rue21 Gets Sales and Satisfaction Bump with a Data-Driven, Omnichannel CX Strategy

New rue21, LLC (rue21), is a fast-fashion growth retailer with over 600 stores as of January 2021 in shopping malls, outlets, and other retail centers.

woman holding an ipad inside a store

About rue21

New rue21, LLC (rue21), is a fast-fashion growth retailer with over 600 stores as of January 2021 in shopping malls, outlets, and other retail centers. The brand has experienced dramatic growth over the years, propelling the retailer to a top destination for on-trend fashion apparel and accessories at a great value.

Over the last few years, rue21 has worked to evolve its offerings to better serve customers. To support these efforts, the retailer has embarked on a data-driven strategy to gather customer feedback from across the consumer journey to promote a greater understanding of how to improve customer experiences.



In 2019, rue21 modernized its store designs to give customers a new and inspiring in-store experience. Voice of Customer (VOC) feedback was vital in helping the internal customer experience (CX) team identify issues that were causing lower Net Promoter Score (NPS) ratings. This data also guided how the team implemented changes, such as improving customer greetings and communication of in-store promotions; delivering a more consultative fitting room experience; and ratcheting up the speed of the cash-wrap process.

Once rue21 saw the big wins stemming from these changes, it zeroed in on delivering CX improvements in two key omnichannel retail areas: its Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) fulfillment model and the brand’s plus-size fashion line. The organization set out to obtain the data needed to guide the necessary changes.

woman handing a customer shopping bag to a customer


rue21 deployed Verint® Experience Management™ to measure store, digital, fulfillment, and BOPIS experiences. Verint Experience Management enables listening across virtually all digital and non-digital channels (mobile, web, social, email, voice, SMS, and others); engagement posts (opt-in, triggered digital, post-interaction survey, lifecycle survey, and telephone calls); and data types (structured, unstructured, direct, and indirect).

The Verint solution has enabled the retailer to align its VOC insights to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the customer journey. One element of the solution, Verint Predictive Experience™, was particularly helpful to the rue21 CX team. With it, the team can effectively translate feedback into specific actions that lead to the greatest measurable business impact.

Two women outside talking


Following the launch of its BOPIS offering, rue21 quickly realized it faced some significant challenges. As BOPIS consistently received the lowest NPS among customer touchpoints, the retailer was eager to collect and act on customer feedback to improve how customers experienced this important fulfillment option.

Using Verint Experience Management, rue21 was able to gain insight into various issues. Low order-volume and CX inconsistencies abounded. Customers reported that associates didn’t seem well trained in the process. Often, associates cancelled BOPIS orders because they couldn’t look for and find items due to technical inventory problems.

This feedback provided a roadmap for rue21 to get its BOPIS effort back on track. First, rue21 expanded order-fill time from one to two hours. Interestingly, customers didn’t mind the longer timeframe provided the in-store pickup process was fast. Another important move rue21 made was offering associates half-off their own BOPIS orders, which helped promote greater understanding of the experience from a customer’s perspective.

A comprehensive retraining for BOPIS was deployed to stores. Simultaneously, signage was reevaluated and simplified. Improved inventory management and revamped customer communications rounded out the key changes, all of which contributed to an increase in overall sales and a 17-point rise in NPS. In addition, rue21 saw a 72 percent uptick in BOPIS orders month-over-month after the changes took effect.

Access to and analysis of VOC data also led to significant changes in the retailer’s strategy around its rue+ collection. rue21’s plus-size customers are among its most loyal and valuable shoppers. However, customer feedback indicated there was room for improvement. Customers were requesting more rue+ inventory in more stores, as well as specific styles of desired clothing.

Woman holding a tablet and making an inventory in clothes store

In concert with this invaluable customer feedback and additional analyses and research, the retailer has made rue+ a companywide priority. Changes included an expanded online rue+ product selection, expanded in-store inventory, and more stores now offering the rue+ collection. Marketing and user experience changes have helped boost CX too. For example, rue+ girls is now prominently featured on the homepage, in social media, and in store window signage, while enhanced site navigation has made it easier for girls to shop the rue+ collection. rue21 continues to make enhancements to ensure the brand is aligned with its mission of inclusivity.

rue21’s key executives meet monthly to review a summary of customer feedback to drive CX changes. With Verint Experience Management, rue21 now has a modern, cross-functional view of customer interactions and experiences across the consumer journey and insights to guide priority actions for continuous CX improvements.

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