Creative Edge Consultants

Modern Citizen’s Tips for Customer Retention (2023)


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The modern consumer is prepared for anything–so their outfits should be too. Jessica Lee and Lizzie Agnew co-founded Modern Citizen in 2014 to bring a fresh, luxurious, look to women’s workwear. 

Leaving her job behind at Gap Inc., Jessica co-created a brand that is considered by Glamour Magazine as, “the next big direct-to-consumer fashion brand”.

Jessica joined the Shopify Masters team in San Francisco to share how she’s taken advantage of early tech adoption in the Bay Area to establish a tight-knit community made up of loyal, returning customers.

A model wearing Minoo dress in white lays on a red striped lounge chair as she props herself up.
The branding and style of Modern Citizen all fall under the category of effortless, versatile, accessible, and most important to its customers, modern. Modern Citizen

Collaborating with other local businesses in your area, not just in your industry 

The co-founders leveraged their Bay Area relationships at some of the larger technology companies in San Francisco in order to create a loyal customer base. They knew tech employees, like them, were craving a new way to dress at and around work.

“We did pop-ins called desk to dinner, where we would go to offices like Google, Facebook, and Sephora, to sell our clothing and get one-on-one feedback directly from customers,” Jessica says.

Reaching out to more established brands to set up pop-ups gave Jessica and her co-founder the opportunity to spread brand awareness, but more importantly to hear directly from those first customers what they liked and what they wanted. This kept their original customers coming back for more and encouraged them to spread the word as well.

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Creating consistent and transparent content throughout all channels 

On top of their regular marketing campaigns, the team at Modern Citizen has created a section called “Moments” on their website, where they publish monthly editors’ letters, insights on seasonal highlights, and behind the scenes elements from their collections. They feature a glimpse into their process and vision, as well as their community, as a way to deepen their customers’ connection to the brand. 

“Fashion is inherently personal, so people are able to connect personally to our brand because [they] can recognize the amount of effort and thoughtfulness that went into developing the brand and what it stands for,” Jessica says. 

Jessica recommends creating content around your design and branding processes because it opens a window into your company, and allows people to fully understand the ethos behind the business. 

A model wearing the Sonika dress in emerald leans up against a tree, with a hat and sunglasses on.
Modern Citizen designs clothing with an intention of elevating your style, no matter where you’re headed. Modern Citizen

Sparking conversation with your customers 

Conducting customer surveys is one of the best ways to open up a dialogue between you and your customers and receive high quality feedback that can improve your brand. 

“We ask customers anywhere between 40-50 questions and a lot of free responses for [them] to give us feedback about their experience with us, and that covers everything from how they’re feeling about the macro economic environment and shopping in general, to what they want from us, or what they expect from us,” Jessica says.

The survey, Jessica says, is incredibly helpful for the planning team at Modern Citizen and something the whole company looks forward to annually. 

Asking your customer base about your brand and your creative content will ensure you are always engaging with your clientele and meeting their needs.

A model stands in front of an orange door wearing a Neha top in white, and Paula pants in black.
The pieces Modern Citizen designs are often perfect for going from day to night, or from a business meeting to drinks or dinner with friends. Modern Citizen

By selecting collaborations with like minded partners, and creating content that opens up a dialogue with your customers beyond just trying to sell a product, you’ll be able to increase your customer loyalty over time.

Tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode to uncover more of Modern Citizen’s customer loyalty strategies and learn how you can retain customers for even longer.


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