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5 Brands That Use Try Before You Buy to Drive Sales (And How You Can, Too)

Updated: Jan 3

A woman pointing at her phone next to a pair of sunglasses, a t-shirt, a pair of pants, and a pair of sneakers

If you’ve shopped online recently (and chances are you have, especially if you work in ecommerce), you’ve likely spotted the trend sweeping the ecomm landscape: Try Before You Buy.

This strategy is, well, exactly what it sounds like, and it’s transforming the way customers shop online, bridging the gap between traditional brick-and-mortar retail and the digital realm. Here’s everything you need to know about which of today’s top ecommerce players use Try Before You Buy — and how you can give it a try yourself. (Wink wink.)

What is Try Before You Buy?

Try Before You Buy is a model that allows customers to experience products firsthand — be it clothing, accessories, furniture, or eyewear — before making any financial commitments.

The usual process goes like this:

  1. The customer browses and “purchases” items (without paying) on your store.

  2. Here, some Try Before You Buy solutions place an authorization hold on the customer’s credit card in order to protect the merchant’s funds.

  3. The customer receives the products and tries them out at home for a pre-determined period.

  4. The customer pays for what they want to keep and returns what they don't.

Sound simple? It is.

And its skyrocketing popularity, particularly among Gen Z and millennials (who account for 32% of the US’s total retail spend), is a testament to its convenience and user-centric approach.

Which companies use Try Before You Buy?

Some major brands have jumped aboard this trend and have seen serious sales success because of it:

  • AmazonPrime's Try Before You Buy lets Prime members try on clothes and accessories at home. If they love an item, they buy it; if not, they return it. Customer feedback led to this Amazon innovation: “People want to see a product in person, because of the size and the fit,” said one Amazon exec. “They want to appreciate its look and feel.”

  • Wayfair offers a 3D room planner for furniture and decorations, allowing shoppers to visualize items in their own space before purchasing. While not a complete Try Before You Buy experience, it does help waylay some customer doubts.

  • Warby Parker'sHome Try-On program lets customers test five eyewear frames at home for free over five days.

  • Casper, the online mattress brand, offers a 100-night trial for their mattresses.

  • ASOS understood that their if their customers are going to take a risk on a purchase and might need to make a return, they’d much rather not wait for a refund. ASOS’s Try Before You Buy option has secured them major cash flow even in tough market conditions.

How does Try Before You Buy drive revenue?

  1. Differentiation: Offering a Try Before You Buyoption can elevate your brand above competitors. Warby Parker is a great example of this. Their Home Try-on continues to drive customers to their brand in waves, since few competitors offer a similar option.

  2. Trust and loyalty: Offering hassle-free product trials can foster trust and encourage repeat purchases. Offering Try Before You Buy broadcasts to your customers that you’re fully confident in the quality of your products.

  3. Reaching new markets: Try Before You Buy caters to consumers wary of online shopping, assuring them of their purchase decisions. This allows even people who usually don’t shop online to feel comfortable getting into the game.

  4. Increasing sales: Allowing customers to physically interact with a product can motivate them to go through with a purchase they might otherwise have held off on.

Embrace the future of ecommerce

With over 37% of shoppers now saying they actively prefer to check out with Try Before You Buy, there's no denying it: brands need to hop on board now or risk losing out on business.

Considering implementing Try Before You Buy on your ecommerce store?

Give Tryon a try. It’s easy to install, it integrates seamlessly with Shopify admin, and there’s even a free trial.


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