desertcart is the go-to website for products not easily found in the region. Founded in the UAE in 2014, the ecommerce marketplace delivers more than 100 million products from around the world to consumers in over 160 countries, handling everything from sourcing to customs clearance and warranties to create a genuinely hassle-free shopping experience.
With its growing regional presence and ambitions to scale into additional international markets, desertcart is a company focused on growth. However, as its businesses expanded in size and complexity, it began to encounter operational pain points, not least with its payments, that risked its growth.
This led the burgeoning company to turn to Checkout.com to ensure it had the payments foundation to thrive in the digital economy.
Finding a partner that can serve desertcart's international ambitions
Knowing it always had global ambitions, desertcart initially chose to work with another internationally recognized provider to process its payments. The logic was sound. Rahul Swaminathan, Founder & CEO, expected that it would offer the coverage, support and technological flexibility to meet the company's present and future needs.
Yet the more desertcart pushed the platform, the more issues it encountered. These included a drop in authorization rates, leading to lost sales. While the inability to settle transactions in the UAE meant desertcart couldn't optimize FX costs.
"These were significant issues for us to solve, so we began speaking with our peers and other payment providers," explains Swaminathan. "Our conversations with Checkout.com were by far the most productive. They quickly identified the issues causing our authorization rates to drop off. And it had done due diligence to understand our business's nuances and unique requirements."
Despite witnessing firsthand the value and levels of partnership Checkout.com could deliver, desertcart took its time to decide. "Changing payments provider is not a decision we could take lightly, especially when we had so many other projects running concurrently," says Swaminathan. "But the value proposition Checkout.com presented was incredibly compelling. We were convinced it was the payments partner we needed to grow our business."
Simplifying integration and local payment acceptance
Once desertcart decided to partner with Checkout.com, any fears that a lengthy integration process would derail other projects were quickly removed. "Integration happened quickly and required minimal effort from our side; Checkout.com looked after everything," says Swaminathan.
The issues desertcart encountered with its previous provider were solved immediately after going live with Checkout.com. Its payment approval rate increased and stabilized above industry. While the ability to settle locally in the UAE saw its FX costs decline.
"Checkout.com hasn't stopped there," adds Swaminathan. "It regularly holds strategic review meetings with our team, discussing ways to improve our approval rates and which new payment methods we should offer."
On account of Checkout.com's advice, desertcart enabled mada payments in Saudi Arabia — a move that's led the company to achieve an additional 50% in sales every month in the Kingdom.
"Checkout.com added incredible value to our MENA business in no time," says Swaminathan. "Because of this, we've decided to leverage Checkout.com's UK acquiring license to support our worldwide processing."
Growing, innovating and offering customers more
As a company committed to growth, desertcart is focused on innovation and providing more services to its customers. These include different subscription services that aim to generate long-term customer retention and plans to grow its business further outside of the MENA region.
desertcart is applying its cross border supply chain & logistics expertise to create a fulfilment service dcfulfillment.com that offers highly competitive rates for Ecommerce stores that are looking to scale up in GCC and globally.
"In Checkout.com, we have a payments partner that we can rely on as we grow," says Swaminathan. "It has in-market expertise worldwide and deep relationships with the schemes, issuing banks and other entities in the payments ecosystem. So no matter where we look to grow, we know we can do that seamlessly while achieving better approval ratios and offering localized payment options to our customers."