The online-only swimwear retailer experienced 1,000% growth in online sales last year thanks in large part to its Fit Quiz. But it still must contend with the uncertainty the global pandemic brings to all e-retailers.

Andie Swim has made a splash in sales since its inception in April 2017. The online-only women’s swimwear retailer grew more than 1,000% in 2019 over 2018 to the “double-digit millions,” says CEO and founder Melanie Travis. She did not disclose exact sales figures.

Andie Swim has been busy since 2017. It has raised about $8 million in funding, and over the last year, Andie Swim has added extended sizing. It previously had a “narrow range” of S-XL, but now it is offering sizes XS-3XL.

And with more sizes, the swimwear retailer had to tweak its sizing and styling quiz—called its Fit Quiz.

The Fit Quiz asks the shopper a series of questions divided into three parts. The first part asks general body-related questions, such as height, bra size, typical sizes in tops and bottoms, and if she has a long torso.

The second part asks more swimsuit-specific preferences: if she prefers a one-piece, two-piece or both; the level of support she wants in her bust; the level of coverage she wants for her bottom; what she loves most about her body (shoulders, bust, tummy and/or bottom); and what makes her feel most comfortable in a swimsuit (full bust support, full bust coverage, tummy coverage, compression lining, and/or bottom coverage).

advertisement
Photo of Andie Swim's FitQuiz featuring the question, "What's your biggest swimwear frustration?" Answers include "not enough bust support," "wedgies," "torso length" and more.

And finally, the third part asks the shopper some general swimsuit-related questions, including her biggest swimwear frustration and at which type of event she plans to wear her swimsuit.

Once the results are sent through its algorithm, the Fit Quiz suggests a style and a color that matches her answers and a size (or a couple of sizes if she is between sizes)—and automatically adds the suits to her shopping bag.

The quiz delivers strong conversion for Andie Swim—a shopper is three times more likely to purchase from Andie Swim if she takes the quiz versus a shopper who doesn’t, Travis says. It also increases the average order value if the shopper is between sizes and needs to try on a couple of different suits, although she would not reveal specifics. It offers shipping and returns are free to encourage this.

So, even if returns come in, Andie Swim sees this as a positive. The retailer can match the return to the shopper’s quiz results and determine which swimsuit was the best fit. This data is fed into the quiz’s artificial intelligence, which will allow it to suggest better results for the next time when a shopper with similar preferences and sizes takes the quiz, Travis says.

“We’ve gotten messages from women who ordered a couple different suits, one that was recommended versus the one they wanted, and in the end, the fit quiz recommended the right one,” Travis says.

advertisement

Andie Swim has gathered more than 1.5 million data points from shoppers taking the quiz and continues to invest in the quiz and rework the questions to deliver even more accurate results.

The coronavirus effect

Like all retailers the last couple months, Andie Swim also is grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are projecting triple-digit percent growth this year over last, but it’s a bit early in the year to make predictions,” Travis says, especially given the current climate.

In mid- to late-March, when many regions first announced stay-at-home orders, Andie Swim experienced a drop-off in sales, Travis says. “It was not a time to go shopping, much less for swimwear,” she says.

But the retailer has seen a resurgence in the last couple weeks and sales coming back in a strong way, she says without revealing specifics. “People are settling into routines and realizing the lockdown won’t be forever and always,” Travis says.

advertisement

As a brand, Andie Swim has shifted its marketing messages to reflect the current situation so its customers know it is sensitive to their needs during this time, she says. For example, it sent out an email this week announcing a partnership with Brands x Better, an organization that unifies like-minded brands to provide support and resources to those impacted by COVID-19.

“That is having a nice effect,” she says. “Hopefully, we’ll get back to where we were soon. And hopefully, there will be pent up demand come June and people will want to and be able to go to the beach.”

To serve that potential demand, Andie Swim plans to launch new styles, colors and a new collection this summer. It also plans to launch swimwear items for maternity and kids. “I’ve never launched products in the middle of a global crisis, but I’m optimistic,” Travis says.

Favorite