Lands' End is hoping technology can deliver a better swimsuit-purchasing experience online than in-store. With few items of apparel are the subtle distinctions more important than with swimwear. The battle: to approximate the exact look-and-feel of the swimsuit online (advantage: brick-and-mortar) while minimizing the awkwardness and embarrassment of the process (advantage: online).
The Camden Courier-Post did a revealing (sorry. Couldn't resist) look into how Lands' End is trying to play this one, with options to "send messages to a personal shopper and match suits to their body types through a search mechanism that lists six elements." Worth a read.