In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, where countless products vie for our attention with enticing descriptions and glossy images, a new revolution gets arisen.

It’s a revolution that puts the power back into the hands of consumers, allowing them to try before buying and eradicating the lingering doubts and uncertainties that often accompany online purchases. Welcome to the era of the Try-Before-You-Buy approach, a game-changing concept that is reshaping the way we shop online and transforming the e-commerce landscape as we know it.

Gone are the days of relying solely on product descriptions and online reviews, hoping that they accurately reflect the item’s quality, fit, or functionality. In the Try-Before-You-Buy revolution, consumers can experience the product firsthand, within their comfort, before committing. This innovative approach bridges the gap between the online and offline shopping experience, creating a unique opportunity for consumers to interact with products before purchasing.

Perhaps this approach is changing our shopping experience and even revolutionizing the essence of consumer confidence and satisfaction in the digital age.

But what exactly is the Try-Before-You-Buy approach? How does it work, and why is it gaining traction among shoppers and retailers? 

In this blog, we will delve into the inner workings of this phenomenon and will explore its benefits, challenges, and the transformative potential it holds for the world of e-commerce.

What is Try-Before-You-Buy Approach?

Try-Before-You-Buy is an innovative approach in the world of e-commerce that allows consumers to experience products before making a purchase. It aims to bridge the gap between the online and offline shopping experience by enabling customers to try the product in their environment, eliminating uncertainties and increasing confidence in their buying decisions.

In traditional online shopping, customers often face challenges such as being unable to physically interact with products before purchasing. Afterwards, It leads to concerns about fit, quality, functionality, or overall satisfaction. The new concept addresses these issues by giving consumers a trial period to test and evaluate the product.

The approach is not limited to specific industries or product categories. It has gained popularity across various sectors, including fashion, beauty, electronics, and furniture.

Where did the trend come from?

As online shopping gained popularity, consumers faced the challenge of not being able to physically interact with products before making a purchase. This limitation led to a need for a solution that could resolve it.

The specific origin of the Try-Before-You-Buy trend is difficult to pinpoint, as it has gradually evolved in response to consumer demands and technological advancements. However, these services, which started emerging around the early 2010s, offered customers the opportunity to receive curated collections of products.

Subscription box services like Birchbox and Stitch Fix play a role in popularizing the Try-Before-You-Buy concept. They allowed customers to try samples or full-sized products before committing to a subscription. This approach gave consumers a novel way to discover new brands and products and gave them a sense of control and confidence in their purchasing decisions.

Since then, the trend has expanded beyond subscription boxes. Retailers in various industries recognized the value of offering trial experiences to their customers. They began implementing their Try-Before-You-Buy programs, providing free or low-cost trials for specific products or categories.

How does the Try-Before-You-Buy model work?

The model aims to reduce uncertainty for consumers, allowing them to test products in their conditions and make more informed purchasing conclusions. It benefits retailers by building trust and customer loyalty, reducing return rates, and increasing conversions.

Here’s how it typically works:

1. Selection and Ordering: 

Customers browse the retailer’s website or app and select the product they want to try. They may need to provide payment information upfront, typically not charged until the trial period ends.

2. Trial Period:

The retailer ships the product to the customer’s address or makes it available for in-store pickup. The trial duration varies but is usually a few days to a few weeks, allowing customers enough time to evaluate the product.

3. Product Usage:

During the trial period, customers can use, test, or experience the product as they would if they had purchased it. It may involve wearing clothing, testing electronics, or trying out beauty products, depending on the nature of the item.

4. Decision-Making:

At the end of the trial period, customers can decide whether to keep the product and proceed with the purchase or return it. If they choose to keep it, the retailer charges the payment method on file. If they decide to return it, they follow the retailer’s return instructions.

5. Return Process:

The customer initiates the return process, which may involve packaging the product securely and shipping it back to the retailer or returning it to a physical store location. The retailer typically provides a return label or instructions to facilitate the return.

