With a revamped version of its signature fit quiz, DTC brand ThirdLove is aiming to master the online bra shopping experience.  

On Tuesday, 8-year-old ThirdLove debuted on its e-commerce site The Fitting Room, replacing the Fit Finder questionnaire that it launched in 2017. Data points collected and customer feedback over the last four years informed the components of the new iteration, as did the desire to incorporate more of ThirdLove’s expanded product assortment. The new quiz offers style suggestions, in addition to bra fit recommendations, giving customers more obvious reasons to expand their basket size and granting the company more targeted marketing opportunities.

“We’ve grown as a brand. We now have a ton of bras and underwear, and we’re launching into some new categories in 2021,” said Ra’el Cohen, co-founder and COO of ThirdLove. “We want to be able to offer multiple style recommendations.”

Cohen called underwear a “huge growth opportunity” this year. She noted that, for category leaders Aerie and Victoria’s Secret, the segment makes up a larger part of the business and drives the sale of more units per transaction. ThirdLove’s underwear sales doubled in 2020, and currently make up about 8% of total sales. 

As e-commerce sales surge, the competition to win over new online bra shoppers is heating up. ThirdLove is currently the third-largest online intimates brand in the U.S., according to NPD data. But competitors in the DTC bra brand space, including AdoreMe and Knix, also offer fit quizzes and have been busy expanding their product assortments and customer service offerings. Cuup, which launched in November 2018, has been offering video conference bra fittings since 2019.  

ThirdLove’s The Fitting Room was designed mobile-first, with the expectation that up to 70% of users will be on their phones. New features include animations that correspond with each question and visually explain concepts like “cup gaping” and “underwire digging.” Cohen said ThirdLove’s Fit Finder data showed that a main reason women stopped taking the quiz was that they didn’t understand a question. 

The Fitting Room’s questions center on topics including breast symmetry and color preferences, and users’ answers cue positive responses, like, “Don’t worry, we’ll make sure your cups work with your curves, not against them.” In addition, the Q&As are presented with a bit of humor. For example, a possible answer to, “What brings you here today?” is: “Bras have let me down, literally.”

“Light education” is offered throughout, said Cohen. So if a user answers that they use the tightest hook when wearing a new bra, they’ll receive the tip that their go-to band size is too large.

“I’m basically recreating that in-person bra-fitting experience that I had done with women for 20 years,” said Cohen, pointing to her experience as a lingerie designer for retailers like Target.

Based on quiz results, a personalized product assortment is served up to customers immediately, as well as anytime they shop ThirdLove.com. Customers can pop into the quiz to change answers and receive updated recommendations if, for instance, their body has changed due to having a baby. Cohen said that, on average, a woman’s bra size changes six times in her lifetime.

Fit stylists are available via a chat feature, and can access customers’ quiz answers and recommendations to provide more context or answer questions.  

Once shoppers complete the quiz, the brand plans to target them via personalized emails, sending them reminders of their size and style recommendations, along with other helpful information. For example, a shopper that received a surprising size recommendation will receive details on the brand’s return and exchange policy. 

Heidi Zak, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said that 80-85% of ThirdLove’s bra customers took the Fit Finder quiz before buying a bra from the company. In total, nearly 80 million women took the quiz, providing the company with nearly 100 million data points that it’s used to inform product development.

She said that, for 70% of Fit Finder quizzes that have been taken, the user was recommended a bra size other than the one they were used to buying. On average, those shoppers were happier with their resulting purchase and proved more loyal and valuable long-term customers.

In 2020, ThirdLove underwent layoffs, closed its New York pop-up early and canceled plans to open five stores in the year. “Instead, we refocused the business on efficiency and optimization, ,” said Zak. “We innovated last year to set us up for this year. As we build out our product catalog, tools [like the Fitting Room] are important.” 

Cohen added, “We needed to push this technology forward and make sure that it was so differentiated from what is out there, to really set ourselves apart from the pack.” 

ThirdLove has recently made hires dedicated to its emerging digital and physical products. In 2021, it plans to launch new products and creative campaigns, and more website features, said Zak. She declined to share revenue figures.