Lingerie retail has become a stunningly competitive world online. True & Co., Negative Underwear, ThirdLove and Brayola are just a few of the brands out there promising customers a better fit, a better feel and a better experience buying underwear. But Adore Me, which launched in 2014, set its sights on a much more challenging goal: disrupting the lingerie empire built by L Brands’ Victoria’s Secret.
According to Adore Me, the objective was to help customers break out of the one-size-fits-all shopping experience that left customers who didn’t fit into a narrow set of measurements unable to find what they needed.
Adore Me’s brand logic is that customers shouldn’t have to figure out how to tailor themselves to a brand or settle with what’s on hand. Brands should tailor to what each customer needs.
Pursuing that disruption for Adore Me meant allowing customers to personalize the entire eCommerce experience — through products offered and the buying process.
The former is provided for by shoppers filling out a personal style quiz and submitting their measurements. The system’s artificial intelligence (AI) learns what the customer favors in their purchases in order to tailor future merchandise recommendations.
On the buying side, a customer can shop Adore Me à la carte: bra and panty sets start at $39.95. But the website strongly encourages customers join its membership program, which offers lower prices and tiered savings.
Adore Me’s membership program has caused some controversy in the past. Members are allowed to skip a monthly purchase, but they must visit the site and check in to explicitly do so. Customers that don’t will see a $34.95 charge credited to their account for a future purchase.
Those issues have been resolved more or less, as customers have become more habituated to the sales model. And memberships have continued to grow, as Adore Me has seen its vertical become more crowded and has gotten more focused on not just keeping customers satisfied with their undergarments — but also with their interaction with the brand, which has changed over time.
According to CRM Marketing Manager, Josselin Petit-Hoang, who has been with the company since 2014, Adore Me has learned to narrow its focus on who they reach out to — and how they do it.
“We had a one-size-fits-all strategy for reaching out to customers,” Petit-Hoang explained. “But as the company grew and the volume of our customers grew, we wanted to narrow down.”
The problem with “spray-and-pay” models — like sending out mass emails to a brand’s entire customer list — is that they cast a wide net and then simply hope for the best, which is limiting but fairly easy to do.
What Adore Me decided to do instead was to leverage the stacks of data they already had on their customers to personalize and automate the messaging process.
That tightened focus meant moving beyond direct mail toward text notifications, in-app messages and Facebook ads. Using technology by Optimove, the lingerie brand reorganized their customers into over 60 distinct segments so they could get a more complete picture when trying to build those optimized proportions and outreaches.
The power of that tech, noted Amit Bivas, CMO at Optimove, allowed Adore Me to get a much more granular look at their customer base: how much they shopped, when they shopped, what devices they tended to favor and what their preferred spending limit was.
Optimove helped Adore Me create a richer set of data that the company could use for advertising, but it also allowed those campaigns to be built more quickly — in a matter of weeks as opposed to months.
Thus far, Adore Me has seen a 15 percent increase in monthly revenue from its data-driven campaigns and a 22 percent increase in average order amount. Its yearly active customer base has also reportedly doubled.
As it turns out, finding the right fit in lingerie sales, beyond the products themselves, is a strategic move in retail for bringing more customers onto a eCommerce platform and encouraging them to make a purchase.