6. Refunds and Exchanges: 

Upon receiving the returned product, the retailer refunds the customer’s original payment method or store credit. In some cases, customers may exchange the product for an alternative item.

How can retailers benefit from it?

It is beneficial for retailers in several ways to implement the approach.

  • Increased Sales:  By offering customers the option to try products before purchasing, retailers can reduce the hesitation and uncertainty associated with online shopping. Moreover, it leads to higher conversion rates.
  • Reduced Returns: When customers can try products beforehand, they are more likely to make informed choices that align with their preferences. As a result, the number of returns and associated costs for retailers get reduced.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: The Try-Before-You-Buy model improves the overall customer experience by allowing shoppers to interact with products in a real-world setting. It leads to higher customer satisfaction and positive reviews, fostering loyalty and repeat business.
  • Brand Loyalty and Trust: Offering a Try-Before-You-Buy option demonstrates a retailer’s confidence in the quality and value of their products.
  • Competitive Advantage: Implementing this program can differentiate retailers from competitors and attract customers who value the ability to test products before committing to a purchase. It serves a unique selling point and helps retailers stand out in a crowded marketplace.

How can customers benefit from it?

Customers can benefit from the model in several ways:

  • Improved Shopping Experience: It allows customers to physically interact with items, test them out, and explore different features, enhancing the overall satisfaction of the shopping process.
  • Enhanced Confidence: By trying out products before buying, customers can gain confidence in their buying decisions. They can assess the quality, fit, functionality, or other relevant aspects based on their preferences.
  • Taking fewer risks: This model reduces the risk of buying a product that doesn’t meet expectations. Customers can experience the item in their background and determine if it aligns with their requirements.
  • Discover New Products: The approach often introduces customers to new brands, products, or styles they may not have considered otherwise. It enables users to explore and discover items that align with their interests.
  • Convenience and Flexibility: Customers can conveniently try products in the comfort of their own homes or at a location of their choice. The Try-Before-You-Buy model saves customers the time and effort of physically going to stores or purchasing items without firsthand experience.

Top brands that have implemented this approach

#1- Amazon Prime Wardrobe:

With their Prime membership, Amazon offers Prime Wardrobe, a service that allows customers to try on clothing, shoes, and accessories before buying. Customers can choose a selection of items, have them shipped to their homes, and only pay for those they decide to keep.

#2- Warby Parker:

It’s a renowned eyewear brand that offers a home try-on program where customers can select up to five frames to ship to their homes for a free trial. It allows customers to try different styles and find the perfect pair of glasses before buying.


Sephora, a leading beauty retailer, provides customers with samples of skincare, makeup, and fragrance items. These specimens allow customers to try out different products and shades before purchase.

How to implement it successfully?

Implementing a Try-Before-You-Buy model and providing your customers with a positive experience, it is crucial to partner with an eCommerce expert like Gloify

With our extensive expertise in the field, we can help you navigate the complexities of this approach and optimize your processes for seamless customer interactions.

Our skilled developers and technologists will collaborate with your internal systems to connect order management, inventory management, shipping, and payment processing systems. This integration ensures a cohesive flow of information and streamlines the operational aspects of your Try-Before-You-Buy program.

In addition to process design and integration, we can update your checkout process and product detail pages to accommodate the model. Our UI designers will optimize your website or app to communicate the trial period, return policies, and associated fees. 

We will ensure that the checkout process reflects the Try-Before-You-Buy option and provides customers with a seamless and transparent purchasing experience.

Final Thoughts:

As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, the Try-Before-You-Buy model will play a significant role in shaping the future of online shopping. It empowers customers, mitigates risks, and fosters a sense of trust and satisfaction. By embracing this approach, retailers can stay ahead of the curve, deliver exceptional customer experiences, and thrive in the rapidly changing digital marketplace.

Revolutionizing e-commerce through this approach is not only transforming the way customers shop but also redefining the relationship between retailers and consumers. It is an exciting time for the e-commerce industry as we witness this revolution and embrace a future where trying before buying becomes the norm.