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Honeywhale on value for customers and what clients want from a payment gateway


With ecommerce in South Africa being accelerated by the global pandemic, the need for software development and digital marketing services has likewise increased. Honeywhale is a Shopify development and marketing agency based in Johannesburg and Cape Town. They number Bootleggers Coffee, Flexfit, Sofacompany, Toms Music and Brando among their clients. Co-founders Alistair Haddow and Brandon Yang recently chatted to us about their history, the trends they are seeing in the industry, and their clients’ need for a seamless and simple payment gateway.


"Can you create more value for your customer than your customer creates for you?"

Brandon Yang, co-founder, Honeywhale


How did Honeywhale begin?

Co-founders Alistair and Brandon went to high school together, and made their first foray into business in grade nine, hosting Minecraft servers. While pursuing his degree in information systems at UCT, Alistair continued his software development education auto-didactically, which is how he got involved with the Shopify platform and the ecommerce industry. While studying in Johannesburg, Brandon had started a marketing company, and after realising that there was a great energy between the businesses and their ambitions, they founded Honeywhale.


Screenshot 2021-04-20 at 11.20.05


What are they seeing?

  • It has never been more important for retailers to sell (and get paid) online. Not appropriately leveraging the efficiencies digital offers means businesses risk falling behind.
  • Everyone can sell a product, but not everyone can create a great brand. Online retailers need to understand how to connect with their customers and build relationships without being face-to-face.
  • The question is whether ecommerce businesses can create more value for their customer than the customer creates for them. This ensures returning business.
  • Ecommerce entrepreneurs need to take the time to understand the finer details of ecommerce, like URL hygiene and what distinguishes good UX from bad UX. The devil is in the details and small issues can break a site.



What brands get it right in ecommerce?

Bellroy are an Australian leather goods company that have nailed it. Their marketing, their videos, their whole company, is about the customer. Their ‘slim your wallet’ campaign is a great example of focusing on the end point for the customer (which is a more considered carry good) rather than just trying to convince someone to buy another wallet.


Screenshot 2021-04-20 at 11-45-27-png-min


What problems do Honeywhale’s clients typically face?

They usually have a brick and mortar store, and want to go online to unlock new revenue. Or, they’ve started a new online store, and they’ve underestimated how complex it is. In terms of payment gateways, clients are looking for (i) the simplest and easiest checkout and (ii) the most cost-effective solution. Unsurprisingly, clients think about transaction fees a lot, and are less concerned about functionality.


What do clients want from an online payment gateway?

  • A good user experience at checkout is key. It must be easy, intuitive and not waste any time.
  • Multi-currency and international payments are becoming more and more important as businesses look to compete in a global marketplace.
  • Subscription payments. So many businesses need this functionality, and depending on which platform you operate on and who your payment gateway is, this can be an issue. 


How did they find Peach Payments, and what was setting up with us like?

Another agency recommended Honeywhale try Peach, and they had a client who was looking to set up a UK Shopify store and take payments in pounds. The setup was straightforward and seamless, and far less admin than they’ve had before, which they appreciated. Further than that, Peach’s Shopify integration is super easy to set up, which means less time spent in backwards and forwards communications and a much quicker setup for the client.


“The team’s emails are always on point, and I always get a response within 24 hours, which is great service to me.”
Alistair Haddow, co-founder, Honeywhale  




If you’re looking for an online payment gateway that offers a seamless checkout experience for your customers, enterprise-grade security for your store, and personalised support to you, click here to see what Peach Payments can do for you.

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