CASE STUDY | Ogone, one the major internationally operating Payment Service Providers, recently published a case study that describes how Ogone supported online retailer Wiggle to expand their ecommerce business. Wiggle, now operating in markets such as The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Austria, recognised the growing complexity in accepting payments when going cross-border. Every country with its own payment culture and online payment methods required from Wiggle to offer those payment options preferred by its shoppers.
Sportswear and equipment retailer Wiggle initially adopted Ogone’s Collect solution in 2010, primarily to further growth in The Netherlands, building both success and knowledge in effective cross-border sales. In 2012, the partnership progressed as Wiggle was keen to embrace German, Belgian and Austrian payment options via Ogone.
Wiggle officially started trading with an initial investment of just £2000 using a fledgling e-commerce site. As an early internet pioneer, the firm grew impressively and in 2011 the company was acquired by private equity investor Bridgepoint Capital for £180 million.
The sale prompted another round of investment; expansion included a new London office and the Wiggle brand was set up in the vibrant Borough Market area of London, with two new warehouses acquired to increase stock holding and continue providing a first class customer service.
In 2012, Wiggle made a concerted effort to expand its successful UK business into international markets. “We are a truly global business and we see international sales as potentially greater than the home market,” explains Justin Lodge, European Territory Manager for Wiggle. “It will ultimately provide the lion’s share of growth moving forward.” According to Lodge, Wiggle’s first two forays into Australia and Japan both delivered rapid success, and were followed with a move into France and other European territories.
However, Wiggle ran into an issue with payment when confronted by the sheer volume of offerings available at the international level. “If customers can’t pay you then you won’t get the sale, it is pretty fundamental,” says Lodge. “Many countries have their own local payment methods which have high penetration; for example Germany has twice as many payment options as Japan and we needed to meet our customers’ expectations.” As a result, Wiggle decided that in order to serve all potential customers and thus increase conversions, their site required the capability to accept the vast array of local payment types from all over the globe.
According to Lodge, the payment experience is a critical issue for the success of Wiggle in its international operations: “Trust is a real issue and showing the logos of local payment options that customers are comfortable with and delivery companies they trust is vital,” he adds.
Wiggle investigated a wide range of Payment Service Providers with a selection criteria based on strong geographic and currency coverage, the ability to seamlessly manage refunds and ease of maintenance in respect to its 24/7 e-commerce operations.
Following an evaluation process spanning a number of weeks, Wiggle selected Ogone, an Ingenico company and leading global online payment service provider for more than 50,000 merchants, with support for over 100 payment methods in over 70 countries. Ogone’s international reach and expertise of the payment process and customer experience was a key benefit and deciding factor for Wiggle, in light of their aims to further develop their international customer following.
Working closely with an implementation team from Ogone, integration with its ecommerce systems was concluded in a few weeks before rollout to the chosen markets took place.
Over the following months new country/region specific sites were added to the Wiggle international roster, with Ogone’s service capability seamlessly integrated within 11 different sites in 10 languages.
“Having deep language support is really important for us,” explains Lodge. “Some of the products are quite technical and they are expensive items so buyers need the right info, in the right language with the right backup. It is quite an ordeal and a big investment but worthwhile for our long term international growth strategy.”
Lodge states that accepting local payment options via Ogone Collect has increased business, which is part of a wider localisation and customer trust building exercise essential in establishing a truly international operation. “Payment plus customer service and delivery options are key for Wiggle and every business,” says Lodge. “We know that if we don’t offer different payment methods the conversation rates would be lower. As a result Ogone is a key component of our international expansion plans.”
In the 12 month period between 2012 and 2013, Wiggle had more than 70 million website visits and shipped over 2 million orders to customers across the world.
Today, Wiggle is experiencing strong growth in its international business with 60 percent of its new customers coming from outside of the UK, a trend seen by many large UK retailers. Lodge believes its selection of Ogone has been validated by the strong response from its now extensive customer community and external recognition. In fact, in 2012 alone it won three prestigious awards for ecommerce including a third consecutive BikeBiz online retailer of the year award.
Moving forward, the business recognises the potential for a mobile strategy in the future, an area where international nuance is critical. In Lodge’s experience, the share of mobile and tablets (versus desktop) is growing significantly, “around 10 percent for mobile and 20 percent tablet”. The landscape for mobile payment is therefore evolving rapidly and becoming increasingly significant for retailers developing their payment strategy.
One attractive element of the Ogone mobile approach is the “in-app” payment capability that is enabled via provision of their software developer kit. This considerably enhances the customer experience and reduces purchase abandonment as there is no need to open a separate browser to make the payment.
Ogone, an Ingenico company, is a leading global online Payment Service Provider. More than 50,000 businesses in over 70 countries worldwide use Ogone to manage and secure their online and mobile payments, help prevent fraud and drive their business. Ogone’s scalable solution allows their customers to increase their checkout conversion and help them enhance sales, both domestic and cross-border. For more information please visit Ogone Payment Services website.