How PinkBlush reimagined the status quo to drive growth

The online retailer doubled down on the customer experience and sense of community to drive growth amid the pandemic.

For online retailer PinkBlush, the pandemic hit right as the company was seeing double-digit growth and making plans to expand. Since its 2005 launch in a garage in Southern California, growth has been a part of this business’s story, said PinkBlush Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Wong. 

PinkBlush, a brand that focuses on trendy and affordable maternity clothes, grew quickly because of the care put into and the quality of the company’s curated and well-designed clothing collections. That garage operation moved into an office, and then that office led to a bigger office as the company kept outgrowing its current space. 

By 2020, the company was ready to take on the next frontier. PinkBlush made dramatic changes to its online experience to increase market share and to continue to optimize the customer journey throughout the site. Then came the disruption of COVID-19. “We went from expansion to survival mode,” said Nick. “We were bracing for the worst, and we ran as bare-bones as we could.”

Adjusting to disruption

As an online-only retailer, PinkBlush was well positioned for the massive shift to e-commerce caused by the pandemic. The company already had the infrastructure in place to manage orders, distribution and shipping. But the business still faced immense shock and had to solve new challenges quickly.

“We had to completely rethink all of our budgets and projections,” said Nick. “We threw the status quo out the window, and now we’re really seeing things in a different light.”

He added that the team grew more efficient as they questioned everything from business processes to how they interacted with customers. It was a difficult stretch, said Nick, but the team demonstrated incredible resilience that resulted in retail sales rebounding.

“The pandemic taught us to be agile, to adapt to the current situation and also to sympathize,” he said. “And we stuck to the root of things—to our mission of making a difference and doing our part to support our customers.”

That customer-centric approach has been key to PinkBlush’s success since its founding. “Our customers are not just dollar signs,” said Nick. 

In fact, it’s part of the company’s mission to provide a supportive, caring community for customers: moms navigating life before, during and after pregnancy. 

Counting on corporate card

Nick shared how his team has taken advantage of a Capital One payables solution to support PinkBlush’s growth since 2017. Virtual Card Relay helps streamline vendor payments and tracks them in real time. “Our organization is lean, and we’re able to do a lot because of the product,” Nick said.

Virtual Card Relay, Capital One’s commercial electronic accounts payable solution, enables businesses to save time and money while earning market-leading rewards on vendor payments. 

Not only is the product a key part of PinkBlush’s operations, but Nick cited the team’s relationship with Capital One as a critical piece of the puzzle, too. “They’ve helped us get to where we are today by creating programs that helped us grow and with the way the credit works,” Nick explained. “And anytime we’ve had a question, we know that Capital One will work with us to resolve the issue.”

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