We don’t have to tell you: the main objection shoppers have to online buying is that they don’t get to see, feel and try on products. This new startup is tackling that issue head on by offering an easy way for shoppers to try out clothes before they buy them. We talked with Try.com’s CEO, Ankush Sehgal to learn more about how they’re making this happen.
Try.com makes it incredibly easy to try clothes from online stores at home. Now, instead of having to buy clothes up front, shoppers can try them at home for free. Users get 10 days from when they receive their clothes to decide what they want to keep or return. Then users only get charged for the clothes they decide to keep. Free shipping. Free returns. Always.
What was your inspiration behind Try.com?
My brother, Arush, and I founded the company and are from a retail family that has been in the rag trade in London for over 40 years. We’ve done everything from manufacturing, wholesale, our own brand at retail, luxury retail, ecommerce, mens, ladies, accessories–you name it!
After trying a few different business models in ecommerce, we quickly learned that the main thing stopping more people from shopping online was the ability to touch, feel and try products before committing to buy them. We looked at the success of companies like Trunk Club, Stitchfix & Warby Parker as inspiration and decided to figure out how we could enable Try For Free across a wider range of products. For customers the value proposition is amazingly simple, but behind the scenes, enabling Try for Free efficiently and at scale is an enormous technical and operational challenge.
In early 2015, we quietly released Try.com to a small beta community in San Francisco. The response was overwhelming: customers absolutely loved it. We quickly realized we were onto something and ever since we’ve been granting access to niche communities of customers that fit our target demographic.
What value does Try.com have that makes it stand out against other startups in the space?
Stitchfix, Trunk Club, Warby Parker and other subscription type services like Birchbox have shown people the value of discovering products at home before having to commit to a purchase. We’ve taken it one step further by allowing customers to try clothes from an array of brands and retailers.
What has been the hardest obstacle for you in starting Try.com? What has been your favorite part?
There is a hidden complexity behind the simple vision of trying clothes for free. Finding talented and motivated people, from investors to advisors to employees, that believe in our seemingly crazy idea of sending people clothes for free, has been an enormous challenge.
My favorite part has been the reaction from our customers. The is plenty of heartache that goes into building something like this, so when a customer writes something like “How did I ever live without this?,” that’s what makes me smile.
What can we expect from Try.com in the future?
We have very ambitious goals. We’ve got a long list of amazing retailers and brands in the pipeline that we’re extremely excited about. We also want to make it easier to Try for Free from your phone. We have an awesome feature lined up that will make our free returns service even simpler. Basically, we want to get rid of every reason that someone wouldn’t shop online–we’ll always be working towards that simple goal.
To find out more about Try.com, go to their website here and look for the option at a retailer near you soon.
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables. You look nice today!