Nick Pendle, Kuba Wieczorek and Felix Lobkowicz from eve Sleep tell the story of their business and how Close Brothers helped it flourish.
Nick Pendle, Director of ATL Marketing & CRO, eve Sleep
Kuba Wieczorek, CMO & Co-founder, eve Sleep
Felix Lobkowicz, COO, eve Sleep
Kuba: We founded eve mid-February, Valentine’s Day in fact 2015, so we’re two years old. eve is a sleep company, so what we mean by that is that we sell predominantly mattress, one mattress and we’ve started to release the consumer ancillary sleep products so, a pillow, a duvet, set of sheets, protector and we’ve just recently launched a topper.
Nick: We’ve gone from about ten people in a basement to 80 people across two offices. It’s been a hell of a ride so far – it’s been a rocketship, that’s probably the best way to describe it.
Felix: I joined eve about two months in, super small team still, just in the UK and I think after that not one week was the same. When your business almost doubles week-on-week, it’s quite a surprise.
Kuba: When I looked at the market place and I looked at what everyone else in the sleep category was doing, everyone was talking about sleep and dreams and “night night”, you know the clues in a lot of the names Silent Night, Dreams etcetera. No one is behaving like a health brand or like an energy brand or like a positivity brand. Everyone was telling you to go to sleep whereas I thought well hang-on lets tell people to wake-up.
Felix: We considered starting with financing back in 2015, we realised the mattress is a high value item you’ve got to spend a lot of money on it and we realised that there is a range of potential customers that currently feel reluctant to spend that money to upgrade their old product. We then started actually working with Close Brothers and I think the main reason that we picked them is that they were so pragmatic and fast in the implementation phase.
Nick: For us, adding 0% finance was a fantastic addition to the payment methods because it really opened up the offer to a whole new section of our customer base and it feeds into a lot of the areas, even our brand is all about giving people the perfect start, and by adding a 0% financing offer we were able offer that perfect start to a much larger segment of our customer base but do it in a way where there was still no catch. The fact that Close Brothers has such a good reputation for working with customers and not having catches in the process was really important.
Kuba: I think having that offer so early in our life cycle as a business was really important to us, that we were able to offer that 0%, as Nick brilliantly said we are about the perfect start and giving the consumers the opportunity to have that perfect start with a 0% deal so early in our life cycle was just so important.
Nick: Optimizing is a huge part of what we do in every team in the business and we think of payment options as somewhere we can optimize as well as somewhere like marketing, so being able to work with your financing partner, get feedback on who your customer is, get feedback on how that changes month on month and connect that to other areas of the business such as your marketing teams to really understand the whole picture, is crucial.
Felix: Once you offer financing to a customer, you lead them down that path in the shopping experience and so obviously if he gets turned down he’s kind of disappointed and everything else so I think a big part of offering finance is also finding out what type of customers get turned down, for what kind of reasons so one can work on improving that so yes, if you have partner like Close Brothers that share data with you that’s very helpful.
Nick: They’ve actually worked with us to build a bespoke solution which when the customer leaves the eve website and goes to the Close Brothers website for their loan approval we’ve got our branding on there, we feels it’s a customer flow which matches what they’ve had earlier in the experience. Not only is that really important for things like conversion rate and average order value but it’s also important to us because the brand is essential to everything we do, if they have a great experience up until they leave our website and then have a terrible experience that obviously impacts on us in terms of our brand as well as all our other metrics so, that’s been hugely useful and I know our technical teams have been working very closely with Close Brothers technical teams. It’s not necessarily what you’d expect from a financing provider, certainly not a much larger one, but it’s been central to us being able to improve our conversion rate and give customers the experience we really want them to have.
Kuba: It’s the triangle of Close Brothers, brand team, tech team – which is really important.
Nick: Good addition man, the triangle.
Kuba: Hashtag nailed!
Nick: Please don’t get that on camera.