The online-only swimwear retailer recently raised $2.3 million and has seen a 500% year-over-year sales spike since its inception in April 2017.

Online-only women’s swimwear retailer Andie Swim wants to make shopping for the right swimsuit an easier—and maybe even enjoyable—process.

Melanie Travis, founder and CEO of Andie Swim

“The swimwear shopping experience is broken,” says Melanie Travis, founder and CEO of Andie Swim. She set out to fix it and save shoppers a trip to the store, which can often be a frustrating experience when attempting to find a swimsuit that is both price and age appropriate, she says.

The swimwear retailer sells its product direct-to-consumer on AndieSwim.com. It offers 26 swimsuit styles and 135 SKUS, which will increase to 225 SKUs when it launches a new resort collection this November. Launched in April 2017, Andie Swim has grown sales 500% year over year, Travis says, declining to provide specific figures.

“Swim is such a vulnerable purchase,” Travis says, which is why AndieSwim.com has a Fit Finder feature to help shoppers find the Andie style that might work best for her body type and personal style.

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The Fit Finder quiz asks the shopper a series of five questions: If she has an hourglass, pear, long and lean, or apple body shape; if she prefers to wear one-piece swimsuits, two-piece swimsuits or both; if she has a long or short torso; which body part she likes to show off; where she plans to wear her swimsuit, such as lounging poolside, playing with children on a beach or playing beach volleyball; and what her personal style is, such as classic, modern or simple. Once the results are tabulated in the algorithm, the Fit Finder suggests a few styles for the shopper.

The retailer offers free shipping, returns and exchanges with no price threshold to meet, so a shopper can order as many swimsuits as she wants if she’s unsure about which will fit best. She can then return them within 30 days for a refund of the returned swimwear items. All orders ship from its distribution center in New Jersey through USPS. “Women aren’t usually window shopping for swimsuits, they buy it when they need it, such as for an upcoming vacation or party. So fast shipping is incredibly important,” Travis says.

In March 2018, Andie Swim secured its first round of funding at $2.3 million from investors including actress Demi Moore and contacts e-retailer Hubble Contacts co-founder Jesse Horwitz. The funding round was led by venture capital firms Two River Capital and Sonostar Venture.

A new look

To facilitate further growth and put some of its new funding to use, Andie Swim redesigned and relaunched its site in May 2018, built on BigCommerce’s e-commerce platform. Rather than focus all its design effort and resources on an over-designed homepage, the new site has more details on the product page, Travis says.

“We used to have one photo to click on to see details of the swimsuit. Now, we have a carousel of images for every product,” Travis says.

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The product detail pages also feature a size guide, detailed description of the product, a horizontal, visual list of other products customers love and customer reviews and questions—powered by commerce company YotPo, which integrates with BigCommerce. “Many won’t pull the trigger without reviews. It’s become really integral,” Travis says.

The redesign also included adding the Fit Finder quiz, which is front and center on the navigation bar, with links to it peppered throughout the site. Andie Swim also launched a referral program with referral marketing platform Extole, which also integrates with the BigCommerce platform. If a shopper shares her purchase with a friend or family member, they will get $25 off their purchase and the shopper will get $25 to spend toward her next purchase.

The relaunch has paid off with increases in web traffic and conversion. In the six months prior to the relaunch, AndieSwim.com saw fewer than 5,000 visitors per month (save for a 14,700-visit spike in January 2018), according to web measurement firm Similar Web Ltd. Since May, Andie Swim has seen its traffic grow from 12,000 visits to more than 45,000 visits per month in July. In addition, conversion on the site has increased by 250% and return users have increased by 300%, Travis says, crediting much of this increase to its redesign paired with a big marketing push.

“We beat our goals by all of our wildest expectations,” Travis says. “Now, we’re on the tail end of this huge season we just had. So, now we’re starting that process again, figuring out what worked and what didn’t.”

Part of that process is updating the collections with new styles and colors, including its resort collection releasing in November and new silhouettes for spring 2019, Travis says.

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Andie Swim also plans to focus on its business in Australia this coming November, which is the beginning of its summer season. “We did a test in Australia last summer, and we sold a limited number of swimsuits just to get a sense of the brand reception there. But this is a new thing in terms of scale and ambition,” Travis says.

After that, it will look to countries in Europe for further expansion, as well as adding another distribution center to further support its growth, Travis says.

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