This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.
swimsuit, andy, customers, brand, suit, people, business, piece, swimwear, stores, silhouettes, operations, return, purchase, company, comfortable, launch, team, year, sizing
Mariah Parsons, Pooja Parikh
Mariah Parsons 00:04
Hi there, I'm Mariah Parsons, your host of retention Chronicles, ecommerce brands are starting to shift their strategy to focus on retention in the customer experience. And so we've decided to reach out to top DC brands and dive deeper into their tactics and challenges. But here's the thing, we love going on tangents. And so with our guests, you'll often find us talking about the latest trends, as well as any and all things in the Shopify ecosystem. So go ahead and start that workout or go on that walk and tune in as we chat with the leading minds in the space retention Chronicles is sponsored by Malomo. A shipment in order tracking platform, improving the post purchase experience, be sure to subscribe and check out all of our other episodes at go malomo.com. So hello, everyone, and welcome to retention Chronicles. Super, super excited to have our guests Pooja on today. Thank you so much for having or taking the time to come on the podcast, super excited to have you here. I'm going to ask you to say hello, and give a little bit of your background for our listeners.
Pooja Parikh 01:18
Hi, everyone. I'm so glad to be here with Mariah and appreciate the invite to join you all in this conversation. And yeah, my name is Pooja Parikh. I work at Andy swim and have been with the company for about a year and a half now and love it. It is very fun. And prior to joining Andy, I spent four years at glossier, and then before that I was in fashion as well, at sort of my career club Monaco, we've got to keep the
Mariah Parsons 01:52
boss. Such such a great background. I can't wait to dive into it. But I do want to acknowledge so I've been at Malomo for about the same time, like a year and a half. Which I don't know if you relate to this, but I feel like now it's like okay, stride, like I got my stride like it finally feels like it's like settled. I like know what I'm doing at the company, right? Do you do you relate to that as you're shaking your head?
Pooja Parikh 02:16
Like yes. And that that like every week I have is a little different. And there's like a new challenge that comes our way. My role has also changed so much over the course of the year and a half in a very positive way. At least in my mind. I started more in a in a planning and operations capacity is really just sort of expanded into, like marketing, econ, operations, retail, you name it. Our founder was out on maternity leave for the last four, four months. And so I stepped into her shoes for a little bit as interim CEO really got to experience like every angle of the business, which has just been so wonderful, really exciting and have just learned a ton.
Mariah Parsons 03:11
Wow. Okay, so that I wasn't even aware that you had also like internally in the city. So many different like, avenues that you Yeah, so many different branches of the company that you were touching. So we're How did how did that like come up? Was it just like, kind of naturally what the company needed? Or like, Did you always kind of feel like you wanted to be more in the role that you find yourself in also so cool that you got to be like, interim CEO for a bit?
Pooja Parikh 03:37
Yeah, I would say that. Like I said, we're a very small team in general. So I would say that, like, a lot of people at the company wear many different hats. And it's I would say that like everyone is uniquely positioned here in the in the sense that we all love having really wide breadth of responsibility. I think everybody really thrives in that in this environment. And I like speaking for myself, I sure do. So it's been really fun sort of as new challenges arise. Andy is like, still relatively early on in its in its lifecycle. The company has been around for, I guess, almost six years now. So it's been, it's been a while, but it's still pretty new. And especially given half of the company's lifecycle has been COVID. There's a lot that we're still figuring out. Either you're entering COVID, leaving COVID or figuring out what's next. So I would say that, just in general, like it's been, it's been fun and and I'm, it's sort of like what I've always hoped for and wanted.
Mariah Parsons 04:45
Oh, that's amazing. Yeah. So how many how many people are indie currently?
Pooja Parikh 04:50
We're like 25 people.
Mariah Parsons 04:52
Okay, wow. Yeah, so we're 17 Currently, so definitely relate to the smaller team wearing a bunch of hats. Um, what would you say? So and I know you had mentioned a couple other places that you were at before, what have you taken with you? What have you taken with you to this new company? New position? What what has been like more of a translational move for you? In terms of like, you know, were you in operations? Before? What what did that look like?
Pooja Parikh 05:24
Yeah. So prior to Andy, my, like full career was pretty much in demand planning. So inventory forecasting, product forecasting, demand trends. And just it's sort of like a hybrid between a finance and an operations role, if you will. And at glossier, in particular, I started pretty early on in the in glossies lifecycle, and the team was probably around like, I think 90 or 100 people at the time, and very similar, like, to where I am now, granted, it was on a larger scale, people wore a lot of different hats, you interact with all of the different teams sort of every like, especially in a startup world, you see how much everything is interconnected, everything is sort of woven together, a decision that, you know, someone in our tech team or someone in our marketing team makes is going to affect planning and operations. And so that like collaboration and the cross functional work streams, that we had then really exposed me to so many different areas of the business, especially just because so much of what I did was demand related. So a lot of the like company lovers that were being pulled, directly affected my role and what I needed to what the information I needed in order to be able to do my role effectively. But yeah, I would say that, like glossier, very much set me up for success in this role because of all of that exposure.
