Vitamin B: Brands Energizing Ecommerce Feat. O.N.S. Clothing

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May 13, 2021

”O.N.S. makes good, minimalist shit that doesn’t go out of style and isn’t going to leave you well-dressed but broke.

A Healthy Dose of Inspiration and Exploration with the Brands Energizing Ecommerce

Ecommerce isn’t just a convenient way to have stuff shipped to your doorstep from anywhere on earth. Online brands give basically anyone the opportunity to find the perfect things that match their unique lives. 

Ecommerce thinks outside the big box store and adds personality, choice, and individuality to shopping experiences everywhere. Vitamin B looks to dig into the very brands that are energizing ecommerce through their mission, values, products, and strategies. 

Grab a glass of water and get ready to guzzle up this healthy dose of Vitamin B. 

a screenshot of four different shirts and jackets offered by clothing brand ONS

The Backstory: O.N.S. Clothing

It’s no surprise that O.N.S. Clothing stands apart from the crowd when it comes to customer experience. The brand is steeped in experiential moments, from product design to material selection to production and beyond. The art of the customer experience is simply an extension of how O.N.S. operates at its core. 

Like how many dreams get started, the idea for O.N.S. was borne when founder Brian Chung noticed a need in his life that just wasn’t being met time and time again.

“I just couldn’t find a consistently well-fitted, well-priced casual shirt in the market. Growing up in schools with a dress code, I’ve tried numerous brands, but I was still uncomfortable with most of the ready-to-wear options I had as a student. It’s a tough and ongoing journey to offer a simple, quality, smart-casual, washed shirt.
— Brian Chung

Chung wanted to create clothing that was ready for whatever right off the rack. And with that, O.N.S. came to life to make high-quality clothing that was comfortable, versatile, and fit for wearing beyond just one or two seasons.

The Mission

O.N.S. Clothing is a one-stop mens shop that incorporates in-house and curated global products that are comfortable and high-quality so wearers don’t have to worry. 

The Values

  • Craft innovative everyday garments that empower people to go places.
  • Practice social responsibility and ethical integrity.
  • Seek sustainability without compromising quality for every product created.

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Alongside attention to detail paid to every last stitch, O.N.S. materials are all pre-shrunk before they head into production. This means that not only are the clothes comfy on the first wear, but they’ll last wash after wash after wash.

The Customers

With its utilitarian design and goal of providing clothing that can take people places anywhere no matter the season, O.N.S. is for folks who have a deep understanding of the word “simplicity.”

Creating a Customer Experience as Genuine as the Products

“The customer may not understand the technicalities but they will FEEL the attention to details or the lack of.” 

People who are drawn to O.N.S. share the same appreciation for quality, classic clothing that can be mixed and matched, all while being made with mindfulness for the planet. They don’t have a craving for another generic mass-produced product, so why would they want a generic, mass-produced brand experience?

O.N.S. recognizes that bridging the brand with the customer experience is paramount to its success, whether the experience is happening in-store or online. With brick-and-mortar shops in Hong Kong and New York City, O.N.S. is in a unique position to draw the attention of world travelers who would (hopefully) visit the ecommerce store when they return home.  

Removing Uncertainties at Every Step

photo of a person standing in the doorway of an ons clothing store

One of the biggest challenges to selling online is erasing shopper anxieties. Experiences often come up short of meeting customer expectations when questions go unanswered or details about the goods are unclear. “We try to provide answers to everyday questions that a customer will ask,” says O.N.S.

To help squelch uncertainties from the start, O.N.S. makes sure to:

  • Write up detailed product descriptions.
  • Provide on-figure images and sizing charts.
  • Put honest product reviews up front.
  • Make phone and email support easy to find and use.

Once a customer cruises through the checkout and the package is delivered, O.N.S. still keeps focused on the journey and provides customer feedback on post-purchase reviews to better understand their experience and rectify any bad experiences that crop up.

