Image of Foc Patrick Herning All Customers Get Seat At Table

Future of Commerce

All Customers Finally Get a Seat at the Table

Patrick Herning, Co-Founder and CEO, 11 Honoré

In retail, giving your customers what they want has never been easier. We have incredible technology that lets shoppers connect with merchants directly, and maintain an ongoing dialogue. From this incredible technology, we have an abundance of data telling us who our customers are, and what they want to buy.

The good news is that retailers can now provide service that exceeds customer expectations every step of the way. The bad news: there’s very few excuses for providing something less than outstanding, personalized service. If you don’t, someone else will.

11 Honoré is a great example of how data can completely change the game. People told us many times that the customer we were seeking didn't exist: “Women of a certain size don’t want to invest in luxury clothing,” we were told. "You're not going to be able to find your customer." But we refused to believe it.

We had the public data to back up our confidence that our customer – the confident, fashion-forward woman wearing a size ten or above – not only existed, but was underserved in the market. We recognized that the average woman in the U.S. is a size 16, and that two-thirds of women are a size 14 or higher. With data like that, how can you deny she’s out there?

We are changing the high-end fashion conversation to be more inclusive, elevated, and thoughtful.

Sixty-eight percent of women fall into this category. That’s a tremendous opportunity. Our goal has always been to disrupt the way fashion approaches this woman and provide her with the most diverse and stylish options that haven’t been formally available in the past.

We understood that if we built a platform and worked with designers to create the product, we could give our customer access to the fashion of her dreams. We are changing the high-end fashion conversation to be more inclusive, elevated, and thoughtful. We’re building a new community for our customer where she is celebrated. And that market turns out to be worth more than $20 billion.

There’s no room for complicated eCommerce in the current market.

To reverse-engineer the fashion industry, we’re using data. We didn’t invent the Plus conversation, but we are pioneering a movement to address this long-overlooked market, providing a product that’s never existed before. With this data we could collaborate with like-minded partners who are also committed to delivering great customer experiences. That means sharing data, constant communication, and high-touch customer care. No transaction goes unexamined.

The more we know about our customer, the more we can support her buying patterns, the more we can educate her about how each brand will meet her needs, and the better her shopping experience is going to be. In short, we want to exceed her expectations every time.

For any retailer, ourselves included, it’s about connecting with your customers on specific products, helping her find the right size she needs, and letting her know how easy it is to return items that didn’t work out. This must be a comfortable and convenient experience for her—and for all shoppers. There’s no room for complicated eCommerce in the current market.

When everything is shifting and changing—as it is today—is when the most opportunity presents itself.

Some people think it must be daunting to launch a new market in an industry that’s going through massive disruption. Challenging the status quo is much more difficult when a market is running smoothly. When everything is shifting and changing—as it is today—is when the most opportunity presents itself. Everybody's trying to figure it all out, which means there are no more rules. We saw an opportunity to change the conversation: We believe that every woman deserves access to great fashion and an extraordinary shopping experience, and we are 100% committed to disrupt the industry approach. You get to rewrite the vocabulary around the customer, especially in the digital channel.

Exactly how that customer conversation evolves isn’t entirely clear. But we do know that we need to meet our customer wherever she is, and she is literally everywhere. So we engage to meet her through eCommerce and digital as well as brick and mortar. That doesn't necessarily mean we’ll have a permanent spot on Rodeo Drive with a build out. But wherever real life takes her, we’re confident that she will let us know. And we’ll be listening.

Tell Us More

Succeeding in retail:
What’s one piece of advice you’d give that you’d actually follow?
Be customer-obsessed and data-obsessed.

Online shopping:

What’s a product that you now buy online but thought you never would?


A little about you:

You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What color are you?

I’d be a pen.

Image of Patrickherning

Patrick Herning

Co-Founder and CEO | 11 Honoré

Patrick Herning is the co-founder and CEO of 11 Honoré, the first size-inclusive shopping site to offer women’s luxury fashion straight from the runway. His impressive background spans business development during the initial tech boom of Silicon Valley to the management of events for fashion, lifestyle, and philanthropic clients and projects, as well as leading major marketing initiatives throughout the country. As the CEO of 11 Honoré, Patrick is the driving force in the site’s growth and expansion. Together with his co-founder Kathryn Retzer the platform has gone from concept to consumer in under one year.