Mariah Parsons 07:05
Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. And going from like a larger team, to a smaller one as well, like transferable skills. I imagine you just you saw, like, a lot of what your team was doing at glossier, and that probably informed like things that now you were going to pick up because you have a smaller team. So 100%,
Pooja Parikh 07:26
like, the so much, I It's so funny, because when I joined Andy, I was like, Oh, my God, share all these things that we were doing. And I want to do all of them and Andy like, and I want to do it all in the next two months, and then slowly started peeling back on that and saying, Okay, we don't necessarily have the team, the infrastructure, the systems, the process, like the data, to be able to take on everything that I'm like hoping and dreaming of doing and like just copying over if I can. So we weren't really necessarily able to do it to that scale. However, there was a lot that I took away from that role that I was able to at least bring in to to Andy.
Mariah Parsons 08:08
Yeah, yeah. That's awesome. So can you tell us more about Andy swim? Give us kind of like, if, if the listener isn't familiar with Andy swim, what do you guys do? What's your forte?
Pooja Parikh 08:20
Yes. So Andy swim was founded in 2017. By our two founders, Melanie Travis and Leah Schwartz who are married. And Melanie at the time, our see our current CEO, she was working at Barkbox. And no relation to like the fashion industry or anything like that. But she was going on a trip or they were both taking a trip with some of their girlfriends. And Melanie was just having an impossible time finding a swimsuit. That was high quality, well fitting, and a reasonable price point. Like when you look at the swimwear market in general, especially in 2017, it's changed a lot since you have like your target swimsuits, or you have your high end swimsuits that you could get on like a net a porter day or at Saks or whatever it might be and those price ranges could be anywhere from like three to 400 for that really high quality swimsuit. So she saw that there was an opportunity to find or to introduce a brand that simplified swimsuit shopping provided high quality well fitting swimsuits for women of all sizes so inclusivity is something we really stand behind and add a at a an affordable or like midpoint price. That was sort of like a black box in the swimwear market at the time. So we sell our swimsuits for or $95 versus three 400. But we're still providing incredibly high quality and long lasting suits. So that's Andy in a nutshell, but has really taken off since over the last six years.
Mariah Parsons 10:17
Yeah, yeah. No, that's wonderful, great job. I think too, like as I think through 2017, you said, right, like, I, I feel like the swimsuit industry, there's just so many different things that you can go into, right, like you just explained of having different prices, having different quality. I also like, I feel like, so I, I grew up in New Jersey, I'm from New Jersey, and so like going to the beach every single day in the summer, that is a typical day. Right. And so, I just remember, like growing up, it was always such a hassle or like, such a big thing to like, find bathing suits that make you feel comfortable and are also affordable. And of course, when you're younger, like you're gonna shop different when you're older. Right. But that's like one thing that I just talking to like a bunch of my friends and always trying to get like recommendations, because it's like, where do you go? Because there's always like, the target. bathing suits. And then like Victoria's Secret, also, like they had their time when it was like, That was everything. If you weren't wearing a Victoria's Secret swimsuit was like, you know, where else are you going? So it's one of those industries that I feel like, maybe it's just because of where I grew up on the east coast near the beach, but like was so so heightened in wanting to find something. And it also is like, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable in it, because it's a bathing suit. Right. So like you mentioned inclusivity, and how important it is to anti swim. And that's one of the things that I feel like societally, we're moving towards the right direction, and making sure that there's an option for everyone and anyone, and it makes me so happy to see that brands are like, okay, like anti swim, we're recognizing this, we want that to be a core focus of our brands, because that isn't necessarily the market norm.
Pooja Parikh 12:10
Yeah, absolutely. And so much of what you see in the swimwear industry is you know, these brands will find like a particular style or, or, like consumer profile that they adhere to. So you have like your Frankies bikinis for example, it's, it's really, like very two piece focus. It's definitely on the like, skimpier side and like, there's an audience for that. But Andy is sort of made as this like timeless swimsuit, we have a lot of like classic, very staple silhouettes. And then we introduce some fun, additional options through our seasonal collections, whether it's like silhouettes or prints or patterns or whatever, but really trying to cater to a much broader range of customers. Whether it's age range or preference, there's there's really something for everyone.
