The Perfect Bra Size: An Algorithm Away

If you wear bras and are tired of never finding the right fitting cup, then True & Co promises the solution for you. True & Co aims to relieve the stress of having your saleslady come in go with a tape measurer and the wrong cup size. Sometimes the trip for a new bra becomes an intruding nightmare. This e-commerce company has devised an algorithm that matches the right fit for their customers and a truly intimate way.

 

True & Co asks customer’s a 15 question quiz which range from cup and band size to how your favorite bra feels and looks. The customer is then invited to choose three different style bras and with the information gathered, it uses an algorithm to choose two additional bras to be sent to you. Michelle Lam, the entrepreneur behind this,states that they have 2,000 algorithms that defines each body types.  Once customer receives the bras they have no obligation to purchase any of the five bras and the company claims that women buy more of the bras chosen by the algorithm than their own choice. But all matches are currently existing brands and none are their own designs. The prices are from $45- $62 and shipping is free.

 

This company seems to have a user based view upon entering this online bra market. They are concerned with how well the bra is fitted and so its quality is measured by the overall bra fit. The correct fit is determined in an individual matter and its quality is measure by customer’s individual taste. They offer to match the correct size and style to satisfy its customers in a quick easy matter.

 

So even though they do not manufacture custom bras, with such information obtained from the women taking their questionaires, naturally they can expand later in producing and designing their own bras and panties. Therefore, then expanding their level of serviceabililty, personal aesthetics, features,  and performance dimensions of quality.

 

There are some skeptics who question the algorithm and considered it a bit “ridiculous”, stating that a bra must touched and tried on before taking it home. Also, one of the issues Linda Becker, Linda the Bra Lady store and online seller, finds with online fittings is that there are some individuals who are extremely hard to fit and can be very difficult to help them out over the phone. But even so, Linda says that only 10 percent of LindaTheBraLady.com are returned.

 

In the history of commerce, shoes were once seen as product that was unsuitable for customers to buy since shoes are also one of those products that must be “tried on”.  But with the success of Zappos we know it can be done. Victoria’s Secret and HerRoom.com are some of the older sellers of online lingerie which proven selling bras can be successful online. Let’s see how well the True & Co algorithms reach success with this Amazon-like approach.

 

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/business/bra-selling-web-site-uses-algorithm-to-determine-fit.html?ref=smallbusiness&_r=0

https://trueandco.com/

http://mashable.com/2012/05/30/true-and-co/

 

Questions to think about:

-What is your opinion on the business?

-What do you suggest about their future?

-Do you think it will measure up to the success of Amazon or Zappos?

-What are the chances you’ll choose True & Co versus going straight to the site?

9 thoughts on “The Perfect Bra Size: An Algorithm Away

  1. I have to say, it was definitely the title of your post that drew me in on this one. I think it’s a great idea for a business; just like Zappos, it is a way of running a company without having to produce a product nor maintain a storefront. Bra shopping is one of the worst ways to spend a day, and if an algorithm could have the perfect bras show up at my door, I would totally be willing to give it a try. I imagine this will be a successful business, but probably not as successful as Amazon or Zappos. Whereas Amazon sells a wide variety of things, and people constantly want new shoes, bra shopping occurs less often.

  2. Just as the comment above me stated, the title of this post definitely drew my attention. I think there is a great concept to work with for this company. Any time a business can make their product/service more personal and tailored towards an individual’s preferences, it is going to do well. Also, due to the fact that True & Co uses existing brands and not their own designs, their costs are not tied up in inventory which may allow them to better enhance their algorithms to serve their customers. A concept of this idea that hasn’t been discussed yet is the global effectiveness it may have.

    To have a company centralized online and accessed anywhere throughout the world via the internet has a great potential to globalize. Women don’t like to spend hours shopping for a bra – it’s just not the most fun way to spend a day of shopping. So if True & Co can take that anxiety out of the experience, and uses its 2,000+ algorithms to truly understand its customer, their preferences, and size, they are going to be a big hit. Also, the fact that it is an e-commerce company makes the possibilities for going globally even better, because anyone around the world can access their site and thus make purchases. I think that once True & Co truly masters their system, they should market and brand globally in order to boost revenues. There are so many directions this company can go and the fact that it is an e-commerce business gives them the flexibility to do so.

    I have never heard of this site before, but I am definitely going to take a look into it!

