As e-commerce sites continue to spur the online shopping trend, more and more consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable shopping without ever visiting a physical store. One of the remaining obstacles that has kept customers attached to brick-and-mortar locations is the fact they get to interact with a product before ever making a decision on whether to purchase.
Although this is most common among fashion brands, many e-commerce retailers recognize this as a limitation. However, with the growth of try-before-you-buy online shopping, the opportunity to allow customers to interact with the product before purchase has finally become a reality.
What Is Try-before-Buy Fulfillment?
Try-before-buy fulfillment gives e-commerce customers the chance to try a product before making a final purchase. Whether this is done through the delivery of samples or a consultation with a store product specialist, the idea is to reduce any gaps that may exist between what a product looks like online and what it looks like once received in person.
7 Benefits of Try-before-You-Buy Order Fulfillment
There are so many advantages with try-before-buy order fulfillment. Though fashion brands may seem to be the biggest winners, other industries are also capitalizing on this trend. For example, there’s an eyewear company that ships five pairs of glasses to its customers. The customers have five days to choose which ones they like and ship back the ones they don’t. Similarly, a mattress company offers customers 100-day test trial with free shipping of a mattress to the customer’s home. Sounds risky, but there are sound reasons e-commerce retailers are turning to these tactics.
Attract New Customer Base
What better way to lure new customers to your online store than by letting them try your product hassle free? Try-before-buy shopping cuts away much of the apprehension felt by new customers when trying brands they may not be familiar with. It also attracts customers who have reservations about shopping online.
Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Try-before-you-buy online shopping goes further than just attracting new customers. It provides your existing customers with a sense of confidence in their purchase that increases their overall satisfaction. Knowing they can try variations of products to know which one works best for their needs keeps them loyal to your brand and ultimately improves the chances of them being completely satisfied.
There’s still nothing more powerful than a personal recommendation from a friend. Once word starts spreading that your company is participating in try-before-you-buy fulfillment, then you will get customers who are simply interested in what is still a relatively new process. If you can ensure the process goes smoothly, you’ve likely won over a new customer.
Increase Sales and Profit
Let’s face it, customers can be pretty lazy. They don’t want to do too much guessing when it comes to making a purchase. So the easier you make it for customers to make a purchase, the more comfortable they will feel making those purchases. Try-before-you-buy shopping opens the door to an entirely new group of shoppers who may have been much more apprehensive of turning online to make any kind of purchases.
Reduction in Return Rates
If customers are allowed to try a product before they actually make a purchase, you can expect a drop in your return rates. With try-before-buy shopping now a reality, there are now fewer reasons for customers to return a product for reasons like it doesn’t fit well or that it works differently than they’d anticipated.
You have to think that not many retailers at the moment will be willing to implement a try-before-you-buy system. They are much more focused on the risk rather than the potential rewards. But, by taking this risk, you give your company the advantage over its competitors. So long as you are able to execute a fulfillment system that is efficient and effective, there are minimal concerns surrounding the outcome of try before you buy shopping.
In all fairness, creating a strategy for try-before-buy fulfillment isn’t an easy task. The increased volume of shipment and returns alone can have a negative impact on your bottom line if not managed correctly.
APS Fulfillment, Inc is here to create a logistics system that accommodates for try-before-you-buy shopping. Because this is still a new trend, it’s best to contact us prior to making any decisions. We’ll walk you through how the process works and make sure you understand where the opportunities exist to benefit from this trend.