Mariah Parsons 13:10
Yeah, I let's let's tap into that a little bit. Because I also just through my interactions with Andy has seen like that branding come across or that intentionality and like having it be kind of timeless or what what were some of the other descriptors, like classic simple looks. Um, so let's tap into that a little bit more and kind of describe like, what's important from your point of view or from the company's point of view of like, the branding that you want someone to have when they pop on your website or see your social media channels or whatnot?
Pooja Parikh 13:49
Yeah, so we often go back to this phrase of wearing a swimsuit is the most naked a woman will be in public and and when you think about that, comfort is the first thing that comes to mind. And in order to be comfortable in a in like a broad strokes way. You there's like, there's two ways to approach that one is the piece itself, the product, whether that's material and a fit. Those are two things that we have spent so much time perfecting, and continue to to find improvements for but then there's also the actual shopping experience. So shopping for swimwear, like when you think of like, I don't know, going to a Macy's or something like that. It can be so overwhelming. There's so many prints and colors, silhouettes and like it's just like sort of all scattered around. And it's not necessarily something that you want to say, Okay, I'm gonna go into a fitting room take off all my clothes, try on this swimsuit. Like it's it's it's not necessarily the most comfortable shopping experience. So we are trying Need to simplify that experience by guiding people into the right suits online. So whether that's like the Fit quiz or providing like, more realistic and accurate sizing information, showing swim suits on models of different sizes, and really feeling feeling like you're represented on the website, in a way, just to make the entire shopping experience a little more comfortable. So I would say that that's sort of like the the main angle that we take when we're looking at swimwear. And that sort of like classic, timeless aspect of it. We want our customers to continue coming back to us, we want them to grow up with Andy, we want to make sure that there's something for, you know, an 18 year old daughter and her 50 year old mother to be able to come in and purchase. And we see that a lot actually, where I love. We like we had a couple of pop up stores last year, we would have so many, like moms and daughters come in, and they would walk out both having purchased something very different items, but they both were able to find something that they could, they could be happier with Andy and so that timeless aspect really comes into play there. And we're creating this journey. So yeah, I think that's that's really it in a nutshell.
Mariah Parsons 16:24
Yeah. I love that example of like, mother daughter relationship, like coming into this in your pop up store. And being able to find something I think that speaks like you said to the timeless aspect. Real quick, Where were those pop up stores? Do you know off the top of your head?
Pooja Parikh 16:40
Yes, we have one in West Palm Beach, one in Sag Harbor in the Hamptons, and then one in Berkeley, California. Okay, so cool.
Mariah Parsons 16:49
I just, like pop up stores fascinate me. So I like we had we had this is back in New Jersey when I was in high school, but there's like one pier. So like a boardwalk that always has like a pop up store every summer. So it's like a big thing, you know, whatever. So that's so fun.
Pooja Parikh 17:09
Okay, so that we it was like our first time dabbling in retail in Andy's history. So, it was like, especially for such a seasonal business, it's pretty risky to be like, I'm going to take on a five year or 10 year release right now. And I have no idea or no benchmark on how it's going to do. Or people are interested in finding Indian person. And they were there like people were super excited to experience us in real life, whether they were first time visitors to the brand or had been purchasing with us online for years. And they were just excited to be able to interact with us in person.
Mariah Parsons 17:47
Yeah, that's awesome. I was actually going to ask if you knew like, if it was like first time customers, people just kind of like wandering about you, like popped in the store hadn't heard of Andy or if it was more, like loyal customers or repeat buyers of nd like who was coming in the store?
Pooja Parikh 18:03
Yeah, I would say probably gravitated more so towards new customers, which is part of the reason we want to do stores in the first place is it's like, sort of like a billboard. And it really drives a ton of awareness of the brand. But we also saw a ton of our existing customers seek out the locations knowing that we were there to say, okay, I can like, you know, I can see these prints in real life or like, try on a couple of different suits that maybe I was uncertain about having already browsed them online or something like that.
