Anda Pho, head of marketing at True&Co., the lingerie retailer that uses an online fit quiz to size bras for women of all shapes and sizes, explained yesterday at NEMOA’s directXchange 2016 Fall Conference how the company has revolutionized the bra-buying process.
Data is Everything
“Making a bra is like making a car,” Pho said. There are so many unique parts that go into each one, and True&Co. uses data to make sure every product fits its owner perfectly.
Each person who visits the website is prompted to take the fit quiz. Size information, email and birthday data is collected and stored. More data allows the brand to build better products, improve the shopping experience and reach more people, Pho said.
Collecting data is particularly important to True&Co. because bras are repeat purchases. Once a woman finds one she likes, she’s more likely to continue buying it for the rest of her life, according to Pho. If the bra fits the first time, True&Co. has the ability to win that customer's business for life.
Collecting relevant data also helped True&Co. when it decided to start mailing catalogs in May 2015 after previously operating as pure-play retailer.
Moving From Online to Offline
Pho explained that although True & Co. started online, catalogs were the next logical step for the brand. To date, True&Co. has produced nine separate catalogs, and Pho thinks each one has gotten better than the one before it.
With its first catalog mailing, True&Co. was running low on merchandise before the holiday season ramp-up. To solve this problem, the company sent catalogs to customers who matched the product and sizes they had available at the time. True&Co. knew exactly who to send catalogs to because of the data collected from its fit quiz.
The move into catalogs was was a natural progression for True&Co. for the following reasons, according to Pho:
- Catalogs are highly visual and show off how products will look on different bodies.
- True&Co. becomes “real” to consumers because the products are no longer just available digitally.
- True&Co. collects even more data with catalogs — e.g., mailing addresses, new customers, etc.
- Catalogs offer True &Co.'s marketing team a forum to tell the brand’s story (a different one than its competition).
Furthermore, Pho noted that the average order value from catalog buyers is 25 percent to 30 percent higher than True&Co.'s online-only customers. This may be because the catalog gets delivered to a household, and both a mother and daughter order from it, Pho suggested.
While Victoria’s Secret may have ended its catalog, there's always competition biting at True&Co.’s heels. Pho said that the fit quiz has even been copied by the likes of Victoria’s Secret and Amazon.com. However, this innovative company has data on its side to give its customers the “confidence” they’ve been searching for their whole lives.