Executive Briefings

Apparel E-Tailer Lets You Try on Clothes Before Paying for Them

When you're in a changing room, if you're lucky there's a clerk nearby who'll grab another size for you if an item doesn't fit - while you stand waiting in your underwear, of course.

But when you buy something over the internet, it's just you alone in your underwear after you've opened the package. If the item doesn't fit, the e-tailer may have been kind enough to include a return shipping label, but you've already been charged for the item and might have to wait a while to get your refund.

Menswear e-commerce company Jack Threads asked in a brainstorming meeting at the beginning of the year what was wrong with the online shopping experience and how could they make it better. The main issue, they realized, was getting charged for something before you've had the chance to see if you like the way it feels and fits. "When you think about it," says McIntyre, "it's just a model that we've gotten used to because it's always been that way."

Within a few months the company began beta testing for a new program called "try-outs," which it unveiled to about a quarter of its customers. Early results were very promising, and a month later Jack Threads went public with the new program on its website and mobile app.

Try-outs is quite simple. No, you don't get to wear the clothes for a week and see if you get a lot of compliments. Jack Threads just simply puts off the billing process until you've had the chance to make sure you really like an item. Although it takes a credit card to place an order and have it shipped, the card isn't charged until the end of a seven-day period. If, by day six, the customer hasn't interacted with the company via the website or app, Jack Threads sends a friendly reminder. Once the customer verifies which items will be kept and which will be returned, his credit card is charged.

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But when you buy something over the internet, it's just you alone in your underwear after you've opened the package. If the item doesn't fit, the e-tailer may have been kind enough to include a return shipping label, but you've already been charged for the item and might have to wait a while to get your refund.

Menswear e-commerce company Jack Threads asked in a brainstorming meeting at the beginning of the year what was wrong with the online shopping experience and how could they make it better. The main issue, they realized, was getting charged for something before you've had the chance to see if you like the way it feels and fits. "When you think about it," says McIntyre, "it's just a model that we've gotten used to because it's always been that way."

Within a few months the company began beta testing for a new program called "try-outs," which it unveiled to about a quarter of its customers. Early results were very promising, and a month later Jack Threads went public with the new program on its website and mobile app.

Try-outs is quite simple. No, you don't get to wear the clothes for a week and see if you get a lot of compliments. Jack Threads just simply puts off the billing process until you've had the chance to make sure you really like an item. Although it takes a credit card to place an order and have it shipped, the card isn't charged until the end of a seven-day period. If, by day six, the customer hasn't interacted with the company via the website or app, Jack Threads sends a friendly reminder. Once the customer verifies which items will be kept and which will be returned, his credit card is charged.

Read Full Article