Mariah Parsons 18:39
Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Also, it's just like, I'm sure people were like, Oh, this is a fun thing to do. Right? Like go to the store, there's a whole experience with, obviously, retail like where it's social as well, where you got to go, you know, whether it's in a mall growing up, or if it's in a pop up store, or one on a boardwalk, like you're just like walking by and you're with family or friends or whatever. It's like an adventure that you get to go on. So that makes sense. I was going to ask to so with the split between retail and ecommerce, like you said it would be very, it might be like highly volatile to go into retail without having much information to see if that would make sense for the business as a whole. And so with that, how do you like do you see Andy going into retail more? We've had obviously a couple of brands who come on here who are like majority retail or majority ecommerce, DTC. So are you. Do you like from the pop up stores? Do you have any? Any predictions of like where Andy will go in the future? Yeah, I
Pooja Parikh 19:48
mean, we're still very much interested in opening new stores. There's some stories that we have in the pipeline for this year that we're very excited about. We're not going to be the brand that's going to Say I'm opening 30 stores next year. That's, that's not us. And we're, for a lot of reasons, the first being, so many markets that we would open stores in or have a high concentration of our customers are so incredibly seasonal, that it just doesn't really make sense for us to have a permanent storefront there. So I think we're approaching it from a more curated perspective. And wanting to use this as an opportunity to meet many of our customers in different places, and start testing around with the different pop ups. So like, we don't have pop ups and Palm Beach and Sag Harbor plans this year, right now, if something were to pop up, or if there, there's like an amazing opportunity, maybe we would consider it. But we also have stuck a vast majority of our customers in different areas around the country that, that there's still a ton of opportunity by continuing to test and find new locations for us to, to physically be in. But it's still very important to us to one use it as a brand awareness tool. And to just continue to like, at the end of the day, swimwear is a very intimate category. And so people do like interacting with it in person to really be able to decide for themselves whether or not the purchase is right for them. And so having that physical presence really offers that as an as an option.
Mariah Parsons 21:38
Yeah, that totally makes sense. And you, you tapped on it like right, right there with the, with what you said about it being like more of an intimate item that you'd want to purchase, just because you want to like try it on and see what it looks like on you. And so you had mentioned this a little a couple of minutes ago in the conversation, but around like sizing guides and your fit quiz. Can you tell us like more about what that fit quiz looks like? And the sizing guides because I know personally, just from my own consumer standpoint, of like, Sizes range so much just whether it's the brand or different styles within the brand. So how do you kind of how do you approach like even tackling that?
Pooja Parikh 22:23
Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, it's never going to be perfect. Because they're just, there's just too much variation. And silhouettes are people like we're we're not necessarily doing fits on like someone who's in apple shape, or pear shape, or, you know, like the different body types. But we can get a little closer we can we can use the data that we have on all of our style fits and silhouettes and understanding, you know, what maybe the customer is using it for and understanding like, are you trying to like swim laps in this swimsuit? Or are you trying to lounge on the beach all day? Do you need high bus support for for more rigorous activity if you're playing beach volleyball? Or do you want like, you know, a string bikini with that, that you can just sort of, you know, be free and comfortable in. And so that that's part of our Fit quiz that you don't necessarily get from a sizing grid is really understanding like, what is your end use? Do you want a high compression suit? Or are you comfortable with something that's maybe a little skimpy or two piece or something like that. And then we do take things into account like your your bus size, that's obviously a huge portion, or huge component of a swimsuit, whether you're buying one piece or two piece. And then the other major, major piece of feedback that we take into consideration which you'll see across our website is torso length. So So one pieces comprise the majority of our business, probably like 60% and so many prior companies before Andy never offered to torso links. So what would happen is people who are wearing the one piece would constantly get wedgies or like it would ride up in like ways that they were not comfortable with. And so this additional torso length really helps in terms of the comfort and how the swimsuit sits. And so by providing the length of your torso, I'm like just getting some of that information in the fit quiz of like, have you had this problem in the past with your one pieces, we're able to help guide the customer into the right sizing for them based on those various preferences. So it's a lot more than just saying like your waist is x your hips or x your busted acts it's really like end use? And and what will make you most comfortable based on your height?
Mariah Parsons 25:10
Yeah, I'm glad that you brought that up because I know I'm so I'm 595 10 I don't actually truly know what you want. But I've like, obviously struggled in the past with exactly what you were what you just described, you have like one pieces or even like rompers or body suits or like anything that connects in that way, or like, I'm trying to think, yeah, I think that covers all of them rompers. Um, it was always a struggle, because like, most of the time, I was just like, it was not working like the the way, whatever piece of clothing it is, it just doesn't sit right. And I was like, for the longest time, especially when, like robbers were really in, I was trying to find one every single place. And every single place I went like, it just did not work. And so it makes me happy to hear that now you're using, you know, customer data, your awareness of like, the industry in general, and who, who is buying from nd swimmer who needs a swimsuit, to use that and be like, Okay, let's offer two types of torso legs. I've seen that with like jeans, right? Like, do you need tall jeans or just normal jeans? So I think that's like one of the things that it's like, me not being in the business, I would never think of that. But from a consumer standpoint, it's like, okay, I want that which really goes to speak towards, like, why you want to think like your consumer, right? Because they're obviously going to see the problems that you might not see, unless you're putting yourself in those shoes.
