A new set of boxer shorts in your mailbox every month; first one free, cancel anytime. That’s the surprisingly simple concept behind successful Dutch online retailer ON THAT ASS. With ING/Payvision now on board, their plans for global expansion look set to succeed.
“Payvision is proactive. If there’s a problem, they take a deep dive to solve it as source. They are there when needed.“
– Julia Maracolina, general manager ON THAT ASS
Since launching five years ago, the subscription-only company ON THAT ASS (you can’t buy the shorts in a shop), has gone from strength to strength. With 250,000 signed-up members in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain and the UK (France was added last week) they’ve now got Scandinavia on the radar. “We have big ambitions,” says general manager Julia Marcolina.
Five years ago, Julia was an intern at a small subscription-only company in Rosmalen, in the heart of the Netherlands. “The company sold make-up – every month a different product. When someone suggested to the two male owners they try boxer shorts, they put an ad online, discovered there was a market, and quickly found a manufacturer in China.“
“We’re still with the same manufacturer now,” says Julia. “We’ve steadily improved the quality, with better-stitched seams, dyes that keep their colour and so on.” As a result, most of their reviews are positive. “We’ve built up a fan base on Facebook and people can respond to each others’ comments. New members can find us on Instagram and click through to our website, which is mobile-friendly – 90% of new members use their telephones to sign up.”
More than just shorts
ON THAT ASS customers don’t just get boxer shorts for their € 9.99 a month. When the new pair falls on the doormat, its packaging will match the design of the shorts and there will usually be a small gift like a key-ring or card game included, in the same theme. Maybe even access to a themed online game.
“We’ve got three designers in our 18-strong team. As well as dynamic, eyecatching designs – titles of recent themes have included Kandy, Delerium and Arcade – we also create special editions designed by contemporary artists for example. When we started, we thought our members would all be young but our customers range from 15 to 50-plus. This means we’ve been able to grow quickly.”
Their growth really rocketed when ON THAT ASS launched a TV ad campaign in the Netherlands – and that was when ING took note. ING’s partnership with Payvision could offer this obviously ambitious ecommerce company a global, omnichannel payments provider that had the features, and the tech, to help facilitate fast international growth.
Solving issues at source
“Payvision came on board last month,” says Julia. “They are proactive, wanting to optimise our payments; if we encounter a problem, they really take a deep dive into the reason and will do everything they can to solve it at source. We’re in direct contact with their IT people who are available 24/7. This means that any issues our customers face are resolved fast.”
While this booming boxer shorts business could be expanding into markets beyond Europe in the not too distant future (“the concept seems to be successful everywhere”), Julia stresses the importance of keeping their systems up and running, in all countries, which makes the direct line to Payvision’s tech know-how so valuable. Sounds like ON THAT ASS and Payvision are going places.
Through its strategic partnership with Payvision, ING can now offer its clients all relevant European payment methods online and offline in the most commonly used currencies, enabling them to make the most of international opportunities.