Customer stories

How NA-KD are approaching payments amidst rapid scaling

Payments play a part in the global expansion story of digital fashion powerhouse NA-KD.

27 May, 2022
 ·  6 minutes

NA-KD was founded in 2016 as a women’s beauty and fashion consumer brand. Their primary target audience is millennials shopping for stylish and affordable clothing, with the majority of the company’s marketing relying on social media influencers. Two years after launching, the company became one of the most talked-about online fashion brands on Instagram in Sweden and Germany, riding the coat-tails of big influencer buzz.

We spoke with NA-KD Product Manager Kubilay Eldem to find out how global payment solutions have been a driving force in their growth journey.

Focus on scalability

When Kubilay started at NA-KD in 2021, the company was entering a huge phase in its expansion. Within a short time, the company hired for a range of new roles, including technical engineers, product managers, and data scientists, to scale up its digital platform and bolster the company’s move into new markets.

"The data that we get from Adyen lays the groundwork for how we set business goals."

Kubilay Eldem, NA-KD Product Manager

Kubilay works as a product manager for NA-KD’s checkout and spends his time analysing data. Conversion rates, consumer behaviour patterns, and payment preferences are the key indicators that interest him most. He also collaborates with decision-makers in the marketing, sales, customer service, and operations teams.

Kubilay explains, “Our entire approach is data-driven, and we look a lot at, for example, conversion rates, how customers like to complete their purchases, and what payment options customers prefer to use. Adyen’s Dashboard is pivotal for my daily workflow. I log in every day to look at payment data and I analyse payment life cycles weekly. The data that we get from Adyen lays the groundwork for how we set business goals.”

Digitalise more: growth during and post-pandemic

The pandemic undoubtedly forced many companies to accelerate their digital transformation. NA-KD has always been a predominantly digital company. Still, their team found ways to innovate during the pandemic.

“In April of last year, we launched NA-KD Circle, our second-hand platform where customers can sell clothes they don’t need to extend the life of the clothes” Kubilay explains. He adds, “We also launched our first NA-KD app in June.”

The app was an immediate success. With over one million downloads in the first eight months, it was one of Sweden's most popular retail apps. According to Kubilay, the app would have launched regardless of the pandemic, but increased demand for online shopping sped up the process.

The company's tremendous growth in a short period increased expectations. Suddenly, NA-KD had just as many users on the platform in a typical week as they did during the Black Friday period. From a technical perspective, keeping a website up with that level of user traffic was no easy task. At the same time, their supply chain was impacted by closed harbors and shortages in the clothing production industry.

As the company steadily got a handle on the crises early in the pandemic, Kubilay and his team turned their attention to more long-term organiational goals. Kubilay explains, “The company is still growing, and we’re starting to focus more on how we can make our work more sustainable, for example, by choosing sustainable materials and working with environmentally-friendly sellers and suppliers.”

A growing partnership

NA-KD chose Adyen because the platform was both intuitive and simple to integrate. The company wanted to expand globally, increase authorisation rates, better combat fraud, and optimise conversion rates.

Because Adyen offers global acquiring with hundreds of payment methods and comprehensive solutions to make legitimate transactions fast and easy, the company could confidently pursue its goals. Now, NA-KD is working with Adyen's global payment solutions in several markets, including the US, France, and Poland.

“Our transition to the Adyen platform has been a smooth process. The last stages were only just finished recently, but the benefits of transitioning became apparent quickly. Adyen’s solution is very developer-friendly, which made the start-up phase extremely easy. It didn’t demand new IT specialists or larger resources for the development and implementation of the product. The help we’ve received from Adyen has also been amazing from the very beginning, when our volumes were a lot smaller. So the decision was ultimately easy,” Kubilay says.

Optimise payments for growth

Local payment methods and consumer attitudes towards different payment methods vary from market to market. In Sweden, eight million people use Swish as their payment method. In Germany, Girocard is king, with over 100 million cards in a market of 83 million people. The French equivalent, Cartes Bancaires, is used by 97% of adults in France.

"We’ve basically added a new payment method to the platform with the click of a button. That’s been a game-changer for our fast-paced expansion into new markets.”

Kubilay Eldem

“We save so much time being able to integrate different local payment methods through Adyen instead of having to go to a different actor for each one,” Kubilay says. “Thanks to Adyen, we’ve basically added a new payment method to the platform with the click of a button. That’s been a game-changer for our fast-paced expansion into new markets.”

Platform reliability: the key to success

Adyen’s platform was built in-house from the ground up. That’s how we ensure a high standard of performance for our customers. We have direct access to card network data, allowing us to adapt the format and “journey” of every payment request in real time. That gives every legitimate transaction the best possible chance of being approved.

Because Adyen owns the entire value chain, the reliability and uptime of the platform also increased and became more secure. This was essential for NA-KD, given that they had previously encountered problems giving consumers access to region-specific checkouts. “We had a few incidents where our checkout was down and we weren’t able to offer local payment methods. As a result, our conversion rate dropped dramatically. It is essential that our customers are able to complete their purchases no matter where they are,” Kubilay explains.

Owning the entire payment flow allows businesses to take full advantage of our global scope while also enabling more and better local payment options. For NA-KD, Adyen’s offer of a single payment integration across markets and channels was incredibly advantageous. It meant the company could easily implement new payment methods in markets with a simple configuration of their existing system. It also lessens the likelihood of abandoned carts - leading to happier customers at checkout and higher conversion rates.

Interested in how payments can be a driver for a global growth?

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