How annoying is it to buy a piece of clothing online, not like the way it fits, and then go through the hassle of sending it back? And often you have to pay extra shipping fees out of your own pocket. This isn’t the ideal situation for loyal customers, and that’s why Amazon’s “try before you buy” program can help retailers to establish a better relationship with their customers.
This special program from Amazon lets its Prime members choose three or more items across clothing, shoes, and accessories to try on at home for 7 days before returning what they don’t want, and only being charged for the items they keep. For retailers who sell through Amazon, they will not get the money until after the customer has been charged for the items they choose to keep.
Amazon also provides Prime customers with a pre-paid return label for easy shipping returns. Currently, all of the items eligible for Prime Wardrobe are sold and shipped by Amazon.com, but Amazon says they have plans to expand the offers with new collections.
This might be a good bandwagon to hitch on to for ecommerce companies. Not only will your customers be happy and completely satisfied with what they buy, but it will also prompt them to come back for more because they know if they don’t like something, they can return it without any hassle.
Plenty of other online retailers have figured out the benefits of this “try before you buy” program. Warby Parker (www.warbyparker.com) lets you select up to five frames to test out for five days. At the end, you can purchase the one you like best and return the other frames while they ship you a fresh new pair of your favorite.
Thirdlove (www.thirdlove.com) also lets you pick out a bra and just pay for the shipping. You can wear it for 30 days and if you don’t like it, you can return it for free or pay for the bra and keep it. All returns are then donated to their Bras for All program, where they give them to women in need.
Amazon, Warby Parker, and Thirdlove all have a few things in common: they let customers choose exactly what they want, they have the opportunity to try the item on before finalizing the sale without having to come in store, and the returns are free and easy. This could work very well for indie retailers who offer subscription packages, and it will entice more customers to sign up if they know the process is painless.
A recent study from Think With Google evaluated how customers look at product reviews to learn more about something before purchasing it. In the past year, 40% of YouTube users turned to the platform to learn more about a product before they bought it, according to the study. People are drawn to the reality of a product in ways that words and pictures can’t convey.
“Since many users aren’t going to be able to physically touch a product before they buy it, brands need to come up with creative ways to help people ‘experience’ it online. Think of ways to bring your product to life online so it stands out,” said Matt Anderson, Video Marketing at Google, in the article.
Even though physical retail stores are still the preferred shopping method for most consumers, nobody can deny the ease and convenience of online shopping. For those who already have subscription packages available to their customers, this can be an added bonus to not only get more people to sign up, but also to keep your current subscribers renewing their membership.