Imagine waking up one morning and saying, "I think I’ll go jean shopping today!" You go to your living room wearing your sweats, instead of grabbing the car keys to go to the mall. You sit on the couch and open up your laptop. You log on to the newest online jean store and find not only one, but more than a dozen pairs fitting your fashion style and, more importantly, your size.
This scenario is not far from reality. Thanks to a couple of Babson College MBA graduates who put their math skills to good use, the task of buying jeans that fit has become a pain-free experience.
Romney Evans and Jessica Arredondo co-founded True Apparel Company and its online store, TrueJeans.com. After Romney lived through one of his wife’s emotionally draining jean shopping quests, he asked Arredondo–who had retail experience–if there was an easier way to buy jeans.
The former classmates theorized that by using correct measurements and thorough fit testing, the hassle of trying on jeans to find a good pair could be diminished. After two years of extensive research, they developed a unique software which uses complex algorithms to match customers with jeans that fit.
In December 2006, the two entrepreneurs launched the website. Since then, over 100,000 people have visited the site and have helped to log a 50 percent growth rate each month, according to a company statement.
"The technology takes into account many factors, measurements, body shape, style of jean,” said Arredondo. “We get all specifications, or a â€˜blue print,’ of a pair of jeans and use the information from customers to know what jean will fit.”
The process of creating a profile on the website is simple. Men or women can type in their weight, heighxt, and other personal details to generate a search that will "try on" the jeans. After the search, an array of selected brands from which to shop are offered.
The results are quite accurate and the jean selection is not too shabby. From Lucky to Antik and People’s Liberation, there are more brands and styles to choose from that your average department store can offer.
With every pair of jeans sold, the company asks customers for feedback. This information is then used to improve the software and obtain more fitting details. All the information gathered helps assure that a customer will be satisfied with their online purchase.
Since the software allows anyone to shop for others, there may still be the fear of incorrectly filling in measurements into a profile. In these cases, a person can get live help by calling 1-877-FIT-TRUE. TrueJeans is the only cyber store where customers can call a fit specialist to ask for suggestions or directions and choose jeans for themselves or someone else, according to Arredondo.
"The great think about our technology is that it has a very human component since we spend a lot of time in fit testing to solve the sizing problems," said Arredondo. "We truly understand our products and who they could be for and the â€˜fit emergency’ hotline makes shopping even more personalized."
After four months of being open for business, Arredondo said that most of the clientele is female–women make up 80 percent of the customer base. She also said that, according to studies, most men shop for convenience and dislike trying on multiple garments. That’s why the company estimates that in the near future, their male market will grow. The fast and efficient software can make buying jeans actually enjoyable for shop-o-phobic men.
Jeans can be shipped anywhere. As more brands are added to the list of jeans for sale, the co-founder is focused in building a strong business foundation.
"We’ve had an amazing response since day one and we keep improving every day,” said Arredondo. “With major efforts we are taking hold of our market and solving a problem for men and women.”