117 – Rakesh Tondon of Le Tote – Wear, Return, Repeat

Fashion subscription service for women’s apparel…

Rakesh Tondon on FIYBRakesh Tondon (bio), Co-Founder and CEO of Le Tote (a fashion subscription service that allows members to borrow clothing and accessories) joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and guest host Louis DeJianne (bio), Director, of Marketing and Consumer Goods, Apparel and Retail for UPS (the world’s largest package delivery company and provider of supply chain management solutions) on location at the 2016 SHOPTALK retail and ecommerce event in Las Vegas.

Shoptalk, emotional decisions, and going offline

Tondon discusses his goals at Shoptalk, such as exploring vendors and where the industry is going, gathering data points and market intelligence, and understanding consumer behavior. He talks on how Le Tote is variety for everyday wear, and goals to bolster business, survey trend analysis, offline/online possibilities, understanding what subsectors are doing, investigate how consumer journeys affect business, and new ways to stay in front of consumers. He touches on the emotional decision when purchasing in apparel or subscription with that experience, and the possibility of a possible offline presence for the brand.

Data logistics, variety, and social media

A discussion about omnichannel, different flavors of business, how Le Tote can be considered more of a data logistics company, positioned with more data than any other ecommerce company worldwide, and how the addition of offline can collect even more data. He reveals that 75% of Le Tote items are rated by customer, providing information on wants, likes, and dislikes, proving holistically understanding of customers and behaviors. The message of getting variety, faster. How shipping is an issue, brand profiles vs. location of inventory, departing from stylists, and giving personalized experiences based on customer input. An evaluation of effectiveness and usefulness of social media platforms for marketing, engagement and customer service, and which social media platform cares about new product features.

Supply chain, challenges and confidence

Touching a customer’s life and making fashion accessible every day, providing impact, changing the way they think about fashion and interact with closets, and membership vs. subscription. The durability of garments, cleaning process, becoming a conduit for data back to brands on use/ preference, quality control, a complex supply chain and the turnover process, RFID testing and washing challenges, what happens to clothing when past usable life, Le Tote’s biggest challenges, diversity in the company, and learning how the customer wanted to be treated. Plus, Off the Grid Questions reveals confidence, name origins without a Plan B, guilty pleasures, and Zootopia.

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