Endear
Endear

How Endear Enables Over 40% of Eleventy’s Total Sales

Discover how Endear helped Eleventy achieve 40% of its total retail sales through enhanced clienteling and customer experience.

Eleventy's retail sales increasing with Endear

Eleventy Milano epitomizes refined Italian elegance and modern sophistication, bringing a touch of Milanese luxury first to Europe and more recently to the American fashion scene. Known for its impeccable tailoring and timeless designs, Eleventy offers a curated collection of menswear and womenswear, shoes, and accessories; each crafted with meticulous attention to detail, utilizing the finest fabrics and materials to ensure unparalleled quality and comfort.

Eleventy’s collections are designed and manufactured in Italy, leveraging the rich heritage of Italian artisanship to create pieces that are as durable as they are stylish. As they expand their footprint in the US, Eleventy has doubled-down on their clienteling in order to win the loyalty of their customers – both online and in-store – using Endear’s suite of relationship building features.

We were fortunate enough to chat with Samuel Johnson, Retail Director in the US, about Eleventy’s brand strategy and their use of Endear.

Hi Samuel! Thanks for speaking with us. Tell us what you do at Eleventy.

As the Retail Director, I oversee the seven locations we have in the US. Most of my time is centered around our internal and external customers, in other words our employees and clients.

The big focus for us is around growing our business, of course. And we don’t do that like a lot of traditional brands who do a lot of marketing, ads, digital, magazines... We are building a brand around the customer experience more than anything else. So we do a lot of training and development around that, focusing on the experience customers have when they come into our stores, the kindness, the passion, the hospitality, and yes, beautiful Italian clothing. Also on the experience they have when they’re not in our stores - and that’s where Endear comes in. So I help our people learn to build those relationships.

What is Eleventy’s secret to customer relationships?

I think the best way to sell something is to not sell them something. Get to know them, get to know what their problem is, and find how we can help solve it. We don’t sell what we do, we sell why we do it.

When I’m visiting a store and [a customer] stops to talk to me, they don’t say “oh wow, I found this great jacket.” They say, “this salesperson gave me an amazing experience.” The clothing is wonderful, but it's our people who are the difference makers. That’s what keeps the customers coming back: loving the in-store experience.

So everything we talk about internally is not “how we sell this jacket over the phone.” It’s “Who is this person? What do they do? How do they live their life?

If you just try to sell them something, you may keep them as a customer, but they won’t become a client.

The best way to sell something is to not sell them something. Get to know them, get to know what their problem is, and find how to help solve it.

We love that. What do you think sets Eleventy’s brand apart from other brands?

Our people. We experimented a lot with how we hire. We’ve found that getting that big, top salesperson from another luxury retailer is not the secret to our success.

Just thinking of a few people on our team… one had just graduated college. Never had a job or retail experience in her life. And year-to-date, she has the top UPT in the company. Another employee had worked a bit in retail, came to work with us part time during the holidays, but now she’s full time and didn’t come with a big book. I’ve got an assistant manager in our Miami store and she got promoted in six months!

I would say one thing they all have in common is a big drive.

I spent some time shopping the competition and every time I went into a store, all I heard was the typical, “Let us know if you need anything” or “Are you looking for anything in particular?” No one seemed excited to see me in the store. I was rolling my luggage around because I had just got off a plane and no one offered to take it!

At Eleventy, we drill down. We’re not necessarily looking for the so-called “best” people, but the right people. People that take a lot of pride in how they serve the client, who think how we think and believe what we believe. It’s more than the clothes that we take pride in and we’re looking for people who want this challenge and join in on the journey. If you’re just looking for an easy gig, this isn’t it and you will fail at Eleventy.

A lot of places are intense about protecting the brand. Our intensity is around the customer experience, as a matter of fact one of our core principles is “unparalleled service” and it's not something we just say, it's something we deeply believe in. People know that they don’t have to come into the store – they know they can buy online – we need them to want to come into the store.

It seems a lot of retailers are moving back to brick & mortar from online because of the connection they can create with their clients. And many might have a big installation in the store, or a magician, a flamethrower; whatever gimmick to make it “experiential.” We’ve never really gone down that road. We’re into experience. Because a lot of companies have that “experiential” thing but the actual experience itself is not the best.

Tell us about how you came to Endear.

When I came onboard as Retail Director the “clienteling system” was basically to download a list of clients from Shopify, print the list out, and check a box when we sent them a note.

We needed a system. We needed to know who the clients were, how often they’re shopping, what they’re buying, who they’re shopping with, and who we were leaving behind. We also need to know what’s being said to them. That’s the biggest thing: not just that outreach is being done, but that it’s being done the “Eleventy” way.

