JackThreads

Buying clothes online is a crapshoot. New York-based JackThreads wants to change that.

The men’s e-tailer has begun beta testing, with about 25 percent of its audience, on the Try Out feature, which lets shoppers fill their digital carts with the clothes that catch their eye and have it shipped free to their homes to try on for a one-week period. After the period ends, customers can select the pieces they want to buy and their credit cards are charged at that point.

“The reality is, buying clothes online for a guy really sucks,” said JackThreads chief executive officer Mark Walker. “One of the last-standing legs of brick-and-mortar is guys enjoy walking into a store, grabbing 10 or 15 things, going into the fitting room and then finding the three or four things he wants.”

Try Out aims to knock that last-standing leg out from brick-and-mortar and JackThreads is confident enough in the feature that it aims to launch it sitewide by as early as late May. This means the ability to actually buy online will be replaced by the Try Out method in an effort to create a consistent message.

“Even if you’re positive that you want a flat-front, 32-inch waist short in gray, why force you to pay for it before you get it just in the off-chance that you find out you’re a 31,” Walker said. “We’re not going to physically charge your card until you have the item in-hand.”

It’s about removing any potential friction along the path to purchase, which explains the free shipping each way and no maximum in the number of items customers are allowed to place in their carts.

“We said if we’re really going to do this and get people to care and, not to sound too arrogant, but to revolutionize the way people buy clothes online, you’ve got to go all in,” Walker said. “You have to take all of those hurdles out. Basically, the way that I’ve approached it is I want to look at a guy and be like, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to try something on?’ And I want them to struggle for a reason.”

JackThreads had previously been part of Thrillist Media Group up until last year when the two split and became separate entities. In October the company launched its namesake line of branded product, totaling just under 400 stock-keeping units, and since that time has pared back on the offerings from other brands focusing on outside lines that complement the JackThreads product.

JackThreads’ customer base is mostly — about 78 percent — Millennial and about 65 percent of transactions are on debit cards, the latter stat of which has allowed management to infer that its customer base is generally cash-strapped and lacking the credit to make big purchases. That’s another reason Walker said the company is confident in the Try Out feature as a selling point to consumers much more mindful of how they’re spending.

Whether it boosts sales remains to be seen. Walker declined to say whether he’s projecting sales growth this year other than to note management, the board and investors are pleased with the company’s direction: “We have been extremely happy with the JackThreads line since it launched in October and how it’s performing as a percentage of the business and our board and investor community is very excited about the JackThreads line and what we’re about to launch.”