While attending Harvard Business School in 2009, Adore Me founder Morgan Hermand-Waiche’s girlfriend was coming to visit him on campus to celebrate their anniversary, and he wanted to impress her with a gift of fine lingerie. Unfortunately, with his tight student budget, he could not find high-quality products at a price he could afford to pay. From that experience came the core of an idea to apply the fast-fashion model – of affordable designer fashion – to intimates. From that concept, came Adore Me.
Beginning in November 2011, the brand began generating monthly sales increases of nearly 50% while chipping away at Victoria’s Secret’s market share, at great prices and the convenience of online shopping. They later began to offer inclusive size ranges, from petite to plus. The company shipped 100,000 items before its first birthday and, by 2012, had over 100,000 visits per month to its website.
For Adore Me, their customer demographics drive strategy. Because 75% of their customers are millennials, Adore Me decided to balance traditional media campaigns with high-touch social media and email marketing efforts. They leverage social media to connect with consumers and to gain insight into what its audience likes or doesn’t like.
The Adore Me team has also spent a lot of time looking at data from A/B split testing and other marketing analytics platforms. For example, 50% of shoppers that visit the site will see one image (picture A) of a product while the rest will see picture B of the same product. Adore Me then assesses which picture correlates with higher sales rates and tweaks the product imagery accordingly.
This combination of exciting products, competitive pricing, an inclusive size range, and customer knowledge, established the foundation of a success story that was soon represented by the rapidly growing number of customers and orders.
Unlike most fashion brands that release new collections four times a year, the Adore Me model calls for a new release every month. Supporting this model requires fast and accurate receipt and staging of inbound items, and the ability to scale up for huge spikes in outgoing orders the first week of every month.
Adore Me’s original 3PL did a great job managing their early volumes of a few hundred orders per day. With forecasts indicating order volumes growing rapidly toward multiples of that, the Adore Me management team realized that they would need a fulfillment partner with a track record of creating scalable solutions to handle the unique needs of rapidly emerging brands.
In March 2013 Adore Me became a client of Dotcom Distribution. The management teams from both organizations immediately began to look at trade-off opportunities between distribution and manufacturing to ensure that they implemented a solution that provided the least-total supply chain cost.
For example, while Adore Me had already developed its desired consumer packaging experience, Dotcom worked with suppliers to redesign Adore Me’s shipping carton, which resulted in an improved customer experience, enhanced branding opportunities, and lowered costs. At the same time, productivity in the warehouse was improved due to the redesign, which resulted in shipping capacity.
Together, Adore Me and Dotcom developed a customized operational solution with the flexibility to handle the release of each month’s collection of intimate apparel and provide the scalability and confidence to allow Adore Me to ramp up manufacturing and marketing to focus on the growth of the business.
In 2015, Inc Magazine reported that Adore Me had grown 15,606% in three years and listed it as the No. 14 fastest-growing company in America, topping the charts as the No. 2 fastest-growing company in New York and No. 2 fastest-growing retail company nationwide. From April of 2013 to April of 2016, Adore Me’s average daily order volume increased 25 fold and peak days increased 50 fold. Dotcom has empowered Adore Me to invest in TV advertising and increased promotional activity to continue on their current growth trajectory.
Dotcom and Adore Me are poised for continued growth in the coming years and have reinforced their commitment to each other by extending the partnership for years to come.
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