How Evereve Uses Data to Get Subscription Fashion Right

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How Evereve Uses Data to Get Subscription Fashion Right

By Ian Goldman, CEO, Celerant Technology - 11/15/2016
Retailers everywhere struggle with forecasting demand and making sure to purchase the merchandise that their customers will be looking for when they shop. Understanding the sales velocity of every SKU to make sure it is kept in stock without stacking up in stockrooms is another challenge that must be planned for appropriately.

But what if instead of simply responding to demand, you could create it?

Retailers that cultivate excellent relationships with customers can do just that. When they know and understand the tastes, preferences and lifestyles of each customer, they can anticipate their desires. If enough trust is established, these customers are willing to allow retailers to select and ship merchandise to them that they didn't even realize they wanted yet. This is how by women's fashion retailer Evereve works, and the business model is seeing great success.

Pushing curated boxes past commodities
With 70 retail stores in 22 states, Evereve made a name for itself by catering specifically to women, with its original focus on moms, who want to continue to feel fashionable. The retailer staffs its stores with professional stylists who help customers achieve the look they want for any occasion — work, play and special events — at no additional fee. Many customers come to the store without a specific idea of what merchandise they want; they just know how they would like to look and ask a stylist to assemble an outfit for them.

Executives knew that leveraging this vast customer intelligence was key to expanding its digital presence. Because Evereve integrated its sales platform with inventory management and CRM functionality by Celerant Technology, it was sitting on a mineable treasure trove of customer data. The size, color and style of every purchase and return from a physical store or is attached to each customer's personal digital record.

"Our stylists can see purchase and return details on any customer from any store or online over the past nine years," says Anthony Hoang, CIO, of Evereve. "Within the Celerant system, they can also enter their own personal notes that they learn from working directly with customers and after just a few purchases, we get a very detailed picture of the types of merchandise that appeal to each shopper."

That intelligence gave Evereve the fuel to create Trendsend, a curated box service in which customers automatically receive two or three outfits directly to their front door. What makes Trendsend so unique is the merchandise inside every single box is hand-selected for each individual member, by a stylist, as opposed to sending a handful of box variations each month. By carefully considering everything the company knows about each subscriber, Evereve drastically increases the chances each customer will love what she receives, optimizing the recurring revenue of continued subscriptions.

Omnichannel connectivity completing the circle
A big part of gaining and retaining enough trust for customers to purchase merchandise they did not select themselves is keeping them engaged with the retail brand. It begins the moment a new customer signs up for Trendsend and she answers a few questions that stylists use to better understand her preferences. Revealing her styling taste, lifestyle and budget forges a relationship with the retailer.

Removing risk is mandatory to entice subscription box sales, so Evereve is careful to put full control in the hands of its customers. Not only can they cancel any time without penalty, they can select the frequency they receive merchandise: monthly, every other month, quarterly, or even a la carte on demand.

To create a seamless customer experience, Evereve allows free returns of any unwanted merchandise; it can be sent back to Trendsend or brought to any physical Evereve store for exchange or refund. The data on every purchase is also centralized, making Trendsend,, and every Evereve brick-and-mortar purchase a building block for more robust preference profiles. Trendsend's fulfillment system is directly tied into this database and automatically flags any merchandise a stylist selects that the customer has already purchased or returned, preventing it from being resent.

Trendsend also uses Evereve's integrated inventory database, enabling it to leverage every store as a shipping center. Boxes from Trendsend can be sent from any individual store or from Evereve's central warehouse, optimizing inventory management for the company, while reducing time in transit for packages. This also simplifies the return/exchange process and creates a singular experience for customers across channels.

As digital channels continue to mature, just being online is no longer enough for many retailers. Innovative offerings like curated boxes generate revenue that is easy to forecast and plan for, but keeping those subscriptions active and maximizing lifetime value requires being smart about catering to the needs and wants of each individual customer.

Ian Goldman, president and CEO of Celerant Technology, is an expert software engineer with 25 years of experience developing advanced management solutions that offer integrated omnichannel capabilities for progressive retailers.