August 19 - 22, 2019
The Sheraton, Boston
Here's How Le Tote Created its First Influencer Collection Using Customer Data
For fashion rental pioneer Le Tote, personalization is everything. And in an increasingly digitized world, it needs to be. Today, consumers expect retailers to know everything about them and serve them accordingly – and when it comes to clothing and apparel, this is crucial.
For Le Tote, servicing customers with extreme personalization has led to retention rates of 94% and year-over-year growth of 500%. It’s an impressive model to say the least – and one that relies on the retailer’s ability to collect, analyze, and make actionable, large reams of customer data.
But this is no problem for Le Tote. From the very first moment members sign up to the service, they are asked to complete a customer profile, indicate their preferred styles, select a few items to be included in their first “tote” (a box filled with clothing and accessories that members keep for up to a month and then send back in exchange for a new selection), and the magic of algorithmic personalization expands from there.
Now Le Tote has launched a new, collaborative venture in its ongoing pursuit of delivering one the most personalized customer experiences the fashion world has to offer. Gathering up everything it knows about its shoppers in June, Le Tote teamed up with actress, model, and TV presenter Olivia Culpo to introduce the retailer’s first ever influencer collection – Olivia Culpo x Le Tote.
Scoring Data Points
The value of data should not be underestimated in the fashion industry. 50% of the entire Le Tote inventory is provided by top fashion brands including Nine West, Vince Camuto and French Connection – all of which slash their prices for Le Tote members in exchange for the vast amounts of customer insights the company is able to extract for them.
According to Rakesh Tondon, Le Tote CEO and Co-founder, for each item that’s added to a member’s online closet, as much as 80 additional data points are generated that pertain to other items in the Le Tote inventory that may interest the customer.
What’s more, Le Tote utilizes machine learning to garner insight from commentary left by members on the company’s website, as well as direct feedback gained from surveying customers with specific questions about style, service, and fit.
“After we collect all of this data,” explains Tondon, “we can go back to our own collections and make tweaks and changes, and design new products immediately, while knowing exactly what demographic each addition will appeal to.”
Brand partners can then make use of this data, too. Tondon reports that French Connection, for instance, changed its sizing model after learning via Le Tote that customers preferred items like dresses to be sized on a scale of small-to-large as opposed to numerically.
Combining Fashion and Data
The new Olivia Culpo summer capsule collection marks a first both for the model and Le Tote itself. In a press release, the brand ambassador and style influencer expressed her reverence of the Le Tote business model, not least in the company’s ability to turn data into delight for millions of fashion-conscious women up and down the country.
“Le Tote is combining art and science, fashion and data, to help women everywhere experiment, find their personal style and feel confident every time they step out the door,” said Culpo. “They allow every girl to live out her inner fashionista dreams, take chances and try new things, all without having to spend a pretty penny. I couldn’t think of a better partner for my first collection.”
(Image source: letote.com)
As the collaboration marks the first collection for Culpo, so too does it make a departure from Le Tote’s tried and trusted subscription service. For the first time, Le Tote has ungated its site for the Olivia Culpo x Le Tote collection, enabling everyone to shop the items – even those without a membership commitment.
“We immediately fell in love with Olivia’s designs and knew that women everywhere were going to feel the same way,” said Tondon. “At Le Tote, we’re committed to making fashion personalized and accessible. This means delivering the styles women want, when they want them. We knew the demand for Olivia’s collection would be huge and didn’t want to limit these looks to our rental model. So instead, for the first time ever, we made a collection shoppable – no membership required.”
Educating the Market
The collaboration with Culpo marks a decisive move from Le Tote to tap into a larger market as it strives to continue with its so-far spectacular growth and hopefully bag a few more members. Indeed, although the Culpo collection is available to all, Le Tote members enjoy a significant discount – member prices range from $58 to $128, whereas price tags for non-members range from $78 to $178.
As the fashion-rental space gains momentum, it seems that Le Tote is acutely aware that it needs to do everything it can to persuade new customers to embrace the concept and raise as much awareness as it can.
The last word goes to Rakesh Tondon. “People still aren’t used to a service like this. There’s an education we need to get through. But now that we have more awareness in the market, we’re thinking more of branding opportunities. We plan to do more collaborations like this in the future.”
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