Dragons’ Den brand Enclothed on scaling up personalisation and investing in growth

Fashion ecommerce business Enclothed, whose founders will be speaking at Marketing Week Live on 28 April, rose to prominence last year following an appearance on the BBC show Dragons’ Den.

The brand delivers a highly personalised service by building a continually updated online profile for customers based on their fashion preferences and size. Stylists use the information to select and send items to the customer, who pays only for what they keep.

Enclothed attracted funding from Dragons’ Den investors Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney but the deal later fell through due to a backlog in finalising contracts agreed on the programme. Despite the setback, the retailer raised £459,000 via the crowdfunding website Crowdcube. The TV exposure also helped to generate strong interest in the brand, which now delivers more than 30 brands to 8,000 regular customers.

The exposure and overnight growth presented a huge challenge – how to continue to offer a personalised service to its base of customers while scaling up the business. Co-founder Levi Young says that the company has focused on maintaining “a 360-[degree] view of everything the customer is doing”, including their preferences, the items they keep and those they return. With this approach, Enclothed has expanded its deliveries by investing in the integration of its inventory management and CRM systems.

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“People don’t realise quite how challenging it can be to have such rapid exponential growth,” adds Young. “Sometimes when you don’t have any growth and you’re just worried about getting customers, it’s easier because that is all you are focused on. When you have got too many customers and you don’t have the stock, the boxes or the staff, it starts to get tough.”

Fellow co-founder Dana Zingher reveals the business is targeting further growth through advertising on social media and partnerships with “like-minded businesses”. This includes a tie up with food delivery site HelloFresh offering discounts to Enclothed customers.

The business is also growing sales by using returns data and customer feedback to understand the types of clothes people would like to receive in their deliveries.

“That’s something other retailers should start looking at,” says Zingher. If a customer goes to put the same cut of shirt in their basket that they returned three weeks earlier, retailers should look to flag this up. “Eventually, you minimise your returned orders as you learn from customers,” she adds.

By refining its knowledge of the customer, Enclothed claims that it arrives at a 100% ‘keep rate’ by the fifth box that is sent to a customer.

Enclothed’s founders will be speaking at this year’s Marketing Week Live. For more information about the event and to register for tickets click here.

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