Pooja Parikh 26:48
100%. Yeah, we really tried to approach everything from a customer centric point of view. And really leading with what does the customer want? What is the customer asking us for? What is the customer? Not asking? Or like, what are they returning? Almost? Like, what is not working for them? And then iterating from there?
Mariah Parsons 27:09
Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So we've, I kind of want to pivot, we've been talking a lot about the consumer and the experience, which obviously we love, because that is our bread and butter here at Malomo. But I want to talk more about like, operate the operations side of things. So how can you kind of walk us through? When you're looking at your budget? Like how are you justifying spending across different budgets? what's your what's your approach there? And it can be like high level or it can be tactical? Or it can be both?
Pooja Parikh 27:40
Um, I think that's a great question. So I think it's gonna vary so much on your company. So like this is this is not Bible. And it's very different from what I've seen in the past. But for the i, so I think the main thing here to start with is it really, really matters what stage your company is in. So if you're just starting out, if you're early on building a brand, like you're in a stage of like, needing to take risks, make big bets, getting your name out there. And that is probably going to require a lot more investments in things like marketing, brand awareness, getting your infrastructure set up, like your baseline expenses of I don't know, having Shopify, like, you know, just to like get yourself started, you need to get all your systems in place, it's going to require probably a lot of agency spend, and professional fees in general. And you need to invest in the team doing the work. And that's like, such a critical piece of it, you need to establish the right framework of like the team that's going to be able to sustain this thing. But that's probably where the majority of the dollars will go. If you're early on in a business. And then as the business becomes more tenured, the focus really does need to shift from building awareness to scaling and starting to shift your focus in terms of how to like instead of like, how do we make this thing stick? It's like how do we make this thing grow and continue to sustain itself? And like it shifts from hyper growth, to sustainable growth and profitability almost. Because you need to then like, early on your your goal is like, Okay, let me get as many people in as possible and then it's like, Okay, I've done that. Now. How do I continue to get the people I've already gotten to remain with the brand and how do I do it more efficiently? So efficiency is could mean anything from like your marketing efficiencies and then your metrics like CAC and ROLAGS. Or it could mean efficiency even like, how do I reduce my inventory balances? without risking top line revenue? How do I shorten my lead times? How do I save costs with my suppliers? How do I unlock efficiencies in my operations? I mean, we all know the Amazon effect, everyone's expecting their shipments in two days now. So how do I make that happen for customers, to make them continuously come back to us? And and that's really just scratching the surface. So you start investing a lot more in the operational side of the business, I think, once you scaled it to a certain level, and have to just be a little more calculated about how you're investing across those departments.
Mariah Parsons 30:51
Yeah, it makes sense that you kind of see the swing between really fast, high growth, when you're starting out something new, it's something that you're trying to, like you said, kind of get the word stick, and just be present. And then you switch into how do I retain these customers? How do I make sure that they're not just like interacting with our brand once or seeing our brand ones? So question for you, because I think about swimsuits, and I know, we're gonna dive into like seasonality a little bit more in a couple of minutes. But when I think of swimsuits, I think of, you know, you want your swimsuits to last a while and odds are, unless you live in a hotter climate year round, you're probably only wearing swimsuits for one of the four seasons. So what do you see in terms of like, repeat purchase rate? Like, are there a lot of repeat buyers? And if you know, like, what's what's the time between when someone would like buy one, Andy swimsuit and then buy another one?
Pooja Parikh 32:01
It's a great question, I would say that the average customers probably shopping like more than like a, like an every six month basis, if you will, which is like like more frequently than then most people would think for swimwear. But you have like such a wide range of customers, you have customers, we kind of do like, last year, we practically did a launch every single month or more in some cases. And you have customers who literally buy something from every single seasonal launch, we do, because they're all different. Or maybe it's like our, like our hero suit, the Amalfi we will launch it in different seasonal iterations and different colors and prints and patterns. And it's just like, their favorite suit ever. So they'll buy every single one. So you have such a wide range of those customers, or customers who will only come to us when they have a trip planned. So like Andy swimsuits are made to last, we pride ourselves in the quality of of what we're making. And that's how we're justifying the price of what we're doing. Because we're investing in the materials that are that are being used to make the suit to make it last, knowing that most people are not buying swimsuits multiple times a year. But for a lot of people, they have a trip coming up. You know, bachelorette honeymoon? Sorry, I'm getting married soon. So I think those are my gosh,
Mariah Parsons 33:31
I know, I love that. That's amazing. I'm going on a trip to Panama soon. So I'm like, I need to start talking about this.