  3. Personally, I find it kind of intimidating to have a sales representative measure my bra size and give me suggestions on what bras I should consider wearing. For that reason, I prefer being able to purchase my bras online. I find that by shopping online there are always more to choose from and more inventory that’s in stock compared to going into the store. In addition, since this site, True & Co, does not sell their own products, but existing products of other companies consumers will be able to have many more products to pick from versus going into several lingerie stores to look at bras. I agree with spr1314drutkowski about this company being able to go global. The pro of having an e-commerce is that that everyone around the world can have access to the site, therefore increasing the public’s awareness of their company. Thus, allowing for it to possibly expand. However, the con is that since it is focused on selling bras, this site is marketed towards the female gender and restricting from it in becoming as big as Amazon or Zappos that has products to offer to different market segments.

  4. This seems like a very interesting concept. For some this may be a million dollar idea and long overdue. But for me, and I am sure I am not alone on this…Everything should not be done online. This statement may seem crazy but seriously. Fitting a bra, requires time and effort and a human element. When its time for me to purchase another, I like the idea of going into the store, getting fitted, and trying bras on for size. I’d rather find out it doesn’t fit in store & make adjustments right their than purchase online, receive it at home, & have to send it back because technology got my size wrong.

  5. As an avid Victoria’s Secret shopper, I understand how much time and effort goes into getting measured and trying on different bras to find the right one. However, now that I know my personal size at VS, I will never shop at lingerie another store again. I can shop online, and not be worried about the bras not fitting. The problem with True & Co is that stores like Victorias Secret have very strong brand loyalty. I will NEVER purchase a bra from anywhere but Victorias Secret, because I know they will not fall apart and are made of the best quality materials. Victorias Secret is also not just a bra store, it has become a lifestyle store. They sell everything from underwear, to workout gear, to swimwear, to business and casual clothing. They have a huge competitive advantage over a store like True & Co, especially because True does not offer cheaper prices. I personally would not buy a bra without trying it on first, and I know many other girls who feel the same. For this reason, I do not believe they will be successful in gaining customers who already have a brand or store they enjoy.

  6. This sounds pretty amazing, I have a big cup size and Victoria Secret only offers a very limited selection in my size. So hearing about a company like this makes me so happy. There needs to be more companies offering nice comfortable bras for all cup sizes. I suggest they do swim wear in the future. I had an idea of making a line of swim wear where the top would be your bra size and the right coverage , that way you don’t have to worry about unnecessary parts showing and you can be comfortable in it because it will be the right size.

  7. I feel like this business model can be risky. Because unlike other clothing items that you can buy online, bras are of course, a very personal and tricky item to find the correct fit. I feel like established lingerie companies such as Victoria’s Secret find success with online orders because customers have already made a past purchase in stores so they have a good idea of fit and quality. But a company that is strictly online lingerie would find it difficult to reel in first time customers unless they had some sort of special aesthetic appeal like a particularly strong design. From first-hand experience, its a huge hassle to order something like a bra online and have to send it back and worry about your credit card being refunded in a timely fashion. But it is nice that they have the questionnaire when signing up that is tailored to each individual’s needs and tastes. That particular aspect is something that is becoming very common in the e-commerce space, particularly with fashion, much like sites like JewelMint, StyleMint, etc. that all belong to the BeachMint brand. The BeachMint co. has that feature where you can fill out a questionnaire and have them present you with selections that are individually tailored. They also have IntiMint which sells lingerie.

  8. E-commerce has been taking over and now even with measuring your bra size? That is unbelievable. Technology is definitely advancing. However, I’m not sure if this business in particular can hold its position in the market because like it was mentioned before, there are a lot of people out there who are loyal to certain brands like Victoria’s Secret. If they offer more variety of other products or technology like this to consumers globally, then they might have a chance of attracting new people. Personally, I would not want to order my bra online because for me its all about trying it on at the store, no matter how long it’ll take.

  9. I think that this is a great idea. Like said above, I hate when the girls at Victoria’s Secret measure me because every single time it is a different size. The only thing I wonder is what the questions consist of because it seems hard by 15 questions to find the perfect bra size without trying it on. I also wonder what they look like because it they look like grandma bras I would be very hesitant to buy anything from this. Overall I think this is a great concept I am just hesitant about the whole concept and a little bit of a skeptic.

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