Oetker Collection: Crafting a masterpiece guest experience
Having announced their B Corp certification in 2021, Ace & Tate’s dedication to sustainability is abundantly clear. And they’re bringing their customers along on this journey, by encouraging donations at checkout.
To understand more about the work they’re doing and how Adyen is supporting this green mission, we spoke with in-house trio: Marketing Director Sean Gregory Peron; Responsibility Manager Femme van Gils; and IT Services Manager Luciano van Hoorn.
Ace & Tate started in 2014 as a webshop, but now has 77 physical stores across Europe. The company quickly realised that the customer shopping experience is not singularly tied to one channel. Many journeys for example, see the customers view the collection online, come in store for an eye test or try on, and then have the purchase delivered to their home. So the key for Ace & Tate was being ready for customers at exactly the right time.
“We do that using our channel-neutral approach,” explained Sean. “We are constantly trying to improve our customer journey using technology. Our stores and webshop support each other. The purchasing process is fluid and moves across all channels.”
As Ace & Tate grew, it dawned on founder Mark de Lange that every pair of glasses produced and every happy customer unintentionally coincided with an impact on the planet. With this in mind, the company decided to take a critical look at all products and services, its supply chain and stores. The hard work was rewarded with the B Corporation certificate. in July 2021. This certification isn’t easily achieved. Companies go through rigorous checks into all aspects of their setup, and have to prove their authentic commitment to sustainability through quantifiable metrics and data. However, this milestone isn't the end-point for Ace & Tate; the company continues to have very ambitious sustainability goals
“We see sustainability as an opportunity and an obligation,” said Sean. “But also as a way to survive as a brand. Customers are critical and are no longer satisfied with fast fashion. We see that customers want to be part of our sustainable mission. That's why Giving is such a fantastic addition to our customer journey. The feature is a unique bridge to our customer.”
“Giving is a fantastic addition to our customer journey. The feature is a unique bridge to our customer."
For those unfamiliar, Adyen’s donation feature Giving makes it possible for customers to donate as they pay. Ace & Tate launched a pilot in its brick-and-mortar stores in Amsterdam last August and, thanks to its success (a participation rate of 12.8% no less) it will be expanded to the online checkout.
“Giving is an extension of our sustainability strategy,” said Femme. “It gives our customers the opportunity to make a positive impact as well. The concept is simple. Immediately after the customer has paid in store, a pop-up appears on the terminal with the question: ‘Do you want to donate two, four or eight euros to our chosen charity, Trees for All?’ The donation is directly translated into how many trees the charity will plant for that amount. The customer then selects the desired amount and the donation goes straight to the charity. In a confirmation email, customers can read what Trees for All does and Ace & Tate’s website will soon contain a tree tracker, in which we show how many trees have already been planted.” Adyen takes care of all transaction costs of the donations and, because the full amount goes directly to charity, there is no confusion with commercial transactions.
Founder Mark de Lange walked into an Amsterdam branch of Ace & Tate while the pilot phase of Giving was ongoing. He was so enthusiastic about the functionality that the company decided to roll it out from three to 70 stores within one day. “It turned out to be a seamless integration. It was no different than turning the button on and going,” notes Femme.
The figures show that Giving is a success for Ace & Tate. “Thanks to our customers, we have now raised more than 20,000 euros in Europe and planted a total of 5,000 trees,” said Femme. “In Switzerland, as many as one in three customers donated and Giving is widely adopted in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. By far most people opt for two euros. Still, I find it striking how many people go for eight euros, because that is a considerable amount. This may also indicate how much trust customers have in our brand.”
*These are the figures for January 2022.
The partnership between Adyen and Ace & Tate goes beyond Giving. We have been partners from day-one and engaged in various joint projects. “In the coming year, we will merge Shopper DNA, a feature on Adyen's platform, with our own Ace & Tate ID,” explains Luciano. “This means we can further expand the omnichannel experience for customers and have a better view of customer behaviour, all in one place. We're not the type of company that wants to actively target customers, but these tools give us the ability to build loyal customers. If we see that a customer buys two pairs of glasses every year, we can link a bonus to that. Think of a nice cleaning kit or glasses case.”
Ace & Tate has recently started using the option to view payment data per terminal. Luciano: “This makes communication with our stores even faster and more targeted. For example, if support is needed, I don't have to dig into a terminal number, but I can quickly see which store it concerns.”
And we won't stop there. There are still plenty of collaborative opportunities in our future. Luciano: 'It is clear that Adyen is an innovative payment partner. But what makes me especially happy is the stability you get with Adyen. The terminal, API and backups; everything works without problems. You don't want to know what a relief that is for a company.”