Beerwulf on adapting to new payment methods to maintain customer loyalty

Founded in 2017, Beerwulf is an e-commerce platform that brings beer from big brands and local breweries directly to your doorstep. Owned by Heineken Group and headquartered in the Netherlands, Beerwulf is active in 10 markets across the EU and the UK.

We spoke to Catherine Safaya, chief financial officer at Beerwulf, about maintaining customer loyalty, creating frictionless checkout systems, and working with Stripe to manage fraud.

Products used

    Billing
    Connect
Europe
Enterprise

What inspired you to join Beerwulf?

I’ve always looked for ambitious international companies, which allow me to work with multiple target markets – Beerwulf fit the criteria. The beer industry is well established, making it a good opportunity for disruption, and Beerwulf brings fresh ambition to the space. It's changed how people buy beer and brought pub-quality draught beer into their homes.

How have your previous roles impacted your work at Beerwulf?

At Beerwulf, I brought in the concept of customer lifetime value from my experience in previous positions. Because we are a young company, this shifted our thinking to focus on product investment and customer loyalty. It’s helped us determine which beverages to add to our range, and where to invest to acquire new customers.

What are the biggest challenges e-commerce companies face today?

Delivery and fulfilment are an increasing challenge for e-commerce businesses. After the pandemic, customers expect faster delivery times at a lower price point.

We’re seeing a shift in consumer demand in today’s post-COVID, e-commerce world. We need to adjust our marketing efforts to remain relevant and attract customers. Laws and attitudes around data collection and usage have recently changed, which affects how we can personalise our communication.

How does Beerwulf manage both small-scale businesses and international chains?

The supply chain of big breweries is well established, but slow. They rely on retail networks and have little-to-no direct insight into consumers’ needs, often taking months to distribute products. With Beerwulf, we speed up the product launch timeline from months to days, gathering customer responses and insights into the products in real time.

We help smaller breweries expand their customer reach. Microbreweries tend to stay local, within their own borders, given complex excise regulations. Beerwulf takes away the headache and distributes their products to our 10 markets. Elsewhere, we have access to a bottling plant, giving brewers an additional medium to offer their beer in home-draught format.

What are Beerwulf’s biggest opportunities in 2023?

With the cost of living rising, people are going out to pubs and restaurants less, and instead having nights in with friends and family. This makes home draught a well-priced alternative, enhancing the drinking experience and these moments of joy together.

We initially thought our eight-litre home-draught system would be interesting to a small subset of customers, because it was designed for pubs and restaurants. However, because our customers are staying at home, they are willing to pay more for the high-quality machine. As a result, we’ll bring a wider variety of beers to our eight-litre system – there is opportunity for growth here.

What are some important characteristics of the typical Beerwulf customer?

We’ve invested time researching and understanding our customer base. A typical customer enjoys hosting friends, whether for sporting events, weekends together, or game nights. They buy both craft beer and mainstream lagers. Our home-draught system has been incredibly successful: it’s affordable and a much better experience to pour your own beer than to grab a bottle or can from the fridge.

How has Beerwulf met the needs of consumers when it comes to payment offerings?

Our goal is to make the checkout process completely frictionless, allowing customers to pay with their preferred payment method. Each market has different needs. For example, iDEAL is a popular Netherlands-based payment method, while the UK relies on credit cards. Being able to adapt to our customers has had a great impact on our sales and customer loyalty.

How does Stripe enable Beerwulf to successfully conduct business across multiple European markets?

First, we rely on Stripe to tell us about the payment trends across our markets and what we should implement for our customers.

Second, and most importantly, Stripe helps us with fraud management across 10 countries in the EU and the UK. If a suspicious charge does occur, it won’t go far with Stripe Radar to protect the company. Stripe perfectly balances keeping fraud rates as low as possible while maximising our payment acceptance rates.

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