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3 Reasons Why ‘Try-Before-You-Buy’ is Gaining Popularity

Try Before You Buy

Don’t tell your potential customers why you’re so great — show them.

Two of the things I love most are online shopping and being able to see. So when I saw that the company Warby Parker would send me a few pairs of glasses to try on for free, I knew I had to shop there.

My dilemma was this: My glasses broke, and I needed new ones pronto. I just didn’t want to go through the hassle of scheduling an eye doctor appointment and eating into my paid time off at work only to have a handful of options to choose from.

Instead, I chose five pairs of glasses from Warby Parker’s selection and had them shipped to my house within a few days. I found a pair I loved, sent them back with the easy-to-read instructions they sent me, then ordered my new glasses with my prescription that night.

I had the luxury of actually seeing what they would look like on me without the hassle. It was so convenient for me, I was willing to pay a little extra for the glasses than I probably would have paid had I bought them from my eye doctor’s selection.

Glasses companies aren’t the only ones doing this. Stitch Fix is a popular service that sends you personalized outfits that you can buy or send back. And car companies have long been practicing try-before-you-buy — there’s a reason that car salespeople are adamant about you taking your potential new ride for a test drive.

The reason is customers love it. Here’s why it often creates such a positive customer experience, especially online, and why you may want to implement it.

It can be more convenient

Depending on your industry, try-before-you-buy can replace a customer’s trip to your store or location. You might think that keeping people out of your establishment might hurt their customer service experience, but the opposite can be true.

Some people have a preference, like me shopping for glasses, to try things on without having a salesperson hovering over me or pressuring me to make a decision. And I didn’t have to shift my schedule around or make any type of accommodations, either.

And I’m clearly not the only person who feels this way. The buy-now-pay-later app Klarna conducted a study in 2018 that found that try-before-you-buy was consumers’ favorite way of shopping online.

It eliminates buyer’s remorse

Almost three-quarters of online shoppers experience buyers’ remorse, according to a ValuePenguin report. If you receive something from a company that fell well below your expectations, you’re probably excited to go back.

Try-before-you-buy eliminates this problem. You can give customers a taste of exactly what they’ll get and let them decide for themselves whether it’s the right fit for them. Sometimes the answer is no, but at least you haven’t let them down after they’ve paid.

And when the answer is yes, you’ve built trust with them — and they’re probably more likely to recommend you.

It has more potential for personalization

Stitch Fix, the company that sends you clothes you can try before you buy, isn’t just unique for that aspect. The selection it sends you is based on your answers from the quiz you take to tell Stitch Fix what your taste is.

So every time you receive a package, it’s specifically tailored to you. The company Birchbox does essentially the same thing with skincare products, sending you samples of what you might like so you can buy the full sizes later.

If these two companies operated like normal brick-and-mortars, they’d have less of a chance to customize their products and make it a personalized customer experience. But because they have a try-before-you-buy setup, they can use that as an opportunity to provide a higher quality experience.