Adore Me on D2C Talent who landed Victoria’s Secret

It’s arguably ‘Big Lingerie”s biggest deal since breaking up and spun off Victoria’s Secret last summer, when the mall-based brick-and-mortar category leader decided to acquire the native digital prowess of its smaller rival, Adore Me.

In an interview with PYMNTS just before the announcement as part of our “Commerce Voices” series, Nicolas Capuono, Chief Customer Officer of lingerie brand Adore Me, shared insights into how the direct-to-consumer retailer ( D2C) used a customer-centric focus on competing with online rivals, marketplaces, and physical stores.

What Victoria’s Secret will get for its investment of more than $400 million is a decade of product design expertise and a series of digital innovations such as virtual reality try-on, which Capuono says becomes an indispensable part of the customer experience, especially for apparel retailers.

“As is the case with Adore Me, one of the main focuses is [on] product discovery and having software…where you can simulate how the product will look on you based on your body shape, skin color, based on a lot of features that you can customize,” a- he declared.

With advanced features, digital enhances the checkout experience, as PYMNTS research has shown that 90% of consumers consider this to be a watershed moment.

Where he sees work needed is in buy now, pay later (BNPL) checkouts that take consumers out of the online checkout flow to pay. While he likes the option itself, he called the BNPL “disruptive…and probably should be improved.”

A balance exercise

With cart sizes averaging $100, BNPL isn’t good at Adore Me today, but there’s no debating its popularity as a payment method.

“I’m sure this type of solution in two years will be very common,” Capuono said. “We need to anticipate development, design and experience, because it will take time to get everything seamless.”

More prosaic than perhaps installment payments, free shipping and free returns are essential parts of the customer experience and an expectation of online shoppers.

“The customer expects free delivery,” he said. “We can see it when we do A/B testing.”

Adore Me offers 100% free shipping, and he added that his next evolution will be to marry free shipping and returns with sustainability, which is now a powerful motivator.

Saying that free shipping should be “integrated into the business model” of D2C companies, he added: “In the future, it would be better to combine free shipping with the sustainability message that many brands are trying to convey.”

“Shipping is an important part of the sustainability journey…and the customer should be aware of the sustainability impact and have the right, the choice, to select one option over another based on that. preference,” he said.

Regarding returns, Capuono said the Adore Me model of sending a selection of items based on customer information and letting the consumer return anything they don’t want for free is “a very good answer right now to customer expectations, because you take the anxiety out of the return, you give time to try the product for seven days, and you have the returns process which is also free.We’re seeing a lot of traction right now for this type of model.

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The Many Faces of Customer Experience

In an expanded definition of customer experience (CX), subscriptions are playing an increasingly important role, and Adore Me has its own take on how this can improve CX and optimize retention.

Preferences learned in subscription relationships save the customer “time…shipping a box with our own recommendation based on key information we get from the customer,” Capuono said. “We organize the box based on this information, the customer saves time navigating the website, and that is valuable.”

Combined with the free shipping and returns policy, incorporating the most popular subscription features – pausing the account, skipping a month, setting delivery times based on preference – he said, “This kind of flexibility is very important. It takes time to set up, [but] this flexibility is appreciated by the client.

When designing for the new CX expectations, there is also the concept of “super service” which goes beyond good experiences and makes the transaction pleasant.

Telling the story of a colleague who bought a wedding dress and needed it, Capuono said: “First she had a very good contact with a chatbot, then it was a transfer to a human who understood his expectations, and they managed to improve the expedition. Being able to offer this type of experience” generated the goodwill and word-of-mouth that great CX is based on today.

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