Everlane

The benefits of beta testing: How NeuralSearch elevated Everlane’s Ecommerce platform

As the digital space shifts, we know customers aren’t spending as much time on the site. Our goal is to remove as much friction as possible in their journey. Algolia is a great partner for us in that endeavor.

Rachel Maxwell

Senior Manager @ Digital Merchandising

Summary

Everlane, a retail clothing company, promotes sustainability and transparency at every level. Their B2C e-commerce site was powered by a homegrown tech stack and a very lean Digital Merchandising Team. 

In the interests of efficiency, Everlane outsourced its search function to Algolia. In 2023, they were invited to beta test NeuralSearch, significantly improving KPIs while dramatically reducing engineering lift.

Everlane
Use case

B2C Ecommerce

Headquarters

San Francisco, California

Customer since

2019

Feature usage

Beta test of NeuralSearch; Algolia Search API, Insights API, Rules, Query Suggestions, Filters & Facets

Key results
  • Dramatic decreased need for data cleaning

  • Easy implementation

  • Optimized internal search

  • Better customer experience

Key numbers
  • Conversion rates increased 5%

  • CTR increased 8% Quantitative

  •  No results dropped 45%

The challenges

  • 1.

    Create and maintain a premium B2C site with limited resources

  • 2.

    Need to clean and optimize data prior to loading

The solution

  • 1.

    Algolia Search to manage search and discovery on their site

  • 2.

    Participation in beta test of NeuralSearch

  • 3.

    Immediate and seamless implementation

The result

  • 1.

    The need to clean and optimize data disappeared, freeing valuable time and resources

  • 2.

    No Results rate dropped 45%

  • 3.

    Conversion rate rose 5%

  • 4.

    Click through rate increased 8%

In 2011, Michael Preysman had an idea for a very different kind of fashion company, one which would provide customers a window into every aspect of operations. The result is Everlane, a retail clothing company built on the foundation of “radical transparency.” Offering classic, minimalist pieces for all genders, Everlane gives consumers an open view of everything from the environmental sustainability of their materials through the ethical labor practices of their partner factories to the size of their profit markups. 

In addition to transparency, sustainability is another of Everlane’s core drivers. The fashion industry has much ground to regain when it comes to environmental and social sustainability, and Everlane is dedicated to reducing the chemicals, plastics, and waste so prevalent in much of the sector. They are also committed to an ethical supply chain, working with independent auditors to ensure fair wages, proper labor conditions and working hours, and safe working environments.

Producing quality pieces meant to last, Everlane has always primarily been an online business, though they now also have a brick-and-mortar presence. Although their headquarters are in San Francisco, nearly 50% of their 360 employees work remotely. Innovative and mission-driven in outlook, Everlane’s site provides customers with deep insight into the environmental and social impact of their factories as well as a premium platform for B2C purchases. 

Rachel Maxwell is the Senior Manager of Digital Merchandising at Everlane. Located in Philadelphia, she oversees three different but complementary streams: creative strategy planning and execution, site merchandising, and digital operations. With so much ground to cover, her team wears many hats and fills several roles. “We’re a lean team, a small team, but we’re responsible for a lot. Efficiency is top priority for us.”

Efficiency is what first brought Everlane to Algolia. A company that builds clothing meant to last, Everlane applies their top-tier resources approach to internal workings as well. “A lot of our tech stack is homegrown. As we grow, we’ve had to outsource specific aspects and functions of the site. We look for industry leaders to help us maximize results. Obviously maximizing search and discoverability was very important to us. That’s what led us to Algolia.”

everlane

Smart, Sustainable Search

“Innovation and creative thinking are important values to us,” says Maxwell. “But so is sustainability.” Part of their sustainable plan involves finding the right strategic partners. Everlane began their association with Algolia under a basic plan in 2019, concentrating on improving search and discovery. As the site has evolved, so has their relationship. 

During her tenure, Maxwell has found Algolia Search invaluable. “Being a small team, we don’t always have the resources to focus on every aspect of the site. Algolia has really allowed us to optimize internal search. Customers who search are converting at a much higher rate – it’s a huge opportunity for the site. Having a partner who can help us nail that strategy is extremely valuable to us as a business.”

In 2023, Algolia invited Everlane to partner in the beta test of their new product NeuralSearch. With natural language understanding, automatic vectorization, adaptive learning, and query suggestions, NeuralSearch combines Algolia’s full-text keyword search engine with vector understanding into a single easy-to-implement API. 

The impact was immediate and extraordinary. “We got better results, enjoyed a higher ROI, and saw less work for a very small team with limited resources,” Maxwell says. “It was a home run for us across the board.”

NeuralSearch: The new way forward

“When it comes to search, our biggest roadblock is product data. That’s not on the Algolia side,” Maxwell explains. “Previously, our engineering team had to do a fair amount of cleanup and implementation on our end to get product data to feed through in the best, most efficient way.” With NeuralSearch, the roadblock was effortlessly cleared. “We didn’t have to do anything. It was literally flipping a switch.” 

Since NeuralSearch became part of their strategy, Everlane no longer has to spend time and resources cleaning up their data. The day-in and day-out maintenance across all teams is significantly reduced. Maxwell is deeply impressed. “With NeuralSearch, maintaining synonym tables is removed from our responsibility. That frees up time and resources to devote to merchandising – and not at the expense of search.”

The low lift it required from Maxwell’s engineering team was a happy surprise. “I don’t think we’ve ever had to do so little to get this much of systems upgrade.” With so many responsibilities, Maxwell’s team often plays middleman between different departments. “Time is literally our most precious resource. It’s great to feel confident that the systems you have in place are optimizing on their own.” 

Maxwell appreciates having had the opportunity to participate in the beta test of NeuralSearch. “It allowed us to test the waters, discover what kind of results we might reap.” In addition to the ease of implementation, the improvement in results was considerable. Everlane has seen their no results rate decrease by 45%. Their conversion rate is also up by 5%, and their click through rate increased over 8%. “It always helps to have that ROI in your back pocket when you approach leadership looking for an additional spend.”

A supportive team

Having Algolia as a strategic partner opened doors Maxwell hadn’t anticipated. “Algolia knew that NeuralSearch would be a good fit for us. They reached out to us with the proposal to beta. It’s not an opportunity we would have known about otherwise.” Not only were the results incredibly impressive, but the learnings were also made easy and applicable. “We didn’t have to struggle to pull results: we were kept updated at every step along the way.” 

As Senior Manager, Maxwell must assess the past tactics and keep an eye on present workings while preparing for the future. “E-commerce moves fast. Hindsight tells us what worked, so we pivot our current tactics to adjust for that while planning ahead and future-proofing our strategy.” With Algolia and NeuralSearch on their side, Maxwell’s team is primed to help Everlane promote its vision of environmental and social responsibility.

everlane

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