Many thanks to Benjamin L. for the tip.
Maybe worth a revisit…
Tags: Bonobos, News
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I’m going to blame the Dappered Effect. Thank you everyone.
This is what it must feel like to have a big kid take your toy on the playground – only to have you take it back with a one-handed-shove.
I never had the guts to take it back.
Thank you dappered – for restoring some of my masculinity.
This is just bonkers.
More like the reddit.com/r/frugalmalefashion Effect and slickdeals.net Effect. The Styleforum Effect is very big and influential in online shopping but Bonobos isn’t as well loved over there.
I’m just going to assume they found some money in their pocket that they didn’t know they had, so now they can afford free shipping.
Yep. Gotta give credit where it’s due. Dappered helped though.
No doubt, and other online communities helped as well. It should really be “The Viral Internet Effect”.
But FrugalMale Fashion has 100,000 people on it. I follow all of the major men’s style websites but FMF is the only one I make a point to checking multiple times a day. It’s similar but different to Dappered so I’ll always visit both. With FMF items quickly get sold out, sometimes within the hour, when a deal is posted.
Wow, that was fast. The deluge must have been ridiculous.
They asked for my feedback via multiple emails last week and I provided some transparent views into why I would likely no longer make purchases. Doing away with free shipping was one of the primary reasons – looks like they really do listen to their customers!
I wrote an email. Buying online with a bad return and shipping cost/policy I won’t do. Too much risk when I can drive 3 miles to a gap, br or jcrew. One of the reasons I don’t buy dockers anymore.
I agree with your post except for the Dockers part. I’ve never ordered from Dockers.com, but like physical stores for Gap, BR or JCrew, there’s every department store in the US to buy Dockers from.
Does anyone else wonder whether this was a cunning move to build up customer loyalty and maybe gain PR? Now, Bonobos can say, “Hey, we really listen to our customers. We take your input so seriously that we changed our shipping policy just for you.” It seems strange to revert so quickly after such a business decision that would have been made with great consideration.
Nah. I mean, I see where you’re coming from, and of course there’s going to be some benefit of “see, we DO listen to our customers” but they’ve probably lost more people in this process than gained. I give them more credit for not being stubborn, and just simply shrugging and saying “ah well, okay, fine then” and moving back to the previous policy.
I got an email from them today about this just 20 minutes ago! Their customer service really on point.
She’s even pretty when she’s yelling at me.
Yes Natalie….I’m marry you.
They did the right thing
As somebody that wrote to Bonobos, I told them that their free shipping was one of the things I loved, that made them feel special beyond just the great clothes. Like a truly customer-focused company. Without the free shipping, they’re just another J. Crew. I don’t think they found money, I think they decided to eat the profits to keep the customer base. I personally believe they made the right choice, and I’m very happy that they decided to change back.
What interests me is how they came to make the first decision–to charge for shipping. How could a room full of people even remotely conversant with the online menswear world not predict the potential for the backlash? Or was this a bone-headed executive decision made by one person: the CEO? Either way, you can speak all you want about Bonobos great customer service, but it seems they don’t yet really understand their customers too well.
My god, I just checked FMF for the first time. There’s a lot going on there. The interface alone nearly gave me a little seizure. Not sure I can handle all that. But good to know.
Like a Bono-boss.
I, for one, voiced my concern directly to them. Who else did? I hoped that enough backlash from their loyal customers would help them change their minds.
I have a feeling this is going to result in less “sales” and a small MSRP bump in the very near future.
Its a numbers game the negative reaction they got was strong enough for them to realise that it was going to cost them too much business. I get that free shipping cost online stores money but I’m kind of tired of hearing the whining about it. Wasnt the advantage of online purchases that you didn’t have to pay rent for storefronts and you have less employees. If your making me pay for shipping your making me pay a risk on a purchase. If your prices and quality are similar to a store where I can try the stuff on for free why would I take that risk?
Usually when I find money I didn’t know I had in my pocket, it’s not even enough to buy a stamp.