Outfitting Experiences with the Right Tech Stack 

For O.N.S., piecing together a premium and memorable customer experience meant fine-tuning the tech stack. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, BasecampToolioShopify, and Route are on the roster, acting as ecommerce platform, internal communications, merchandising, and leveraging the post-purchase customer experience.

As an emerging menswear brand and shop, O.N.S. Clothing hitches its success to its repeat customers. Loyalty and retention aspects of the user experience (UX) are the highest priorities as O.N.S. always aims to be responsible, accessible, and timely. 

“We hand-pick or create each product we offer. Our store is a great way to know and serve our customers, while ecommerce and social media give us the power to connect almost immediately, 24/7. However, we lose the visibility over our UX when the products are in transit,” says founder Brian.

“Thanks to Route, we are able to extend our UX touch points into the last stretch of the product journey, making sure that our customers are always satisfied when they’re shopping with us.”

Driving Brand Discovery In-Person and Online

Beyond that fat stack of tech solutions, O.N.S. also drives brand discovery and awareness through usual suspects Facebook and Instagram. However, with a foot in both the in-person and digital worlds, O.N.S. also creates opportunities for discovery by hosting in-store events, stuffed with curated, conscientious, and memorable experiences. 

O.N.S. Turns Pitfalls into Opportunities

Part of delivering customer experiences that build loyalty and lasting relationships is making the most of unexpected pitfalls instead of sweeping them under the rug. This means listening to customers, learning from not-so-great experiences, and looking for the silver lining when, say, a global pandemic kinks the strategic hose. 

The folks at O.N.S. Clothing pride themselves on being responsible and accessible. The team is always ready to communicate and understand customer needs via email, social media, or real live person-to-person conversations in-store.

“Shopify-connected apps such as Route allows us to understand each case on a deeper level, making it easier to have constructive communications towards any feedback, complaints, or customer claims.”

When the coronavirus pandemic called for an overnight strategic adjustment for ecommerce stores around the world, O.N.S. took hold of the opportunity. Instead of sitting still, staying the course, and waiting out the crisis, the team at O.N.S. pivoted—fast. Here’s how they stayed nimble:

  • Broadened customer options
    Seeing that customers still wanted to invest in high-quality and long-lasting clothing while empathizing with current events, the O.N.S. Garage was concepted and launched in the summer of 2020. This offered up clothing from previous seasons at lower prices so that cost-conscious customers could make their dollars stretch with durable, versatile clothing.
  • Added payment optionsO.N.S. added Klarna to the checkout process so that customers could pay for their purchases over time instead of one (stressful) lump sum.
  • Expanded where they sell
    To continue driving discovery, awareness, and accessibility, O.N.S. expanded to more marketplaces like Verishop and Garmentory.

The pandemic upheaved global and personal employment, finances, discretionary income, and beyond. Without thinking fast, adjusting to, and empathizing with the current events their customers were living with, O.N.S. could have isolated a large portion of their audience and prohibited them from purchase. 

However, O.N.S. took these opportunities to expand options and accessibility, which not only strengthened customer relationships, but also extended the brand’s reach to more shoppers.The same genuine vibes and virtues embedded in the brand were threaded throughout every experience. 

The Road Ahead for O.N.S.

image of a man crossing the street while holding a canvas tote bag.

The past year has pushed strategy and innovation in directions most ecommerce stores hadn’t imagined. But with the finesse to pivot quickly coupled with deep care for the customer experience, O.N.S. seems like it was made for this moment. 

In a dream world, O.N.S. would continue to grow its brick-and-mortar retail presence around the world and expand its cross-culture community through events (and being rad).

For now, expect the shop to keep expanding its product selection and brand partners to continue meeting customer wants and needs. As the post-pandemic world becomes a reality, the experience is still at the top of the priority list. 

“We want to get back to community-driven events online and offline. We had a lot of great memories in our stores, and we want to bring that back and share it on our blog, O.N.S. Manual, so that our community feels more engaged and less isolated.” 

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