Remember the days of traipsing into a dressing room with an armful of clothing to try on? Even if you emerged with only one or two things to actually purchase, it was free to try on. The only limit you had was how many items the store allowed you to take into a dressing room at one time.

With the rise of ecommerce, instead of turning back and forth in front of a mirror to see how an article of clothing looks, most shoppers add and remove items from their carts to decide what they really want to order. You have to buy something to try it on, and returns are a hassle.

From this struggle arises the “try before you buy” model for online retailers. Typically part of a subscription service such as Trunk Club, Stich Fix, or Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe, these models allow shoppers to pick a specified number of items that are shipped to them. After trying them on, customers only pay for the items they keep, and returns are easy and free.

The Technology of Try Before You Buy

“Try before you buy” is simple and straightforward for customers and is preferred by a majority of shoppers. Nearly 70 percent of surveyed consumers said they would be likely to purchase more from an online retailer if the retailer offered “try before you buy.”

But, what’s simple for your customer takes a little more preparation on the retailer’s back end processes for successful implementation. First and foremost, retailers need to have the right payment options in place for their ecommerce websites. While a brick and mortar store receives payment for goods before a customer can leave with their items, try before you buy counts on having the right infrastructures in place to ensure you get paid for what the customer keeps.

Fortunately, companies such as Klarna and Try integrate with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce, or integrate directly into retailer websites for the “pay later” option. 

Optimize Your Return Processes for Success

The biggest key to a successful try before you buy implementation, however, is having the right systems in place to optimize your returns process and maintain visibility over cash flow and inventory. Customers may like the fact that try before you buy returns are simple to do, but you can do a few things to help minimize the number of items they return:

  • Track data on which items are returned and which are kept in order to make necessary adjustments to product lines and inventory
  • Centralize data to identify those trying to scam the system
  • Automate returns to minimize errors, reduce processing time, and circulate returned items back into inventory quickly 

Connect Returns Data with IN-SYNCH

Fortunately, there’s a way to connect all this data—from ecommerce sites to inventory management to warehouse and supply chain to 3pl and shipping/returns—to give you the overview you need to successfully implement and manage a try before you buy model. IN-SYNCH by ROI Consulting boasts the ability to integrate across multiple platforms, including Sage 100cloud, ecommerce sites, and warehouse management systems, to name a few. Where there is access to an API, IN-SYNCH’s real-time, multi-directional data synchronization puts the right data in the right places so your organization can process try before you buy payments, returns, and fast-paced inventory updates.

Whether you’ve decided to take the plunge with try before you buy or you’re still trying it on for size, ROI Consulting can answer all your system integration questions and get you up and running in no time. Solve your ecommerce purchase and returns pain points today with IN-SYNCH. Go ahead: Give it a try.

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