Depends where you live. Middle of New Hampshire closest mall is 2hrs away.
A bonobos rep emailed me today. I wrote an email back when they started to charge for shipping. She wanted to let me know shipping was again free and she thanked me for the email and honesty. Basically you want to reduce risk when shopping it’s not worth loosing money with online shopping brands when there are other brick and mortar stores.
Umm, I never paid for shipping from them, and I ordered twice in the past billing cycle.
Looks like they’re refunding shipping for anyone who ordered between the 11th and yesterday.
Not if I get her first!
They actually listened to upset customers and did something?
crystal pepsi can come back… i miss that
I guess some slight sarcasm isn’t welcome and is over-analyzed. I do appreciate the link to FMF though, which I’ve never heard of before.
They will start to deter customers from making purchases. Not too long ago their shirts were priced at about 78. Now they are 88 (oxfords are still 78).
They are already priced higher than their biggest competitor (J.Crew). Who would want to pay for an 90 shirt or 98 chinos that are extremely comparable to a brand like J.Crew which sells them $10-30 cheaper?
I agree with you on the less sale items thing! The easiest way for Bonobos to cut corners and increase revenue is by reducing their amount of “one and done” products. I have always thought that they spend too much time and resources on stupid themed products that end up going to the sales section. Streamline their size selection to those that are more popular instead of stocking sizes on the ends of the spectrum.
You’re probably right. It would be really interesting to see some numbers.
2 hours from the middle of NH is MA,ME,VT, or Canada…
Yes, I had a similar conversation with them over a few days. I even referred them to the Offered Without Comment post here. I am impressed that they just sent me a follow-up email telling me they restored free shipping.
That’s pretty impressive.
I was with you until the last sentence. Streamlining sizes to alienate every man over and under a certain height is not a good move.
Didn’t know Bonobos had a significant clientele that are in the 28X36. Perhaps I should have worded it differently. I don’t suggest removing the option and saying no we don’t cater to those sizes…
I’m sure they already stock sizes accordingly, but is it really worth it for them to stock 28X36 in their christmas chinos every year? I’m willing to bet maybe a handful of people (probably even less) in that size range actually purchase those “season-themed” products.
My issue is not with their regular lines but with their themed products that mostly end up in the sales.
Moultonborough, nh there is a outlet strip mall in Conway, NH. Decent mall over the border into Maine is a shopping mall. Not a ton of rt 25 and 16 until Conway.
Fair enough, and I agree about seasonal and novelty items. But honestly, Bonobos is catering to the average build. They’re slimmest, smallest stuff is too long and baggy for me (5’6″, 130 lbs).
Same with Trunk Club (founded by the same person). I’m trying them out right now for purpose of a review on my site, and I can already tell they are geared toward men with an average build (and who have some money and hate shopping). I get that it makes sense financially/logistically, but it’s annoying for anyone who isn’t average.
I don’t expect places like Bonobos and TC to start selling size 6 shoes and 28″ pants. The solution will probably be stores like Peter Manning and Jimmy Au, who specialize in certain fits, and increasingly affordable custom clothing (dress and casual).
Yeah, I know where Moultonborough is. I love the big yellow general store in the area when I’m on vacation. Tourist trap, I know.
Interestingly, I’ve heard that Bonobos will reimburse you if you get something of theirs tailored because it doesn’t fit right. Of course that depends on what and how much it costs.
Hi Seth, I’m the CEO. Someday with the benefit of hindsight I hope to share a lot more about how we came to implement the hurdle and why we rolled it back. In the meanwhile I can assure you I most definitely am a bonehead (best example: I once tried to call hard 9 at the Craps table, true story) — but that boneheadedness had little to do with this decision as we’ve got a great team here (luckily). One day hope to share more. The NPS tool Delighted made this decision pretty easy. A great tool by a great founder, Caleb.
Played golf in North Conway several times on weekend trips, nice area. Sparse rings a bell.
The Reddit interface?
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