Bracketing is a practice that ecommerce shoppers engage in, particularly when they’re buying products that are tough to fit or gauge size-wise without seeing them in person. Shoppers who bracket buy multiple versions of the same or similar products, in different sizes or colors, with the intention of returning all but those that look best on them.  

Learn more about how returns influence how shoppers relate to your store in the Future of Shopper Experience

While most shoppers who bracket don’t have bad intentions, bracketing is a problem for ecommerce stores. This is especially true for the apparel, footwear, and swimwear industries. Each of these industries has to prepare for bracketing differently, and swimwear is no exception. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  • How swimwear brands can prevent bracketing
  • How swimwear brands can reduce the cost of bracketing
  • How swimwear brands can embrace bracketing

For more information, check out our bracketing ebook!

How swimwear brands can prevent bracketing 

Even if your swimsuits are the most size-standard on the market, odds are good that people are still going to want to try them on before committing to keeping them. Swimwear is notoriously hard to fit on even the most ideal of bodies, so it’s a good idea to provide sizing solutions and detailed product descriptions. The more specific you can be about how each suit fits, the better your shoppers will understand how each suit might fit on their own bodies. For this reason, it’s also a smart idea to use diverse models for your products—and make a note of which sizes each model is wearing, along with their important personal stats, like their height and weight.

In addition, you can leverage user-generated reviews to help your shoppers understand how each suit fits before they order. According to UGC platform Tint, 72% of consumers believe that reviews and testimonials from other customers are more credible than brands’ own communication, and 76% have made a purchase because of a recommendation. This trust can help shoppers feel more confident in their initial purchase, making them less likely to bracket. 

How swimwear brands can reduce the cost of bracketing

As with any increase in returns, moving to automated returns can save your brand money and time. Especially in the swimwear industry making sure that you have an automated returns solution is crucial. Bracketing usually means more returns, more frequently. With an automated returns solution like Loop, you can build in specific workflows that allow you to treat different kinds of returns differently. You can set up a workflow, for instance, to allow for shorter return windows or a more strict exchange policy on orders that you suspect are bracketed. 

There are also environmental concerns tied into bracketing—more returns mean a greater carbon footprint. Build in options for your customer to consolidate their shipments, opt into resale avenues, or even keep items that wouldn’t be worth the hassle for the shopper to send back. These are all ways you can help reduce the financial impact of bracketing, while decreasing your brand’s environmental impact. 

Learn more about Loop’s commitment to sustainability here.

How swimwear brands can embrace bracketing

Bracketing isn’t all bad, though. If shoppers are bracketing, it just means that they love your products so much they’re willing to try multiple items on. Bracketing means your products are popular, but that shoppers might not have enough data in your product descriptions for them to know which size to order. View bracketing orders as a way to learn more about your own product. You can glean valuable insights about how big or small your swimsuits run, and more. Then you can leverage that data to discourage future bracketing orders, or to teach yourself more about why your shoppers might be returning specific swim trunks.

Bracketing orders often occur when shoppers already love your stuff, so it’s pretty easy to convert their returns into exchanges. They might not want a swimsuit that doesn’t fit them, but could get a pair of sandals to wear with it. You can use Bonus Credit to incentivize shoppers who are returning swimsuits that don’t fit right to spend more money on other products they do want to keep. 

Want to be best prepared for bracketing? Choose Loop to automate your returns. Book a demo today to learn more.