Pooja Parikh 33:40
Now you're like, Okay, I have a have a need for it. Or I'm taking a weekend trip with my family. And I want a new suit for it. Something I can remember my dad really be like, there's so many different use cases for when you might need a suit. That like it really does vary quite a bit. But yes, overall, it's not going to be some it's not a replenishment product like coming from Glossier, you have people who are literally building their routines on those products and coming back to you every four weeks, six weeks to replenish that item. This is not not and and so it's been an interesting, you know, seeing Andy's data for the last five years. What those trends look like and you always see this sort of swell every 612 18 months of people who are coming back because there's a new trip planned or something like that.
Mariah Parsons 34:37
Yeah, yeah, that's that's wonderful insight for you both to share with us. So thank you, but also for you to have like, because I know you've only been there like we talked about in the beginning for a year and a half to be able to go back to like previous five years and see those different uplifts and different down swings of when people are buying and know like okay, it's usually 60 days because that is support I was like, like, I would think it would be longer. But when you explain it like that, in terms of, you know, there's trips planned, or there's, you know, seasonality behind it, and it, it makes sense when you paint that picture. And I know before we hopped on this call we are talking about right now is a very busy season for you all. So can you explain kind of as you're heading into May and the summer, what that what that's looking like for you? Oh,
Pooja Parikh 35:27
yeah, absolutely. So for for most companies, November, December is going to be the crazy time or rather September October in the lead up is going to be a crazy time. For us. It's right now. So this like fed to April period is when we are planning out our peak season. And like May, June, July definitely comprises the majority of the volume that we see in a given year, we do have a business in Australia, which makes up a good portion of our, our volume. So we do see that uptake again, in like November, December as Australia and or summer, but the vast majority of our volume and and in these businesses is in the US. And, you know, we have to finalize production with all of our suppliers get the goods over here, do the photoshoots create the marketing plans, the go to market strategies? How is this going to show up on EECOM? Like they're all of the pieces are all happening right now, to make it as seamless as possible when we're sort of in the thick of it. And then in May, June and July, it sort of becomes more of like, what's working, what's not, what do we lean into? How do we pivot? What are our customers saying? How are our operations going? Making sure that we're sort of staying on top of all of the changing trends? And that's like more, just like hands on. That's like more the execution phase and right now we're in the planning phase.
Mariah Parsons 36:55
Yeah. Which Which one do you prefer? I'm just curious. Planning.
Pooja Parikh 36:59
I prefer planning. I with your title. Yeah, really, I, I really love both like at any given point in time, like you're tackling both simultaneously for the most part. But I like I don't know, I like being organized. I like a little bit of process. I like sort of putting all the puzzle pieces together. And then like seeing all that work come to life is so exciting. Because you know, some of these collections that we're launching this summer have been designed for over a year, you know, it's just, I love seeing all of that come to life.
Mariah Parsons 37:42
Very delayed gratification. I'm sure if you're looking at, you're looking at a product, and then you're going oh, wow, I love this. But it's not going to be in the public eye for like a year or however long. That's yeah, that's a long, long time to wait for something
Pooja Parikh 37:58
small but mighty creative team, like just the photoshoots that they do. It makes it so aspirational. It makes you want to buy every suit, it makes me so excited for that product to be in market. And for everyone to see all the work that's gone into it. So I think I'm I have a slight preference for the planning side.
Mariah Parsons 38:17
Yeah, okay. That's totally fair. There's no wrong answer there either. So you like you just spoke to the creative team and like kind of getting ready to prep or launch something. So can we talk about ads specifically? And like adspend? How are you kind of thinking about, you know, acquiring your customers? Because we've been talking a little bit about retention with the pop up store more about acquisition. But in terms of ads, how are you kind of how are you deciding where those dollars are being spent?
Pooja Parikh 38:51
It's a great question, and probably one that I have a different answer to everyone.
Mariah Parsons 38:58
What's your answer this month?
