Castlery is a direct to consumer furniture store with a simple belief that furniture should last, look good and be honestly priced. Started in Singapore in 2013, Castlery sold its products online, and soon after ventured into off-line retail with physical showrooms. Handling both online and offline payments was complex, so they recently integrated with Stripe’s unified platform to manage their in-store and ecommerce payments in one place.
Having successfully established a strong market position in Singapore since inception and a solid online retail presence in Australia in the past two years, they have now expanded their business into the US.
Switching to Stripe to accept in-store payments in Singapore
In Singapore, transactions that had been processed in-store required manual input of purchase information into Castlery’s internal systems. To eliminate this hassle, Castlery switched to Stripe Terminal which automatically uploads in-store payment details into Castlery’s records. The integration process was done within a month and Stripe’s developer support and account deployment teams worked closely with Castlery in a joint Slack channel. Now, Zhiwei Zhou, cofounder and CTO, explains that “with Stripe it’s a seamless process – customers just tap their card in-store and our systems are instantly updated.”
Stripe Terminal simplifies refunds and reconciliation with a unified view of the customer
Before integrating Stripe Terminal, refunds for in-store transactions were a source of pain for Castlery customers. Zhiwei explains that Castlery “had to collect a customer’s bank account and make a transfer through the banking system, a process that could last up to two weeks and cause distress for customers.” Now, with Stripe, the refund process is shortened to only a few days, there’s an immediate notification and Castlery doesn’t have to collect any extra details from customers.
Because Castlery uses Stripe to accept online and in-store payments, they have a unified view of the customer that is valuable to the operations teams. If a customer has purchased online, then returns to buy something in store, Castlery has a full view of their activity and can tailor their customer experience accordingly. This also helps the finance team with the reconciliation process. Instead of printing out accounts from various providers for off-line and online payments, and spending hours tracking down various codes and transactions, all transaction data is easily available in the Stripe Dashboard.
Expansion to the US and protection from fraud with Stripe Radar
Since integrating Stripe in Singapore and Australia, Castlery has expanded to the US. Castlery was mindful of different fraud patterns in the US market so a fraud detection engine with Stripe Radar was activated. They collaborated with Stripe to set up new rules, for example imposing 3D-secure 2 for high-risk transactions and feeding certain transactions into a risk review process.
With Stripe assisting its payment operations, Castlery intends to further establish their market share in Australia’s furniture retail scene and continue their growth and expansion in the US.