friday January 6, 2023
doup. Digital Business Cards: Striking the Balance Between Security and Innovation
An innovative and trendy solution of sharing your contact information, doup. (it rhymes with “soap”), aims to save the planet with a convenient way of connecting people. But when user data is the core of your business, you need secure and reliable hosting that can keep up.
Business cards are a product ripe for innovation. Low-tech and resource-intensive, taking those easily-lost pieces of paper online just makes sense. That was Mantas Michalauskas’s reasoning when he cofounded doup., which represents a new era of business cards.
Unlike some other digital business cards, doup. doesn’t require the user to download an app and allows everyone with an internet connection to see your contact details. This innovative system found its home on Hostinger, the ideal hosting provider to meet doup.’s high demands.
A Mantas on a Mission
For co-founder and COO Mantas, entrepreneurship is in his blood. His superpower is to take simple solutions and make them more attractive and convenient to users. The key is listening to users’ needs and translating them into an indispensable product.
Mantas initially put his marketing degree to work as a Marketing Manager for various brands before embarking on his own venture. His company, doup., was initially founded as a 3D design agency long before the idea of business cards was on the table.
After finding success in Lithuania with a different side project – a fundraising platform called Contribee – Mantas and his colleagues put doup. on the back burner while the designers found other jobs. Mantas was about to close doup. when a colleague from previous projects suggested the idea of selling business cards.
Mantas was intrigued, and together they started to think about what they could offer to their clients and how they could differentiate themselves from the competition.
Why Business Cards?
The need for business cards has remained in the digital age, and companies are still actively using them. While face-to-face meetings were less common during the lockdowns, now they’re back, with people actively sharing their contacts and ordering business cards.
The aim of doup. is to replace an outdated product with an alternative that saves the company money, is sustainable, and extends the possibilities of contact sharing. People can save their contacts on the phone, eliminating the risk of losing them and allowing synchronization and edits at any time.
“The idea itself came to my colleague because of the sustainability aspect,” explains Mantas. “As the owner of another company, he was faced with a high turnover of employees, which meant that he had to change their business cards very frequently. That’s when he started looking for potential solutions.”
Digital business cards have been gaining traction over the past decade as people increasingly recognize the drawbacks of relying on physical, printed cards. By digitizing the product, fewer natural materials are used, the costs are lower, and the user has more flexibility when changing their details.
“doup. is not an innovation that we exclusively invented.” Mantas says, “There certainly are alternatives, but none have caught on in the Lithuanian market and the surrounding countries. We saw a niche, realized that we could offer a more practical and better product, and decided to seize the opportunity.”
The company created a platform, which was launched at the end of 2021, and began a communication campaign with influencers that winter.
This showed positive results, and sales immediately started to increase. It was an indication that with doup. they could achieve something special.
Behind the Curtain of doup.
While the idea behind digital business cards may not be a novel one, what doup. has innovated is the design of its system.
A doup. customer buys the physical card product and pays a one-off fee. This gives them free access to the online platform. They can edit their account and choose what to display on their profile, whether it’s personal and contact information, page links, social network accounts, documents, photos, or videos.
All this is available to users through a single product purchase and without the need for an app download. There are then several options for sharing contacts. All doup. products are equipped with an NFC chip, so when you touch your phone with the card, an account opens on your phone. There are also QR codes that can be shared with others.
“We are developing and improving the product daily, expanding the range and improving the functionality,” Mantas says. “We have recently launched a Pro version.”
If you prefer to use an app, doup. has you covered, too. The company recently launched an app that allows you to edit all your contacts. Even if you leave the physical product at home, you can open the app anytime and show the QR code. You can also create unique links to your profile that can be put on a social media description or sent to other people via email or Messenger.
The broad number of options, flexibility, and focus on the eastern European market means that doup. has been attracting a lot of interest from customers and investors alike.
A Word-of-Mouth Success
A promotional campaign with influencers helped to kick doup.’s success off strongly. “Just posting a visual on Facebook is not enough to sell our product effectively,” explains Mantas. “People need to see how the connection between the card and the phone works to understand how cool it is and that they actually need it.”
While needing customers to see the product at work to understand its value may seem like a drawback, once a few doup. products were out in the world, it became a strength. Word-of-mouth marketing would become one of the most effective sales tools for the company.
“There was a period from February to April or May when we did absolutely no marketing campaigns because we had a limited budget, and it was mainly spent on improving the platform, developing the app, and launching new features,” says Mantas. “Sales did not stop at all. Every customer brings us at least one additional customer because they are satisfied and truly use our product.”
Impressed by the company’s success so far, a Maltese company is investing almost €200,000 in doup. This investment will fund an expansion, create new jobs, and allow doup. to open a branch in Malta to facilitate access to southern Europe.
“We have great ambitions and goals for a technological solution that will take doup. to the next level. I won’t reveal too much yet, but it’s coming soon,” Mantas smiles.
How Reliable Hosting Makes doup. Possible
At the core of doup. is its website and the system inside. Naturally, then, the company’s success rests on reliable hosting that allows the team to securely collect users’ data while enjoying the flexibility to create and innovate.
With these specific needs in mind, Mantas chose to turn to Hostinger, on whose servers all doup. customer contacts are hosted.
“When I choose a service, I always make sure it has good support. We believe that providing excellent customer support is the number one aspect. Hostinger’s 24/7 support was something that stood out about this company from the very first days.”
The developers at doup. find that Hostinger offers the opportunity to bring their concepts to life online, whether it’s NFC business cards, eCommerce, or product usability. “We use the Cloud Professional hosting plan offered by Hostinger. It allows us to operate efficiently and expand our ideas. The main features we use are File Manager, MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin management, cron jobs, FTP accounts, and email accounts.”
With so much sensitive user data being collected, it’s crucial that security be tight. That’s taken care of – doup.’s hosting plan includes free SSL certificates for data encryption, dedicated resources, IP addresses, and advanced measures to protect against DDoS attacks.
It’s important to Mantas that security doesn’t get in the way of service and collaboration. “I was just saying to a colleague that it’s possible to give the freelancers or developers who work on the app separate access to the hosting account. This way, they could implement any updates needed for the app, but at the same time, they wouldn’t have access to our customers’ sensitive information.”
Mantas says, “Such flexibility is crucial for a company like ours.” This is why Hostinger remains dedicated to staying flexible as well as functional.