DTC lingerie darling ThirdLove is all about getting intimate. But are they actually getting personal too? Find out in our latest Personalization Audit (check out the entire series here).
Every personalization audit we run involves exhaustive testing of the pre-purchase experience, to see how personalization may smooth out a shopper's journey and drive them to convert. Read a bit more about our process here.
ThirdLove personalization strategy audit
ThirdLove is one of the best-known brands in the DTC world, with a mission to design functional, comfortable, and size-inclusive undergarments for everyone.
Today, ThirdLove is ranked the third-largest online intimate apparel brand behind the likes of Victoria's Secret and American Eagle's Aerie, clearing over $100M in annual sales as they've expanded into pajamas, activewear, and loungewear.
We've yet to cover a brand focused on intimates the way ThirdLove is, but we would expect a few commonalities with other brands we've looked at, such as Cupshe (swimwear) and Alo (activewear). Specifically because like with these brands, there's an opportunity to cross-sell products that belong together (like a matching bra and underwear set), as well as to tailor the shopping experience based on a customer's interests (e.g. their breast size or the style of bra they buy from ThirdLove).
While ThirdLove promises to fit every woman, we're taking a closer look at whether they're fitting every shopper too.
What ThirdLove got right
Fit quiz and curated recommendations: One of ThirdLove's earliest secrets to success was their fit quiz; a detailed online assessment that sought to bridge the gap between an in-store bra fitting and shopping exclusively online. The fit quiz has remained an essential part of ThirdLove's onboarding and marketing, which ends in a collection of recommended bras based on how each shopper answers the quiz questions, as well as incentives to receive up to 15% off. Testing a few different profiles out, the recommended bras do change from shopper to shopper, largely driven off the 'style' component of the quiz as opposed to the 'fit' questions.
New vs. returning shopper curation: New shoppers on the Thirdlove site may notice a 'Fitting Room' link in the top navigation. Clicking on it directs you to their fit quiz. Returning shoppers will see this same button has been updated to 'Your Fitting Room', which opens 'top picks' for the shopper in the navigation itself, or directs them to their fit quiz results with recommendations (a big improvement from sock brand Bombas, where quiz results are basically lost as soon as you exist the quiz). The fit quiz results page also features a 'Shop My Size' button to give shoppers access to all styles in their recommended size without having to set manual filters.
On product detail pages shoppers who have taken the quiz are also given a reminder to 'Shop Your Picks' with an interstitial placement that spotlights the top picks from their Fitting Room collection.
Areas for ThirdLove to enhance
Product detail page recommendations: Like bathing suits, a lingerie line makes perfect sense to sell matching tops and bottoms. While ThirdLove employs a 'Frequently bought together' box on their product page, it's placed below the main feature image and doesn't feel as expertly curated as a simple bundle might be. While this approach does allow ThirdLove to sell different cuts of underwear based on a customer's preferences, having the option to do both - buy a matching set as a one-click bundle or browse a range of underwear styles - seems like a surefire way to drive up conversion rates. We also don't love that you have to click to a new page to add another item; ThirdLove should integrate the ability to add products to cart from their recommendation blocks.
In-cart cross-sells: ThirdLove's in-cart cross-sells are much more user-friendly than the product detail page ones, but with a few confounding considerations. First, ThirdLove pushes other bras when purchasing a bra, as opposed to a matching bottom. There is a carousel to click through which features underwear later on, but the featured styles didn't match the bra in the cart. While the strategy of promoting bras first is likely to drive up higher AOV, it feels less logical from a UX perspective. Secondly, puzzlingly the sizes preselected for the bras in the cart are not the same size the shopper is purchasing (or has identified through their fit quiz). While this could be attributed to the products being randomly selected at a default size, the fact each featured bra was a totally different size suggests a potential bug or issue.
Missed personalization opportunities for
Collections: Given that ThirdLove curates much of the site experience for those who have undergone their fit quiz, it's surprising their collections don't also follow suit. ThirdLove could change the sort order of their collections to match the recommended products from their fit quizzes, particularly with underwear, given the fit quiz asks what specific cuts the shopper prefers.
Search: Much like the feedback on collections, ThirdLove doesn't apply any of the knowledge they have about a shopper to their search results. Intriguingly, ThirdLove offers shoppers the chance to shop all bras in their size from their Fitting Room page. It would be ideal if ThirdLove could apply this same logic to any search, while prompting shoppers there may be more styles available that aren't currently in their size, or by filtering products available in a customer's size to the top of the search order.
ThirdLove has some pretty advanced personalization strategies in place to help shoppers feel more comfortable to take the plunge and buy a bra online. But a few of their tactics could certainly be fine tuned to drive more sales and create a shopping experience that's as seamless as the brand's signature t-shirt bra.
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