Vitamin B: Brands Energizing Ecommerce Feat. Softwear

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Jul 2, 2021

”The softest, most comfortable clothing I’ve ever experienced—cleanly designed, made for living, and sustainably produced from thought to thread in the USA.”

— Sabrina Zohar, Founder

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. 

softwear athleisure clothing favorites

The Backstory: Softwear

Like many of this world’s finest ideas, the idea of founding Softwear didn’t hit Sabrina Zohar until a need came screaming into her life and there was nothing out there to meet it.

In 2017, Sabrina’s mom went to the doctor for a headache and was diagnosed with six aneurysms. With no concrete idea of what was to come, Sabrina wanted to do what was best in the moment—be with her mom. With a well of optimism and despite the odds, Sabrina’s mom got the treatment she needed to survive. Once the recovery stage throttled into full gear, the idea for Softwear shifted into focus.

“I almost lost my mom and knew I had to do something I cared about. Being with her in the hospital led me to find a hole in the market and solve the problem of affordable locally made and high quality basics!”
— Sabrina Zohar

With complaints of even “soft” clothing being too harsh on her mother’s skin as she healed, the need for a brand like Softwear was glaring. The more Sabrina pored over the world wide web for something comfortable, timeless, high-quality, and good for the earth and human rights, the more apparent it became that clothing that checked all those boxes simply didn’t exist. 

In lieu of settling and sacrificing values or quality, Sabrina rolled up her sleeves and brought Softwear to life.

The Mission

Softwear is an affordable athleisure clothing company crafting comfortable wares for all genders without sacrificing quality and values.

The Values

  • Commit to being 100% crafted in the USA.
  • Devote practices to sustainable measures and human rights.
  • Create clothing from soft signature fabrics without the use of synthetic materials. 

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The idea for Softwear lovingly encompasses the brand’s USP. The company’s signature fabric was designed to never pill, fade, shed, or shrink, all while delivering that “soft as a cloud” sensation. Tireless fittings, alterations, and beyond were undergone to ensure that customers don’t just fall in love with the fabric, but they also fall hard for the fit of each piece.

“Our fabric, our fit, and our story. No brand has our fabric and no brand has our story, that we know.”

The Customers

Softwear customers are folks who find solace in cozy clothing and ethical values. From millennials to boomers, anyone who craves comfortable, American-made, and sustainable products will feel right at home with Softwear.

Creating a Customer Experience as Comfy as the Pants

“Every person who has a piece of Softwear now has a piece of me (in a weird way).” 

With strong values steeped in sustainability, human rights, and quality, the customer experience is an important piece of the brand as a whole. Poor communication, cloudy processes, and unhappy customers simply wouldn’t jive with the lifestyle Softwear strives to embody.

While she’s the founder of Softwear, that doesn’t mean Sabrina has a squad of employees she can lean on. She spends countless hours creating clothing (often by hand!) and making sure every customer gets a piece they’ll love for years to come. 

Planting Positive Vibes Along the Customer Journey

So much love goes into Softwear goods that it only makes sense for that love to leach into the brand experience. “I want people to walk away from this and remember Softwear’s quality as a high standard, no matter what we do, and be able to know that you can come back at any time and we’re gonna be here with open arms,” says Sabrina. 

To ensure folks know that Softwear cares about its customers, Sabrina: 

  • Hand-writes thank you cards.
  • Answers every email herself.
  • Ensures orders ship within 1 or 2 days.
  • Engages people wherever possible.
  • Tracks each and every package until it hits its new home.

Plus, one cruise through the Softwear website and it’s easy to spot the attention paid to the experience of shopping itself. 

Descriptions are clear and accurate. Sizing charts are a breeze to find. Recommendations for fit are posted while the height and size of the model for each item is known. Plus, basically every question a shopper could wonder is answered directly on the product pages. And if it’s not? A helpful chatbot is patiently waiting to lend a hand.

Softwear Leans into a Strong Tech Stack

A memorable and tailored customer experience doesn’t just exist from thin air, though. Sabrina’s outfitted Softwear with a tech stack that not only drives sales, but also boosts customer connection and satisfaction. 

The Softwear storefront was built using Shopify while email marketing runs through Klaviyo. Instagram is used to engage with customers showing off their new duds as well as introduce new lines, and the entire post-purchase experience is rounded out with Route.   

