Exclusive Q&A: How To Add 15,000+ New Customers Each Month

You will never hear Brian Berger, CEO of men’s underwear retailer Mack Weldon, apologize for the limitations of selling intimate apparel online. Quite the opposite, in fact: “Our whole business is formulated on the idea that the best way to buy the things we sell is not in a physical store,” said Berger.

The success of the business, which Berger co-founded with Michael Isaacman in 2012, supports his belief. Mack Weldon has been more than doubling its business year-over-year and boasts a customer base of more than 250,000. The brand is adding well over 15,000 new customers each month and maintaining high loyalty rates: 20% of new customers return within 60 days, and they spend, on average, 40% more than they did on their initial visit.

In this exclusive Q&A with Retail TouchPoints, Berger reveals the secrets behind this unlikely e-Commerce success story, including liberal return policies and a strict “no promotional pricing” strategy.

Retail TouchPoints (RTP): You’re selling items where fit and comfort are extremely important. How do you overcome the inherent limitations of e-Commerce?

Brian Berger: These products, men’s underwear, are typically found in the bowels of big department stores and big-box stores. You can’t try them on there, and the sizing can be complicated. We’ve designed our entire experience around convenience for the customer, and more and more customers are getting comfortable with buying things without having the ability to touch and feel them.

Some of the ways we eliminate friction in the buying experience is having a really favorable return policy — not just free returns but a try-on guarantee. The first time you buy from us, particularly with underwear, we will refund you if you’re not happy, or change it out for a different size or silhouette. This not only gives customers a comfort level, it lets them know that these guys are really putting their money where their mouth is.

RTP: Once you have overcome that initial hurdle, what are some of the key ways you build long-term customer relationships?

Berger: There are two things we focus on obsessively. One is making sure we deliver great product. If we do that, any time we talk to our customers about something new, they will engage with us. We’re looking to have an honest, authentic customer dialogue, so we don’t ‘overspam’ or abuse the email relationship. We see the results of that in low unsubscribe and high engagement rates.

Additionally, we do not, and have never, used a promotional pricing strategy. That means we’re able to keep the conversation with the customer about meaningful things — the product itself as well…