G-Star RAW: Hardcore denim and Unified Commerce
For Hästens, staying true to tradition doesn’t mean keeping its business in the past when it comes to payments.
A lot goes into creating the ideal bed for a soundful night’s sleep. Layers upon layers of the finest materials make up the perfect balance of firmness and comfort, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
For Hästens, a brand whose heritage goes back over 170 years, its product is what sets it apart from competitors. Carefully crafted using the same techniques as founder Pehr Adolf Janson introduced in 1852, the business is driven by “the virtues of sleep” and “humble pride” over its craft.
Master Craftsmen in front of the factory in the early 1900’s
But purchasing a high-end bed isn’t a straightforward process. Customers naturally want to try before they invest and potentially want to add last-minute items to their order. And that’s even before the payment cycle is initiated. This is something Hästens knew all too well, so with a mission to make the customer experience a digital dream, the team embarked on a journey to bring the heritage brand into the future. They achieved this with our Pay by Link functionality, providing a way of paying online wherever and whenever the customer chooses to.
It’s frustrating when you can’t sleep at night; every time you check the clock it feels like an eternity has passed. The same goes for a slow, rigid payment process; to create the dream bed-buying journey and keep the customer comfortable it must be smooth and seamless.
For Chief Financial Officer Robert Carlen, it was crucial Hästens adapted to the evolving digital world by offering customers greater freedom in how they pay. Until recently, the only way customers could pay for goods was by going to their nearest store and paying via terminal or via bank transfer remotely. However, via the latter people lost the benefits and incentives that come with certain credit cards such as American Express, affecting the high customer standards in which the brand strives for. The lack of transparency and automation over the payment flow also meant the finance department would have to manually share the status of the transaction. This created friction and slowed the overall process down, while refunds were also a challenge.
Hästens wanted every brand touchpoint to be more flexible and streamlined without compromising on the high-end service. What they needed was a solution that was easy to implement and for all staff to use, while creating clearer communications and alignment between involved departments at Hästens - all of which enhances the customer experience.
When the opportunity arose for Hästens to implement Adyen’s payment link functionality, Pay by Link, it proved to be the ideal solution. It enables sales associates to generate a payment link within the Hästens app, powered by Adyen’s API integration, which can then be sent directly to the customer via email. This payment link takes customers to a secure Hästens-branded checkout page where they can make their online payment.
For example, a customer can choose a bed they like in store, but they don’t want to buy it there and then. Once they have left and decided to buy it after some thinking at home, the store associate or manager can create and send a payment link within just a few clicks. The customer receives the email and can pay on their preferred device, whether that’s their laptop, smartphone or tablet, using their preferred payment method such as a digital wallet or credit card - this time benefitting from its incentives. If they decide to add another item to their order, the payment link can simply be changed, giving extra flexibility and the same personalised touch customers receive in store.
Digital Transformation Lead Mikael Wennberg had nothing but praise for the implementation process, sharing: “The API documentation is really good and the support is great. I reached out to one of our software developers who said most of the API integrations we have for the different systems are pretty good. But if you rated them, he said that Adyen comes top in detail.”
“Most of the API integrations we have for the different systems are pretty good - but if you rated them, Adyen comes top in detail.”
“We wanted to provide a mobile phone for configuring the order as well as processing the sale. In the beginning, we had a card reading unit fixed to the phone magnetically, which was cumbersome,” Robert recalled.
To achieve this goal and give Pay by Link a front row seat, Hästens integrated it into their existing app, which they improved the quality alongside Apple Lab using staff feedback. This also means Pay by Link is 100% mobile, so it can be used wherever staff are, giving them full autonomy over the payment process. Further features on the app include booking shipments, checking inventory, and tracking orders, making it a truly all-in-one and time-saving solution for store associates which ticked all the boxes.
“We wanted an app that was user friendly and easy to get trained on. When you have new employees you don't want to spend days or weeks for them to understand how different products work," Robert added.
Hästens has created over 1400 links over the last 12 months, with the numbers only increasing as time goes on. Despite the success of its digital transformation, the brand remains focused on what it is known for - its iconic beds - and stores are the best way to showcase them.
Hästens has created over 1400 links over the last 12 months
Hästens’ digital transformation has served to facilitate human interactions, making every customer touchpoint even more unique. Given everything Pay by Link supports, Robert is happy that it’s mostly an invisible feature to shoppers, as he explained: “I think the success rate of what we are doing can be measured in how little they notice what we have in place. If a customer comes into a store, and they don't even notice that we have a system, then we would be happy because it hasn’t come between the interaction of the store associate and the customer.”
To which Mikael added: “For customers, it should be invisible. For our staff it should make their lives easier so they can spend more time with customers and less time doing admin. It also reduces the risk of making mistakes in the system.”
Having worked together since 2018, it was the strength of the relationship and teamwork between Adyen and Hästens that made the project an overall success.
When reflecting on the process, Mikael shared a key piece of advice for those companies looking to follow suit with their own app and capabilities. He stressed that they should not wait until everything is 100% covered to launch it; instead of taking a long time to fine-tune the details, he advises working on one part at a time, iterating as you go. This is in line with the Adyen Formula proposition: launch fast and iterate.
Are you looking to give your business a digital overhaul and explore new ways of letting customers pay? Do you think Pay by Link could be a fit? Get in touch to discover more about Pay by Link, and how it can help you on your unified commerce journey.