Ask Phill came to be by surprising companies with innovative ideas. The founders eventully figured out, though, that their ideas were too broad. “We literally did everything,” says Martijn Wijsmuller, CEO. That is until 2017 came along and there was a lot of demand for e-commerce platforms and although they changed their focus, they didn’t stop innovating. “In order to make our platform Parfumado successful, we made a recurring payments solution for Shopify using iDEAL.”
Ask Phill builds webshops on Shopify’s platform and has made itself into an official Shopify Expert. It’s all become a streamlined process meaning they’ve been able to attract a lot of business; for example, from famous Dutch rapper Lil Kleine. But it doesn’t stop there. “Our e-commerce success prepared us to take on other great projects. We were approached by a party that wanted to launch something like Scentbird in the Netherlands,” Martijn explains. This turned into Parfumado, a subscription service for perfume where users can choose a different perfume each month and pay a fixed, low fee for it via SEPA direct debit.
“With Parfumado we became more than just a webshop builder. We thought the concept was really cool so we partnered up. We did branding, design, online marketing, and development, and we created a platform that’s tangible and inspiring for the user,” he says. And success came quickly because within a year Parfumado had 10,000 active users all paying €15 a month. In the near future more creative solutions that take advantage of this recurring payments solution are sure to come.
The end-user experience
This success didn’t come easy because in Shopify the only way to do recurring payments was with credit cards. “If you want this to work in the Netherlands, then being able to do recurring payments with iDEAL was key. This is why we built an app that opened up as soon as you chose iDEAL as a payment method. And this all happens without the customer noticing anything.”
“We built an app that opened up as soon as you chose iDEAL as a payment method. And this happens without the customer noticing anything.”
— Martijn Wijsmuller Founder at Ask Phill
So, why did Ask Phill choose Shopify, which necessitated the building of a payment solution? “We dove into the different e-commerce platforms that are out there and at the end of the day the experience for the end-user is the most important thing, and Shopify is head-and-shoulders above the rest in that regard,” Martijn says, adding, “This is also why we ended up at Mollie.”
A big difference with other providers
“Payments products aren’t sexy, they just have to be reliable,” Martijn says. However, it’s not just reliable payments that motivated Ask Phill to exclusively work with Mollie. “As a digital agency we’re design experts, and for us and our clients, the appearance of products is important,” he remarks, “And with Mollie, all of this is really on-point: the site, the checkout, the system behind everything. This is an enormous difference with other providers.” “What’s more is that Mollie is fully involved, even if you’re just a startup. We even got a budget to make the switch to Mollie as easy as possible. Price also played an important role in our decision to go with Mollie,” he concludes.
At the beginning of their relationship with clients, Ask Phill suggests they open a Mollie account to handle payments. “We don’t say that just because, we base that suggestion on the relationship we’ve built with Mollie,” Martijn says. “After all, through Parfumado we’re also Mollie clients. This doesn’t only go for standard rates: Mollie makes a big difference for cancellation costs as well.” “Here,” he continues, “at first we didn’t take this into account. You think along the lines of, ‘someone is placing an order so they’ll pay for it,’ but despite that people still cancel recurring payments. And every time that happens you have to pay cancellation costs–this can get expensive.” However, he finishes, “Mollie keeps all of this under control, so there are plenty of reasons to partner with Mollie.”
“Mollie makes our work easy — that meshes well with our business model”
— Coen Fredriks, Coqtail