his week, Endear hosted its first webinar with Peviter Veygal, Head of Regional Operations at Rhone. The topic: how to COVID-proof your retail strategy.

About Rhone

Launched exclusively online in 2014, Rhone is a premium men's performance lifestyle brand that prides itself on supporting customers with comfortable, functional clothing for work, working out, or simply hanging at home. Rhone opened their first store in 2019, and has since opened three additional stores across New York and Connecticut.

How Rhone Uses Endear (Before And During Coronavirus)

When Rhone first came to Endear, they were focused on tailoring their messaging toward encouraging customers to use the brand's salespeople as a resource, even if they could not make it into the store. Utilizing one of Endear's many filters to segment customers based on lifetime spend, Peviter Veygal and her team were able to craft unique message templates to match certain customer characteristics and product preferences.

While this filtering strategy is a common approach with brands on Endear, Rhone was suddenly faced with new challenges when the effects of COVID-19 forced them to close all of their physical retail locations. The retail team at Rhone knew they still had a tremendous amount of value and insight to offer customers, even if they couldn't do it face-to-face, so they put their heads together and pivoted their retail strategy. As a result, their virtual concierge program was born.

The Power of Omnichannel Selling

Powered in part by Endear's lookbook feature, Rhone now promotes their virtual concierge program on their website so that customers can book 1-1 virtual styling sessions with a member of their sales team. Once customers book a time, they can preview products they'll be seeing with a lookbook shared ahead of their appointment. Thanks in part to customization and personalization within Endear, lookbooks are utilized even more when styling sessions conclude. "If the customer is uncertain [about buying] at that very moment or doesn't want to give credit card information over the phone, we send an email after their call with [a lookbook of] everything they said yes to, plus a few more items," Veygal shared during the webinar.

According to statistics courtesy of Endear's omnichannel tracking, to-date, this strategy has resulted in a 7.6% conversion rate on messages related to the virtual concierge program - a whopping 95x higher conversion rate than the average apparel brand's email marketing message. You can check out an example of the lookbook Rhone shares with their customers here. Today, Rhone's virtual concierge program is still going strong, even as stores begin to re-open to the public in some states.

What Else We Learned

After the webinar concluded, the audience had some follow-up questions for Peviter Veygal that helped shed even more light on the success of the program and Endear's role in their strategy:

"Did you use Endear during Father's Day and are there implications for uses during future holidays, like Black Friday?"

According to Veygal, one of Rhone's biggest promotional pushes around their virtual concierge service came in advance of Father's Day as a way to help customers with gifting. She also shared that the flexibility of the platform will allow them to adjust their strategy according to what makes sense for any future holidays.

"How do you ensure sales associates are not emailing the same customers?"

Users can always filter by "Last Contacted" to choose how frequently a customer is messaged. This filter can help distinguish customers who have been contacted through Endear within any time period. For example, users can exclude any customer who was contacted within the last three days. More importantly, Endear automatically omits messages sent to customers who have already received a bulk message in the same 24 hours to prevent customers from receiving the same message twice or too many messages in any given day.

"Was Peviter using something separate for the appointment scheduling element or is that through Endear as well?"

Peviter shared that the Rhone team used Calendly for their booking software, and customers could book a time directly on their website. We also recommend using Calendly because their linking options are seamless to incorporate into Endear emails and texts.

"Has Endear been used with any digital or e-commerce teams aside from retail teams?"

Endear works with both online-only, store-only, and omni-channel sales teams. The most important thing to know about the platform is that it's designed to serve any sort of sales team, whether they serve online customers, in-store customers, or both. We think both is best!

If you're interested in learning how you can launch your own virtual concierge program to match the needs of your customers, reach out to us at sales@endearhq.com so we can help you get started!

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