Freshpair’s Seamless Segmentation—As in, No VPL

How well do you know your customers? Freshpair, an online retailer of underwear, lingerie, and other unmentionables, can answer that question in a single word: “Intimately.”

It’s that intimate knowledge of its customer base that allows the 14-year-old company to provide a consistent shopping experience tailored to each individual’s needs. From the first email outreach to the ultimate conversion, Freshpair’s goal is the same: CX that “cuts out the VPL, the visible panty line,” jokes Jason Scoggins, the brand’s director of customer experience.

For Freshpair, “customer-centricity” and “data-driven marketing” are basically synonyms. Today you’ve got to have both, or you’ll end up with the marketing strategy version of a wedgie. (Forgive me; the underwear references are too tempting to resist.)

“Yes, you’ve absolutely got to have data, but you also need to overlay that by paying attention to how customers are reacting,” says Scoggins. “Everything we do I pass through the data filter first—we’re always analyzing—but once we’ve done that we still have to process that data through the customer viewpoint.”

Scoggins, who will be keynoting Direct Marketing News’s upcoming Retail Marketing Strategies Virtual Event on Sept. 19, took a few moments to chat about the meaning of customer experience, the art—and science—of segmentation, and his favorite undie brands.

DMN: What does the Freshpair brand stand for?

Scoggins: We’re all about confidence. We feel that everything starts with our underwear. It’s the first thing you put on, you wear it all day, and it’s the closest thing to you. What people wear underneath their clothes can empower them. It sounds crazy maybe, but that’s what we hear from our customers. We even started a blog called The Confidence Project where we feature customer stories about how your choice of lingerie or underwear can help you get to the next phase of your life. People have whole drawers full of underwear, but they always wear the pairs that make them feel the best. Underwear drawers are split—the underwear you like to wear in the front and the laundry day pairs shoved in the back.

DMN: Customer experience—what does that term mean to you?

Scoggins: Customer experience is anything and everything that gives us an opportunity to interact with the customer. We make sure our customers have a consistent experience with us—what they get in an email is consistent with that they see on the website, and that follows all the way through to conversion. The experience should be unique to the customer, but also consistent from beginning to end.

DMN: Is segmentation an art or a science?

Scoggins: It’s absolutely a combination of the two. You can run the numbers, you can decide what buckets to put people into, you can pull traditional Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value (RFM) scores—all that’s great. It’s a fantastic place to start. But you can have all the data in the world, and it doesn’t necessarily tell you what motivates the customer.

We’ve come up with a set of segments that look at customers in terms of how they feel about themselves and not necessarily what demographic they fall into—because we’ve done that before and it bit us in the rear. We once sent an email where we listed bras by age group, and let me tell you—the emails we got back from women, wow. They said, ‘Just because I’m a certain age, doesn’t mean I’ll wear a bra like that. How dare you assume that?!’ We learned our lesson real quick.

Particularly on the women’s side it’s about how she feels. It doesn’t matter if she’s 21 or 71; if she feels like wearing a lace demi-cup, then all the more power to her. That’s where you get into the art of it by paying attention to what their browsing looks like, what they’re clicking on, and what they’re actually purchasing—and not just relying on traditional segmentation tools.

DMN: Are you a boxer or briefs guy and what is your favorite Freshpair product?

Scoggins: Well, I’m more of a briefs kind of guy to be quite honest. But my favorite underwear changes every single day. I don’t have many laundry day pairs of underwear in my drawer. Currently my favorites rotate between Calvin Klein, 2xist, and C-in2. But answering this question is kind of hard for me—it’s like being asked to pick my favorite kid!

Want more underwear? We’ve got you (un)covered. Check out the slideshow above for snaps from Freshpair’s most recent National Underwear Day event.

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