M.M. LaFleur knows its audience. Instead of leaning into flashy, trend-driven apparel, the company specializes in minimalist, upscale workwear for busy women. By prioritizing easy-care fabrics and human-centered customer service, the brand has not only weathered the work-from-home landscape, it’s expanded from strictly business into a “Power Casual” category and enjoyed YOY growth the last two years.
From customer-friendly styling sessions to easy returns to a dedicated resale platform, here are six ways that M.M. LaFleur keeps customers coming back for more.
M.M. LaFleur started with the premise that many working women don’t want to spend time shopping or styling themselves. Instead, they want quality clothes that are professional, versatile, and long-lasting.
To make the shopping experience easier, the company offers in-person styling in New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago, and virtual appointments via Zoom. (While some brick-and-mortar locations maintain inventory that customers can take home the same day, all offer shipping directly to the customer.) Online shoppers get styling tips for the pieces they’re considering, right on the product description page (PDP). Each PDP also includes a chat option for customers to ask the M.M. Lafleur team for fit and styling tips during business hours.
M.M. Lafleur employs many of Narvar’s best practices for reducing returns. The company’s PDPs include:
By consolidating all of the applicable information on a single page, they’re reducing the risk that a customer will click away to research the item, and abandon the transaction.
Stress-free returns are a necessity for any ecommerce retailer—particularly one selling goods at a higher price point. (Retail pricing for the brand is approximately $110 for tops and up to $325 for dresses.) M.M. Lafleur meets expectations by offering free, easy returns in the U.S. Customers have 21 days to start an online return, and the company offers both boxless, in-person returns and returns by mail.
In a recent NielsenIQ study, 78% of US consumers said that a sustainable lifestyle is important to them. M.M. Lafleur is catering to those customers by promoting and enabling easy resale through its Second Act resale platform.
With Second Act, M.M. Lafleur facilitates peer-to-peer secondhand selling, simplifying the listing process by sharing prewritten product descriptions, sizing details, original product photos, and pricing recommendations. Second Act also incentivizes existing customers to make new M.M. Lafleur purchases: Resellers who you choose to be paid in cash receive 70% of the sale price of the item when selling on the platform, but those who choose LaFleur store credit receive 100% of the sale price of the item.
In addition to extending the life cycle of its own products, the company is promoting resale, generally, by including a ThredUp resale kit with every order it ships and offering a 15% bonus to Thredup consignors who take their payments in M.M. Lafleur credit.
M.M. Lafleur puts its values front and center. Product sustainability features, like “made from recycled plastic bottles” or “made with responsibly forested viscose,” appear immediately under the product name at the top of applicable PDPs, and most pieces are machine-washable.
The company also offers a more extensive review of its sustainability efforts on a dedicated landing page, and explains on its “Our Story” page that it donates 10% of yearly profits to organizations that support and promote the success of women.
Including those ESG callouts isn’t just feel-good pandering; it’s good for business. A 2023 McKinsey study found that products making ESG-related claims averaged 28%t cumulative growth between 2017 and 2022, versus 20% for products that made no such claims.
Most brands turn to social media when trying to foster community among customers. M.M. Lafleur took the unusual approach of creating Slack channels for their customers. Co-founder
and CEO Sarah LaFleur explained that it started during the early days of Covid to create online connection to fill the in-person contact void.
“The customers just kind of took off and ran it on their own. When some of our customers got laid off in the initial wave of Covid, we had other customers saying, ‘Well, let’s start a job posting site.’ And there’s a Slack channel called Child Care Tips, where they’re sharing what they’re doing to take care of their kids,” she said. “What’s been most exciting is that it’s been embraced as its own community that is way beyond the clothing we sell.”
M.M. LaFleur demonstrated that brand loyalty isn’t just about marketing and delivering a great product. Today’s customers—particularly Millennial and Gen Z shoppers—prefer to shop with socially conscious brands. By delivering a quality product, offering top notch customer care, and continuing to connect with customers in meaningful ways, M.M. LaFleur has cracked the code to brand loyalty.