Pooja Parikh 38:59
Yeah, exactly right now. So I think like there is always going to be a subset like paid social paid search makes up such a vast majority of our business and paid social in particular. And that's probably going to be the same with any real any DDC business, in this day and age, increasingly starting to diversify, but that's a different conversation. And when you look at the ads and creatives, it's like, especially from an acquisition standpoint, it's the people's first interaction with your brand. So how are we ensuring that we are it's it's a little big, it's a tall ask to say, hey, represent our, our entire brand in this small square, and and to be tasked with like how to most effectively do that can be tricky, and it's constantly changing. Um, like I said before, so there's always going to be a subset of ads that, you know, maybe they feature our core suits, which, when we, when we see acquisition, most people are gravitating towards our best sellers, because that's like, what the brand is representing. And it's what they will most comfortably be able to convert on just because like, they know, what's our best seller? They know it's our core item. And yeah, so choice for sure. Yeah, exactly. It's a safer choice. And a lot of our strong ads also shows sort of like, here's our best seller, so that they understand what the brand is representing. There's another side of things where it's like, they want to see the campaign, the imagery, the excitement, the sort of like color that we bring to our all of our collections. And we, we always like with these frequent launches, we always ensure that we're showing these collections and these campaigns in an exciting way, using the photos that when you've done through these shoots, and then continuing to test with different things like what types of text overlays or like, maybe we want to do some sort of grid post and like show multiple images so that people are seeing more, since it is their first interaction. How do we show them more angles of a theater? How do we show them more suits? Is it a carousel? Is it a video? So there's just like, so many iterations of what you can do there. And a huge part of it in terms of advertising. And this has been a huge part of the marketing. Strategy for years now is like how are you working with like brand partners, ambassadors who really represent your brand? I think like a lot of people will refer to it as influencer marketing, Andy, like we, we also tap into, like our own customer base in terms of like, who we want representing the brand and, and like how they're also, you know, presenting the brand. And like, whether that's like through our paid channels, or through their own channels, like various ways like that, but really calling it an ambassadorship and representation of the brand. So there's so many different angles that you could take there.
Mariah Parsons 42:34
Yeah, yeah, it's a hard hitting question for sure. Because I feel like every, every single cut, every single guest we have on the podcast is like we I try and ask them about, you know, just different marketing strategies, and it's forever changing, right? The target is always moving. And so I, I know, it's always evolving. But to that point, and the ambassadorship, I saw that you all have your collaboration with Demi Moore. And so is that kind of what you're talking about with like your, you know, what others would call influencers or your ambassadorship have like, somewhat like a cross collaboration with Demi Moore, but then also having maybe like, affiliate links or something of the sort for your ambassadors.
Pooja Parikh 43:23
So for Yeah, for ambassadors, it's more so like smaller scale affiliate links, and like really just like for lack of a better term, your your everyday person who is is relatable and truly a representation of what Andy stands for, versus your Jimmy Moore. This is what like we consider this more a larger scale celebrity partnership. We done the partnership with Demi Moore last summer where we Co Co design the collection with her actually and launched the styles that we we like CO created together did the whole campaign but it was very much sort of like all all developed together. The prior year. We also did celebrity partnership with Claire Holt, who is Australian but has a pretty big presence in the US as well. But really resonated with the audience and our business. But we love the celebrity partnerships because not only is it is it like people who are super excited about Andy and love Andy and want to work with Andy, but it's also people who have large followings can really provide a significant brand Halo for us. So it's really sort of mutually beneficial in that way and like they're getting to work with a brand that they love. And we're really getting to grow the awareness and and cement ourselves with a new audience. Yeah,
Mariah Parsons 44:58
it's a win win for sure. Um, I love so we're like, for collabing with Demi Moore. When did you when did you launch that?
Pooja Parikh 45:09
It was last July July 2022. Okay.
Mariah Parsons 45:13
Okay, very fun. Were you part of like, was it the creative team who mostly it was like, working with, like what the design of the suit was going to be.
Pooja Parikh 45:24
So our like product design team spent so so much time with dimmi going through various fittings, picking color swatches, silhouettes. Like the there was a small subset of our team who did the photo shoot, which was in the south of France, and just like, so beautiful, so I delish just, just like beautiful, gorgeous, amazing. She's incredible. Like just insanely beautiful, I think like a role model for so so many people. But the process was, like collaboration from the beginning from inception. Yeah.
Mariah Parsons 46:08
I love that. That's so cool. That fascinates me. Like, I feel like that would be just so fun to work on a collab or just to work on product design and whatnot. So that's, that's awesome.
Pooja Parikh 46:20
Like, just does such a great job in terms of here's sort of, let's move toward the collection. And then here's some silhouettes that fit the collection, even like the name of this suits tied to the shoot location. So like, we had the tro pay suit or the Marseille suit, things like that. That. And then the collection was shot in the south of France. So it's all cohesive. It's all connected. And yeah, just a lot of fun.
Mariah Parsons 46:47
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, did you get to go to the south of France?
