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Helping our hardware clients to trade through tough times

Operating a busy retail outlet in line with public health advice on social distancing is no easy task. During the Covid-19 lockdown, retailers are presented with a range of unprecedented challenges; avoiding close contact with customers, limiting use of cash, safely handling card terminal payments and developing a safe delivery and collection system to reach people in self-isolation. For the many hardware stores, builders merchants and similar businesses already using Prommt, these challenges have been a lot less daunting.

Hard times but not for Prommt’s hardware clients

Businesses like MP Moran use Prommt to send secure payment links out via SMS and Email. This eliminates card fraud and fraudulent chargebacks while automating much of the back and forth involved in making a payment. It ultimately makes for a better customer experience.

“Prommt has made a massive impact in terms of collecting payments from customers. It has enabled sales for people who we wouldn’t have taken a risk on before.”

Charlotte Disbrey – MP Moran

Ready to react and adapt

Having Prommt already in place put merchants such as NG Bell, MP Moran and Grange Builders Providers ahead of the curve when lockdown measures came into force. They were able to quickly minimise cash handling by sending secure, personalised payment requests via SMS and email. This allowed their customers to make a standard online ecommerce payment. As restrictions progressed and some clients were forced to move to delivery-only transactions, Prommt proved to be an invaluable tool in supporting such a service.

Helping our hardware clients continue to trade

NG Bell in Newtownards went from using Prommt a handful of times each week to over 200 paid requests in just seven days of lockdown operation. Norman Bell reflected that, “we found ourselves to be the only hardware store open in 50 miles. It’s really handy and we’ll be using Prommt a lot more after this crisis.”  MP Moran, a London-based group, found having Prommt made it much easier to modify their working practices to suit public health guidelines. Alongside a strong online ecommerce business, Prommt enabled their customers to order and pay for goods and to keep their social contact to a bare minimum. Prommt grew 25% during the crisis. Speaking about how operating during the crisis, Dave Walker said “We’ve picked up trade from other merchants which are currently closed. There are no signs of it letting up”.

Using Prommt to minimise cash handling

When the lockdown came into force, Grange Builders Providers in Dublin immediately replaced all their cash-on-delivery payments with Prommt, allowing them to continue trading. Prommt payments rose by 115% during the first weeks of the crisis. When they were required to close their doors on 30 March, Prommt gave them a strong business continuity option, continuing to sell over the phone. Liam Phelan is the Financial Controller there.

“We had been using Prommt, as a way to minimise risky, over-the-phone payments, long before the Coronavirus emergency. When the restrictions came in, we were instantly able to eliminate COD payments and face-to-face transactions with a simple, secure online alternative we already had in place. I anticipate that when we fully reopen that COD will be gone for good.”

Liam Phelan – Grange Builders Providers

Beyond the hard numbers and the obvious commercial benefits, Prommt is also helping these merchants to provide exceptional customer service. Here’s just one of NG Bell’s many satisfied clients in a recent review posted online…

“Great service through (Covid-19) difficult times with competitive pricing and very impressive payment method! Friendly delivery driver and very helpful!!”