Online Retail

How This Online Lingerie Shop Is Letting Customers Try Before They Buy

How This Online Lingerie Shop Is Letting Customers Try Before They Buy
Image credit: photographs courtesy of True & co.
This story appears in the May 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

True & Co. has thrived as an online-only lingerie company, but it had a hard-to-shake handicap: Many women want to try on a bra before they buy. The company didn’t want to bog itself down with brick-and-mortar stores, so it launched the Try-On Truck, currently fitting women on a coast-to-coast tour. “This is not a marketing campaign for us but a full retail experience with revenue goals and sales targets,” says CEO Michelle Lam. Customers make an appointment and fill out a questionnaire, so that when they arrive, a “fit therapist” is waiting with a personalized selection of products. And it works: The average order on the truck is much higher than it is online. Here’s how the shop rolls. 

1. The shop’s first roof was made of heavy wood, and it leaked. The architect redesigned it using movable, 20-pound panels made out of Sunbrella fabric. 

2. On the street-facing side of the truck, a checkerboard-like series of wall tiles lets in natural light, and gives passersby a tantalizing peek into the store and its products.

3. The truck is for custom fittings, not customer browsing, so all product is stored in a cascade of trays. “We designed a way for our bras to be easily accessed by our fit therapists in the middle of an appointment,” Lam says.

4. Two fitting rooms on each side are lit with four sets of LED bulbs, to provide a more natural (and flattering) light.

5. The shop is built on a 24-foot trailer, and can change based on customer flow: The center converts from a two-bench seating area to a two-counter checkout area, or a combo of each.

Edition: December 2016

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