Pooja Parikh 46:50
I did not. But it's okay. Yeah, I'll make it to the south of France in
Mariah Parsons 46:58
the next collab. Yeah, the next vacation, hopefully, you know, your honeymoon wedding bachelor party, and you're gonna be wearing all Andy's men's men's suits. Course. Yeah. Oh, my gosh, that's amazing. Okay, so one last question, because I know we're coming up on time here. So Andy just launched with the Malomo loop integration we were talking about, just like repeat purchases, and you know, having an accurate sizing guide, hopefully to prevent against like returns and exchanges and whatnot. But I wanted to, of course, there's always going to be returns and exchanges, right. I feel like everyone knows that. So you want to make the process easy. And loop loop does that wonderfully. So I wanted to ask you, what if you if you happen to know, any like metrics, or any data or just subjectively what you think a percentage of like, a buyer lands on your website, purchases, a swimsuit? Are they purchasing, like multiple sizes to try on? And like return them? What is what is the whole? You know, like, I don't want to what's the like post logistics or reverse logistics? That's where I'm looking for? What's like the reverse logistics process there?
Pooja Parikh 48:14
Yeah, absolutely. So like, really, I mean, e commerce, apparel business, you're going to see pretty high return rates. We, we've spent a lot of time working through, like, why customers are returning? What are they buying in the first place that's making them return? Are there any trends to to parse out there? And what we've seen so the guests originally was like, oh, customers are just checking out with two sizes, and probably returning one. And that only makes up 4% of our returns, actually, whoa, okay. It's a really, really small percentage, which makes me confident that the customers have or they're, they're very well informed in what size they should be purchasing, which is great. Where we actually see a lot of the returns come from is is preference. Preference could be color preference could be silhouette. Preference could be, you know, maybe this is not giving me enough bus coverage, and I'm not really comfortable in it. And like, a lot of times we look at like swim, return rates versus maybe a category like intimates, bras and underwear, because you need that to fit well. However, when you're wearing bras and underwear, you're probably wearing something over them when you're not. So it really needs to be completely perfect in every way. It needs to hug your body in the right way. It needs to flatter you in the right way for you to be calm, comfortable and confident. And the reality is like every suit is going to look different on everyone. So we You see a lot of return rates just because like, I didn't really like it. Or you know, it just wasn't for me or or maybe it like, yes, of course, there's going to be people who are returning it because it's too big or too small. Like, you're going to see that no matter what. But we really do pride ourselves on sizing consistency and consistency across the portfolio so that people are not second guessing if they're small or medium and Andy, because that's not a great experience.
Mariah Parsons 50:35
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I know, we just launched with the loop integration. And so but I wanted to ask, so if you don't know yet, because at the time of this recording, we just had officially launched like maybe like, three, three weeks ago or so. What are you hopeful around that like order tracking? Now bleeding into returns, that exchange tracking will help with, like communicating to your customers so that they know if and when they go through the returns and exchange process? They get, you know, these branded order tracking notifications so that they know, okay, this is where my return is out. This is where my exchange is? How do you see that helping, like your support team, your operations team or your team? Just in general? Yeah, absolutely.
Pooja Parikh 51:21
I mean, what triggers a return is when it's scanned into our warehouse. So from the moment the customer puts it in the mailbox, to when they're actually seeing their money back, or, like that whole process happening end to end is sort of a gray area for a lot of companies. I feel like I returned things all the time, because I, I love shopping, and I primarily do it online. And it can get so frustrating to be like, I have literally no idea what the status is, I don't know if it's like shipped, I'm not sure like, yeah, I have a tracking number. But there's really no other information there. So I think providing that transparency, through integrations like this is so incredibly helpful in and it like helps connect all the dots. So like through all of our systems. Now, you can see sort of the customers lifecycle with the brand, like our customer support team can see it sort of all live in one place now, from end to end, versus needing to say like, Okay, let me go in this system and this system in this system and understand all of the different phases that this customer's order, or like purchase lifecycle is sitting in.
Mariah Parsons 52:39
Yeah, yeah, I love that you brought up both from like the consumer standpoint of, okay, now, it's all kind of like in one hub, it's one in one area, you get proactive notifications, and then also the internal operational perspective where it's like, okay, not only do you have to go now try and like find what the heck is going on with this person's order when they put in a support ticket, or, you know, if you want to get that data, but it's all in all housed in one area. Yeah, so super excited. I know. I'm really excited to see what this integration means for you all. I know it's already looking great. So super, super, super excited there. And I know we're at time so thank you so much for coming on the podcast. We always love chatting with wonderful, wonderful people like yourself, so thank you for making the time.
Pooja Parikh 53:25
No, thank you for having me. I feel like the time flew by and we could just chat.
Mariah Parsons 53:31
I know Do you want to just like stay on you probably don't have like anything else to do, right? No, I know. That's one of my favorite parts like these. These sessions always cruise by. And I love that they go so fast. But also the end. I'm like, damn, they really fly by. So yeah, thank you again.
Pooja Parikh 53:47
Yes, of course. Thank you