Hawes & Curtis: Accelerating growth through user experience
Hillarys has been adorning homes across the UK with made-to-measure curtains and blinds for over 45 years. Its repertoire now extends to shutters, curtains, awnings and carpets. Hillarys currently accounts for almost a third of the UK market, manufacturing 35,000 products each week.
The majority of the company’s sales come from its in-home business: 1,100 self-employed sales advisors provide at-home consultancy and then take orders and process the payment in the customer’s home. These sales advisors are spread around the country, meaning the order and payment process must be watertight to avoid orders being missed and payments lost.
The answer lies in technology, and Hillarys has long been a pioneer in terms of innovation. The company has been using mobile technology since 2005 to allow sales advisors to process orders and take payments in a customer’s home using a smartphone. In 2012 it launched a next-generation, award-winning Android app to speed up and improve the technology.
"In an industry not renowned for innovation and engagement, Adyen breaks the mould and is a breath of fresh air."
Despite the advances in the mobile network since 2005, one consistent problem is that, even today, about 20% of customers' homes don’t have a reliable data signal. Additionally, the requirements associated with retaining PCI compliance have increased significantly.
Hillarys wanted a new technology solution that would overcome the challenge of taking offline payments, which account for £20m in annual turnover, while adhering to the highest security standards.
This new partner also had to be fully compatible with Hillarys’ mobile payment app, and able to support secure tokenized payments for high-value orders, where a balance is taken prior to installation. In 2015 the company turned to Adyen.
“We chose Adyen because it is the only provider offering a PCI compliant mobile payment solution allowing offline payments, which is essential to supporting our business model.” Julian Bond, Head of Information, Communications and Technology, Hillarys.
The Adyen team quickly set to work to address Hillarys’ primary requirement: to provide a seamless at home payment experience while minimizing the scope of its PCI DSS assessment, thereby significantly reducing the cost, risk and management involved in Hillarys retaining compliance.
"Adyen has a ‘can do’ attitude that allows us to make quick progress when taking advantage of new opportunities."
Adyen provided Hillarys’ sales advisors with mobile point of sale terminals capable of capturing payment regardless of connectivity. In the case of high-value orders, the initial down payment can now be taken at the customer’s home and the card details captured and stored securely on Adyen’s server. Prior to installation, the final payment is charged by way of a secure token. This means the second payment is processed securely with no further action required from the customer.
“Thanks to our partnership with Adyen, our sales advisors can take a secure card payment in every customer's home, regardless of mobile signal coverage. We can be sure we are PCI compliant, and our customers benefit from the best possible service, directly in their homes.” Julian Bond.
Another issue Adyen was able to address: often a customer would decide to proceed with a quotation after the sales advisor had left the house. Previously when this happened, the sales advisor would either have to return to the house, or make a note for head office to contact the customer to complete the order over the phone. Neither solution was the frictionless experience that customers expect.
Together, Adyen and Hillarys came up with a solution: Hillarys sales advisors can finalize the quote remotely, which generates an email/SMS to the customer. This directs the customer to an online payments page, already pre-populated with the order details and payment amount, so the customer simply has to enter their payment details and hit ‘pay’ for the order to be completed.
Most recently Hillarys has moved payments for its online sales channel to Adyen. Now the company manages both ecommerce and mobile POS payments sales from the same payments platform, which connects directly to the card schemes via one integration. This not only streamlines Hillarys’ operations, but also makes it possible to recognize customers across sales channels. As a result the team can map customer interaction across sales channels, and build a deeper understanding of buyer behavior.
"Since moving our online volume over to Adyen, our conversions have noticeably increased."
“We are delighted with the early results we have seen since moving our online volume over to Adyen. Already our conversions have noticeably increased. It is also a huge benefit for us that all transactions are processed in a single payments platform. This simplifies our operations, helping us to be more agile.” Matt Barney, Head of Web Technology, Hillarys.
Working with Adyen gives Hillarys early access to new and innovative payment methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which are quickly available across its payment platform and easy to implement. Another benefit of the partnership is that Hillarys now has access to all popular local payment methods via a single integration, making it is easy to enter new markets quickly by simply adding corresponding payment methods. In this way Hillarys can provide a consistent experience to overseas customers by letting them pay in the ways they know and trust.
"Adyen seems to be at the forefront of quickly bringing new payment methods to market."
“Adyen seems to be at the forefront of quickly bringing new payment methods to market, which allows us to offer these to our customers without any further integration work required.” Matt Barney.
Moving forwards, Hillarys and Adyen will continue to work side-by-side to delight customers and further improve the sales process. It is an ongoing, iterative process resulting in incremental gains, which drive overall revenue.
“In an industry not renowned for innovation and engagement, Adyen breaks the mould and is a breath of fresh air. The company has a ‘can do’ attitude that allows us to make quick progress when taking advantage of new opportunities. It is a partnership that we have learnt to value.” Julian Bond.
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