After reclaiming Sunday mornings, Desmond & Dempsey’s growth surged 250%
Fashion and apparel
Automation, Retail and POS
Reclaiming Sunday mornings. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Luxury pajama brand Desmond & Dempsey set out in 2014 to do exactly that. The founders, Molly Goddard and Joel Jeffery, were in a long-distance relationship between Brisbane and London when they discovered the joy of spending Sundays on Skype together. Two years later, when Goddard moved to London, it became about spending Sundays in bed reading the paper, eating croissants, and being in the coziest and comfiest clothing possible. Identifying a gap in the market—comfortable cotton pajamas that felt luxurious—the pair ventured to reclaim and relish Sundays.
Five years later, you can find Desmond & Dempsey stocked in Net-a-Porter, Matches, Selfridges, Liberty, Bergdorf Goodman, and Le Bon Marché in Paris. Described by its founders as an “experience more than a store,” Desmond & Dempsey is proving itself as more than a retail darling. With Shopify Plus, Desmond & Dempsey has enjoyed:
- 250% year-over-year revenue growth its first year after migration
- A 2x increase in product launches by using Launchpad
- An 11% increase in average order value
- A returning customer rate up 49%
Desmond & Dempsey had experienced quick growth in the U.K., but was looking to take its business to the next level. That meant new markets, new channels, and a better customer experience—all by a small team with limited tech resources.
The team needed a way to automate product launches, activate a unique brand in real life, and continue to create exceptional brand experiences for a devoted customer base. The focus had to be on curating a unique Sunday morning experience for both new and returning customers, which meant rapidly developing new collections, creating content for the brand’s iconic Sunday Paper, and updating the platform design regularly to ensure a seamless user experience.
We didn’t want to worry about all the boring but crucial stuff like uptime. We wanted the tech taken care of so we could focus on our brand, our customers, and the speed at which we bring new and exciting products to market.
Desmond & Dempsey migrated to Shopify Plus in 2018.
Ecommerce automation has been key to streamlining operations and saving time for what matters most: designing beautiful pajamas. Staying true to the company’s love of Sundays, this is the day Desmond & Dempsey launches most of its new products and collections. For the team, that meant homepage changes, publishing new product and collection pages, and a host of other launch activities. On a Sunday, no less.
“Thanks to Launchpad, we can avoid the crack-of-dawn weekend wakeup,” says Jeffery. “With the scheduling functionality, it's so easy to bring products to market, and that speed is very important when we’re launching lots of new collections.”
Jeffery also explained how using Shopify Flow ensures the business targets the right customers for particular product lines. “We don’t want to be promoting our recently launched kids line to non-parents, for example,” he says. “Shopify Flow has helped us automate sophisticated tagging.”
Another key moment was Desmond & Demspey’s 10-day pop-up store in London’s Covent Garden, designed to evoke the sounds, colours, and essence of Morocco. The brand used Shopify POS, which allowed it to process transactions onsite—meeting its customers in real life—without a heavy tech burden.
By and large, Shopify POS allows us to go run a pop up tomorrow and sell physically without additional systems, subscriptions, or barriers.
Desmond & Dempsey’s migration was a springboard for the brand, its revenue growing 250% in its first year on Shopify Plus. Jeffery attributes Desmond & Dempsey’s success primarily to the newfound ease of bringing products to market.
It’s a crucial aspect for a brand that needs to rapidly launch new collections and products. Since implementing Launchpad, Desmond & Dempsey has debuted twice the products it had before migration.
Smarter tagging and customer targeting has proved its worth, too, especially so for bringing shoppers back into the fold and increasing their cart sizes. In 2019, Desmond & Dempsey’s average order value jumped 11%, while its returning customer rate increased 49%.
A streamlined backend means the team can now dedicate its energy to building this brand. Five years ago, Desmond & Dempsey was just an idea for a simple cotton bed shirt. Today, the company sells to over 100 countries online, not to mention wholesale deals with some of the world’s most prestigious retailers. It has a full women’s and men’s collection, recently launched a kids’ collection, and collaborations like those with Gail’s artisan bakery in London has only boosted its relevance.
Desmond & Dempsey is only just getting started. Sundays may never be the same again.
I think the biggest thing is having the confidence that I can do pretty much everything I need to do in one place with Shopify Plus. It helps us focus on the bits of the business that we are best at and enjoy the most.