As crowded as ecommerce became throughout 2020, some of the biggest riches an ecommerce brand can earn are loyalty, retention, and a good reputation. They’re hard to earn, but once a store nails the equation, success is pretty much guaranteed. Google Analytics helps Sabrina navigate trends like traffic, while the built-in features throughout her tech stack help her create an experience that feels more customized and stands out from the competition. 

And when it comes to the budding athleisure industry, differentiation is everything. During the pandemic, athleisure grew 30% in North America, or more than $80 billion. While Softwear’s proprietary fabric is definitely a deal-maker, shoppers don’t know that until they actually have the goods in their hands. Until then, Softwear is counting on the experience to attract and keep customers. 

“I literally sit for days and I check and I track every single order that I sent per day.”

Driving Brand Discovery in a Crowded Ecommerce Vertical

Engaging customers in an authentic and memorable way is tough, but it isn’t rocket science for Sabrina. While a lot of brands think that reaching shopper eyeballs takes the latest and greatest tech, sometimes all it takes is some good ol’ genuine compassion. 

Sabrina counts on classic channels like Instagram (where the brand has more than 12K followers), email, and even the press to get out the word and drive folks to Softwear. Big mentions by Refinery29ForbesWell + Good, and more not only provide exposure to how buttery soft the clothes are, but these publications also shine a light on the values held closely by Sabrina and the brand. 

Having platforms tout convictions like human rights and sustainability are priceless when it comes to attracting like-minded shoppers.

How Softwear Finds the Silver Lining

Any entrepreneur will tell you that they’ve probably met more setbacks than they can count. When new brands are trying to gain momentum, it seems like all the cards are stacked against them. Bumps in the road to thriving business range anywhere from production mishaps to bad batches of product to inventory issues to technical difficulties—there’s truly no limit to all the things that can go awry in ecommerce. 

Running smoothly and scaling are especially tough goals to smash when there’s a global pandemic tampering any and all well-laid plans. However, when life threw Sabrina a bunch of lemons, the last thing she did was make excuses.

“I started tie-dyeing everything by hand over COVID-19, which led to us selling out of everything we had—it was wild!! I was able to create a new collection and keep the brand growing.”

That attention and care paid to every piece of clothing pumped out by Softwear lead to four-digit growth throughout the coronavirus pandemic. That attention also bled into an unforgettable customer experience. 

From the first time curious shoppers saw folks relaxing luxuriously on their Insta feeds to getting nearly instantaneous answers via live chat to having their pick of purchase payment options to receiving real-time tracking updates through Route, Software customers were cared for no matter the havoc happening in the world. 

Sabrina’s (Short Yet Rad) Experience Playbook

  • Engaging and inspirational Instagram
  • Near instant question resolutions
  • Variety of payment platforms and plans
  • Post-purchase transparency with Route

What about when things don’t go so perfectly? Well, Sabrina doesn’t let it get her down. “I cry, I cheer, I get bummed at a complaint, but ultimately I say ‘thank you’ and use it to the best of my ability to grow the brand and evolve.”

Even the rough patches are turned into opportunities, and if that optimism doesn’t surround Softwear on the whole, we don’t know what does. 

Softwear’s Next Stop: $1 Million

Yep, you read right. Hitting $1 million in sales is a lofty milestone, but Softwear’s strategy seems to be driving the company in that direction—and fast. Even as post-pandemic life starts to settle globally, athleisure is here to stay. After all, life is too short to not be ridiculously comfortable, right?

In time, Sabrina hopes to branch into more ad creation, wholesale, and word of mouth to keep Softwear scaling and outfitting more people with simply good clothes. She already has big plans for more beautiful goods, and eventually she hopes to hire on a team to help her vision expand and become reality (she’d also like to take a salary for herself, and we couldn’t agree more).

“I think my favorite part of the process is when I hold it up and I have that moment of, like, ‘oh man, they’re going to love this!’”

Until then, Sabrina is going to keep trusting her gut to guide her (while, of course, checking the metrics that back up her gut instincts). Her passion for the brand and what it puts out into the world is inspirational, and it just goes to show that great brands can be borne from any event, idea, or what-have-you—you just have to be ready to grab the chance when it comes.

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