While the growth of “buy now, pay later” payment services reflect a consumer demand for greater flexibility, there’s been a gap between the ability to try a product before purchase and the convenience of buying online.
But with the launch of new solution, TryNow, online brands will now be able to offer shoppers the chance to try their items at home — for free — before they complete their purchase.
“Many brands already benefit from try now, buy later solutions — think about test driving a car, listening to a preview of a song in iTunes, or sampling food at Costco — but this experience has never been replicated in a digital environment until now,” said Benjamin Davis, founder and chief executive officer of TryNow. “Naturally, apparel brands, where fit and style constantly come into question, are reaping the benefits.”
With TryNow, consumers can trigger the shipping of their products for a free test period when they arrive at online checkout. They are not charged for their items, although their payment information is taken so that they can easily pay for the goods they choose to keep. This enables shoppers to take a risk on items they are unsure about, try these new styles at home, and then decide which they want to buy.
For brands and retailers, this mimics the in-store try-on experience but in an accessible format for digital channels. While shoppers enjoy the ease of online shopping, fashion brands have repeatedly struggled to offer the same experience of sampling product as can be achieved in physical stores; TryNow reports that average e-commerce conversion rates hover around 3 percent, due to many shoppers being more conservative with their orders.
When consumers have the ability to try before they buy, there is an increased sense of confidence in their purchase, which directly impacts the bottom line. TryNow reports that its merchants see an increase of 63 percent in average order value, 22 percent in conversion rates and 76 percent in return on ad spend.
“We’re taking the risk out of the transaction,” Davis said. “Spending upward of $500 to simply gauge whether or not you like something can — naturally — raise some eyebrows and create hesitancy. TryNow is allowing customers to buy as much — or as little — of a product as they want without paying a cent until they decide what they’d like to keep.”
Brands who utilize this kind of solution may have to account for greater volumes of returns, which may, in turn, require an overhaul of their reverse logistics process; with the ability to test items for free, some shoppers might take advantage and order far more than they intend to keep. But Davis believes that these costs will be offset by the overall revenue increases associated with a more confident consumer and by the decrease in customer acquisition costs — a good shopping experience has been shown to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn.
There is also the question of fraud. Some shoppers may aim to cheat the system, by acquiring items that they intend to keep but never pay for. However, TryNow assumes this risk on behalf of the merchant and provides a proprietary fraud management suite. When a consumer makes an order, TryNow takes responsibility for all inventory risk and so the merchant is guaranteed payment for any item that is not returned. Customers are also charged for any item that is not returned by a predetermined date, using the saved payment information from checkout.
Currently, the software platform has partnered with Shopify Plus and is available for use by any of those merchants, across any industry and product category that might benefit from try now, buy later. Davis is confident that this is a service offering that will prove popular even when customers can return to stores nationwide and try product in person, in-store.
“Consumers have grown accustomed to the ease and accessibility of online shopping, and while some may crave the experience of going into a store, TryNow is bridging the gap to provide the best of both worlds,” Davis said. “I believe that even when it’s safe to shop in-store again, a vast majority of shoppers will still opt for their favorite brands’ online presence, if only for the sake of convenience.”