Tamara Mellon is making luxury more accessible with Affirm

Tamara Mellon redefines luxury, offering high-end shoes that are designed for women, by women.

With a direct-to-consumer model, Tamara Mellon shoes are made with the best quality at half the retail price of their competitors by eliminating the retail distribution change and markup. This also means they get their product to market faster.

Tamara Mellon’s brand is rooted in a desire to make luxury more inclusive. Now, the brand is partnering with Affirm to offer customers a way to pay over time, helping even more women access beautiful shoes that strain neither their feet nor bank accounts.

Expanding accessibility with a values-driven partner

In Tamara Mellon’s own words, she started her company “to revolutionize old-school luxury.” A large part of that is the notion that luxury items shouldn’t be limited to any one consumer group.

By cutting out the middleman and selling shoes directly to women, Tamara Mellon has already made a substantial dent on the luxury shoes’ cost. A product that might sell for $1,000 at another luxury shoe brand can cost around $500 at Tamara Mellon—without any difference in quality.

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Still, for many consumers, a shoe purchase at this price point can pose a significant financial obstacle. Tamara Mellon saw the potential of a pay-over-time option to make their products more accessible to as many women as possible.

With Affirm, customers can pay in manageable monthly installments, choosing a flexible payment plan to meet their unique budget needs. Affirm never charges compounding interest or surprise fees, eliminating any uncertainty or fear of spiraling into debt.

For Tamara Mellon, Affirm’s honesty and transparency was a huge draw. As a values-driven company in the competitive fashion industry, ensuring all partnerships are on-brand is a must.

“Affirm is honest and clear about their rates, and that was a huge decision maker for us,” said Mellon. “I always try to be transparent about how I run my business, and our values align there.”

After a site integration that the company described as seamless, Affirm’s payment options became available to all Tamara Mellon shoppers.

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Credit: tamaramellon.com

Modern credit drives up AOV and CTR, drives down returns

It didn’t take long for Tamara Mellon to notice the clear advantages Affirm was bringing their business. Customers can more easily afford to pair their pumps purchase with the boots they’d been eyeing— resulting in a large AOV lift for Tamara Mellon.

Another key advantage has been a decreased return rate: customers who buy with Affirm are returning their shoe purchases 13 percent less often. The company says this statistic in itself has been a game-changer, as handling returns is costly and burdensome.

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On the other hand, Tamara Mellon’s repeat purchase rate— the percentage of customers coming back to make a second purchase— has shot up with Affirm. The company has seen a 16 percent repeat purchase rate since launching Affirm, exceeding their typical three-month rate.

Overall, Affirm has also comprised 11 percent of total orders since launch. The payment option has been a powerful customer acquisition tool, attracting shoppers who, in the absence of a pay over time option, may not have been able to buy with Tamara Mellon at all.

Given the positive customer reaction, Tamara Mellon has begun leveraging Affirm’s appeal as a marketing tool. An email campaign broadcasting the option to pay over time generated a notable spike in click-through and open rates.

By offering Affirm, Tamara Mellon is successfully making the best quality shoes from Italian factories more inclusive. Says Mellon, “Whether it’s a young woman starting her career and needs a great pair of shoes for job interviews, someone going to a special event, or a woman who wants a new pair just because, I want all women to have access to my shoes."