Try.com wants to make money on a free fitting clothes
A few days ago at Product Hunt, a new Try.com service was announced , and I want to talk about it. This post is an attempt to systematize official information about the project and data from disparate sources, which, I hope, will help you quickly understand its essence and business model.
Try.com's main value proposition is a free trial of products from online stores. At the moment, the service works only in the USA and only with shops from the fashion segment. According to the developers themselves, it was decided to move from stores in the upper price segment to cheaper ones.
I consider it important to disclose that I have no relation to this service. The article pursues a purely research goal, namely, the collection of information to launch your own project in an identical niche.
The goal of the service is to increase the average check in stores, as it is expected that buyers will think less about adding goods to the order if it is known that they will not have to pay immediately. Returning goods using the remote trading method is not something new and unusual. The refusal process is well described in consumer protection laws in most developed countries: the United States is no exception. Nevertheless, customers perceive sending unsuitable goods back to the store as a time-consuming and unpleasant procedure.
It should be noted that all popular stores in the United States are trying their best to simplify the lives of their customers and have long been putting a postage stamp in the box with the goods to arrange for a free return of things. This approach solves the problem only partially. The client can return the goods, but he will not receive the money back immediately. In addition, consumers have developed a very persistent negative attitude towards the above process, largely due to past negative experiences.
If you dig a little deeper, then Try.com plays on the psychological aspect of the purchase.
The psychological perception of the possibility of trying something for free without risk and obligation is something intangible, something inexplicable in words. But it is worth experiencing it yourself, as everything becomes clear.
In fact, Try.com finances the purchase instead of the customer, waits for a decision on each item that the customer wants to leave or return, and only then removes the required amount from his card. Settlements with the store are made without the participation of the buyer. It is significant that the service itself is not involved in the delivery of goods or their return. This task falls entirely on the shoulders of the store and is carried out by its standard means. That is why Try.com now works only with stores that offer free shipping and returns. By the way, there are not many such people, even in the USA.
The obvious way to monetize the service is to use affiliate links, which the founders themselves confirm and say that this is the only method used so far.
You can guess about other methods of monetization, for example, a project can receive from stores 2–3% discount on an order, as this amount will be saved on fees for processing card payments. There are many other options - among them, sales of data on “reliable” customers can be traced, which is indirectly confirmed by a comment by one of the creators. Answering a user’s question on Product Hunt, he said that based on the statistics of purchases and buybacks, each user receives a rating that affects the functions provided. Which ones, he did not say, but the most obvious are:
- The number of things that you can "try on." New users get the opportunity to try no more than 5 things in the order.
- Allowed total order amount.
He also added that the customer’s reliability rating becomes all the more relevant, the higher the cost of goods sent.
NB. In Russia, the problem of sending goods by COD has been very acute for several years. With the growing popularity of online commerce, the number of scammers is proportionally growing.
Apparently, the project plans to focus specifically on the customer confidence rating, at least this follows from the CEO’s comment:
A traditional model of e-commerce was created for a world in which there was no concept of trust and there was no data that could replace this trust. Now the amount of openly available information and advances in fraud prevention methods can provide all the necessary information to create a customer reliability profile.
Try.com's idea seems slim, but a reasonable question arises. If the stores themselves already know how to successfully accept payments, deliver and process returns, what is the benefit for them of working with the service? It turns out that it does not bring any additional value?
At first glance, this may seem so, although, in fact, according to the founders, the service increases the average bill and net revenue. After all, it encourages buyers to try more products than they would agree to pay for them on their own if necessary. The store receives money, which means that revenue is growing. One of the main problems of retailers is that buyers click on the Buy button, add products to the basket, but never complete the purchase process. Try.com is designed to eliminate customer doubts when placing an order, because they do not lose anything.
In the process of testing, an interesting fact was found out. If you postpone the moment of payment (for example, when the goods are already at the buyer’s house), the probability of purchase is much higher. This is understandable, because the client can touch and feel the goods. For goods in which he was not sure, the same mechanics work. Try.com increases the chances that they will be left.
The co-founder of the project Arush Segal identified two key problems that stores have already encountered, who tried to independently provide the free fitting service:
- The motivation for "honest behavior" among customers and the sending of goods to those who are more likely to not return them.
- Automation and implementation of the money back function in existing e-commerce platforms.
Try.com seems to solve all these problems. But what does the project look like from the perspective of a regular user?
First you need to go through a quick registration, during which you will need to enter your email, mobile phone, one or more delivery addresses and credit card information. Let me remind you that the service works so far only in the United States. Next, you need to install applications for Google Chrome. Other browsers are not yet supported.
The application adds a Try for free button (Eng. Try It Free) to all product cards in supported online stores . At first, it may seem that this button conflicts with the standard “Buy now” .but according to Arush, the Try.com button actually helps sellers. He says that each company has different goals, but the main metrics in the online retailer are conversion, new customers and gross revenue. Nevertheless, he considers the simplification of online purchases for the average user to be the most important goal.
At first there was no free delivery, now it is a common occurrence. There was a time when returning unsuitable merchandise was a headache; Zappos was the first to simplify the process. Now it's time to simplify purchases through free fitting and make online shopping as similar as possible to shopping in ordinary shopping centers, which will make it as accessible as possible for a wide audience. An interesting feature of the application is that you can choose more than one size of your favorite product.
It's time to ask how much Try.com services cost. They are free. The key idea of the service is to give more than the user expects, and not to ask for money for it. To raise the expectations of the average buyer to a new level, yet unattainable for most online stores.
It’s interesting that the story of how Try.com is interesting in itself and deserves a separate article, as it shows the startup development path from the first customers through the stage of selecting key functions to, in fact, degenerating into a completely new product with a different positioning. The BRANDiD metamorphosis at Try.com is very interesting. If readers of Magamoz will be interested, I will collect material and prepare an article.