We had these Excel lists of customers and we’d give them to our people and they said they got it done. But the second there was visibility [through Endear] as to what they were saying to the customers, and how often they were connecting, all of a sudden everybody got a little nervous. It turns out maybe they weren’t sending the messages we were asking them to send, and maybe the quality of the messages weren’t what we wanted.

So getting visibility into what’s being said in the messages and how often has been huge for us. Because then we can coach it. If we don’t see the messaging, we can’t help make it better.

When we first got Endear, we were like kids in a candy shop. We had a much greater ability to communicate with our clients, and there was a lot of it. But the conversion rate and the reply rate wasn’t so strong because we were just trying to get the word out about the brand but we were missing the part about  building relationships.

Then we started adding notes on each client’s profile. Notes about their jobs, their kids or pets, where they travel, etc. So now in six months when we reach back out to a client, we don’t say “hey, hope things are going well.” We can say “how was that trip you took to Europe?” or “You’ve got to send me pictures from Michael’s graduation.” Endear allows us to do that and it’s certainly been successful.

In fact, we now have a position in our company where their entire role is to elevate how we use Endear.

Eleventy x Endear: By The Numbers

10%

Average Conversion Rate

40%

Of Total Sales Attributed to Endear

50%

Average Reply Rate

You have a dedicated Endear specialist in-house?

More or less, yeah. He was a salesperson, one of our best. Each time we’d send him to a store, we’d see sales there spike. He was really good at building relationships. He wouldn’t just go there and help walk-ins and sell, he would actually get people to shop with him consistently. So when he would say he’d be at a store, customers would come meet him just because he was there.

So he basically said he was very good at this but wanted to do something more impactful. He now sits down with every one of our sales associates – one-on-one or on group Q&A calls – and he’ll ask, “Who are you reaching out to? Where are your opportunities? Why is this person not interacting with you? What else can we suggest?” He gives our employees the tools to be better, especially with our younger associates.

Since he’s taken over, our conversion rate that was under 1% went to 10%. Our reply rates went from 10% to 50-60-70%. Having that individual person coaching them with the experience that they have, giving them the Endear toolbox and teaching them how to use the tools, that’s how we’ve really taken off. And now we’re going to have a record month this month in Endear sales.

We’ve heard some rumors about your sales numbers through Endear…

The last time I checked, 40% of our sales were attributed to Endear. Sometimes it gets too high and I get a little scared.

Ha! That’s fantastic. And that’s a great argument for every brand having a dedicated Endear person in-house.

We have a performance metric for each of our stores where at least 20% of their business has to be coming from Endear sales. Obviously we’ve surpassed that. I think our lowest store is at 27%, and we have a store in Beverly Hills where 63% of their business is run through Endear this month.

And again, the great thing about Endear is the visibility into the customer conversations. It’s been a great way to acknowledge and shoutout great customer interactions. We have a company wide WhatsApp chat and I’ll go through and take screenshots of clients who are over the moon about the experience they had, and we’re able to share that. Or seeing a person’s history, from a thank you to a check in to a suggestion or appointment, and how that turned into another sale.

We can show everyone that, celebrate it, and others can integrate it into what they’re doing. The visibility alone has been very, very helpful.

So you use Endear for emails and SMS. What about the Shoppable Story lookbooks?

[Looks to the side] I’ve got an associate right here next to me who pumped her fists when you said lookbooks! They’re incredibly useful for the customers who we work with remotely. We’ll do styling using products in our store and create lookbooks out of that. And I know that the people working remotely with clients say that it’s been a very effective tool for them.

How was your experience working with Endear’s team?

Very good. I probably use the customer support chat feature at least twice a day, asking about how to get the right filter that I want or if something isn’t working. Usually the answers are very quick. Carolyne, our account rep, has connected me with people I can give feedback to about features we’d like to see, or feedback on usability and you can’t get that anywhere else. Everybody has been very responsive to that.

Would you recommend Endear to other brands in your space?

Absolutely.

The other great thing about Endear is the ROI. I don’t want to give you any ideas about raising prices or anything, but the platform is not so cost-prohibitive that you can’t use it and see returns. I know that LVMH puts $100 million into development of their customer platform!

I reached out to a few others when I was looking at different platforms, and most of them didn’t offer much value for the really high cost. “We start contracts at $200,000 a year,” they said. Just crazy numbers. We get everything and more from Endear and for a great price.

Thank you, Samuel! For more information on how to boost your retail sales like Eleventy, get a free platform demo below.