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Illycaffè partners for payment and store tech

By Retail Technology | Tuesday February 11 2014

Italian espresso and lifestyle brand expands into China with payment gateway integration and collaborates with a major electronics manufacturer to enhance its stores

Illy, the Italian espresso and lifestyle brand, recently revealed it is using global payment services from Computop across its European and Chinese markets, as well as partnering with Samsung to enhance its store experience with digital technologies.

The new payments services have helped to increase its subscription programme turnover by 20% in Europe. As a result of this success, Computop is supporting illycaffè’s expansion into China, integrating its Paygate 5.0 system with illycaffè’s corporate e-shop payment settlement system.
The retailer exports its high quality coffee blend to over 140 countries around the world. Due to a subscription business model, which was technically centralised, but locally distributed from both a logistical and administrative standpoint, illycaffè needed to manage the multiple complexities posed by recurring payments while also improving the customer journey by extending its mail and telephone order (MOTO) options. 
Managing multiple currencies 

“When it came to selecting a PSP [payment service provider] to address these issues, we were looking for a provider with a strong multi-market European presence, an understanding of its core markets and the ability to deliver scalable implementations, as well as help us expand into the Chinese market,” said Fabrizio Dosi, global of head of illycaffè's business-to-consumer (B2C) division. “Computop’s capability to meet our complete payment method needs – Visa, Mastercard, Amex, PayPal, iDeal and AliPay – was an additional asset.”

Computop initially developed an e-commerce and MOTO solution across the group’s core markets: Italy, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Austria. At the heart of Computop’s solution is Paygate, its multichannel payment platform. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliant, Paygate is designed to provide secure payment options via a single interface that allows retailers to access over 50 payment methods across core currencies. It also includes fraud prevention and tokenisation capabilities to boost security across illycaffè's European marketplace.

Boosting new revenue streams

Through new payment systems have enabled illycaffè to open up its subscription programme. As well enabling the company to engage with an extended customer base in a new way, this has created a new revenue stream for illycaffè and, from a customer perspective, has allowed significant improvements to service levels through a larger, more comprehensive and flexible portfolio of payment methods.

The PSP was tasked with integrating a local payment tool with its corporate e-shop payment settlement system for which it implemented its Paygate 5.0 product, enabling customers to access online payments via third-party Chinese payment portals. Such is the success that the team in China is already looking at increasing online payments across a total e-shop transaction.

“China is expected to become one of the world's top five coffee consuming countries; globalisation and rising incomes, combined with marketing drives are propelling the popularity of coffee drinking, particularly among young people. Therefore, this has led to a natural extension of our use of Computop’s services with its local payment support in China using Alipay and other recognised local payment methods,” added Dosi. 

Adding digital flagship experiences 

The coffee retail brand also recently agreed to cooperate on a multi-year partnership aimed at enhancing the consumer experience in their respective retail flagship stores. Samsung will provide illycaffè flagships stores with engaging high-tech entertainment and service systems and illycaffè will provide Samsung Showrooms and events worldwide as part of its retail store experience.
“We are really proud to announce this partnership with Samsung,” stated Andrea Illy, illycaffè chairman and chief executive. “Illycaffè has always been at the forefront of creativity and innovation. Samsung is a natural ally for us in developing a new retail concept where the physical and digital experiences have no boundaries. Their passion for true creativity and their unrivalled expertise in technology innovation and new media will help us in bringing to life a totally new generation of coffee shops around the world.”
Samsung will provide illycaffè with a selection of Galaxy mobile devices, including tablets and other smart devices, and digital solutions, including a mobile application and additional innovative solutions, specifically developed for illycaffè products and illycaffè stores. Samsung will also provide onsite “Samsung Angels” to further help customers achieve the best instore experience possible.

The illycaffè store on London’s Regent Street is the first example of this partnership. The boutique cafè offers customers “engaging visual interaction and premium multimedia content,” according to the partners’ announcement. The first phase of this long-term partnership includes the Regent Street illycaffè opening, with more locations, including onsite at Samsung stores, by the end of 2014. These stores will be marked as “digitalised by Samsung”. 

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