3 MINUTE READ | June 21, 2017
Who Are You Wearing? Amazon!
For most of us, Amazon is a normal part of our day-to-day interactions, from registries to wish lists and from toilet paper orders to buying a new grill. So it comes as little surprise that Amazon, who recently went from dipping a toe into the grocery market to making a huge splash (read more here), would now seek to conquer the retail world. Introducing, Amazon Prime Wardrobe.
The concept of “try before you buy” is not a new idea in the fashion world. Companies such as Stitch Fix and Trunk Club have been in the business for years. But, as we have watched Amazon continue to take on retail sectors such as books, make-up, and grocery, you better believe that Amazon will represent a real threat to the clothing sector.
So how does Prime Wardrobe work? Customers will select at least three items to receive a prime wardrobe box. The customer then has seven days to decide what to buy and what to return. If they keep three or four items, they will receive a 10% discount. If they keep five or more items, they will receive a 20% discount. Any items they choose to return can simply be placed back in the box, labeled with a shipping sticker provided by Amazon, and set outside the customer’s door for UPS to pick up, free of charge.
While as a consumer I am intrigued to try it out, as an advertiser, I am more concerned with the possible implications to the digital clothing retail market. Last holiday we watched Amazon test out Google’s PLAs (product listing ads) for home good items. With the launch of Prime Wardrobe, it is feasible Amazon will extend their PLA presence this year beyond home goods into clothing and increase competition for other brands. Furthermore, Amazon currently has ad space available listed above their product results. Below is an example of an advertisement currently running on Amazon.com when searching for women’s dresses. Does this mean there is potential for Amazon to create a product similar to Google’s PLAs? Only time will tell.
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While I find it hard to believe Amazon will have success reaching the millennial market, who typically seeks a more authentic, personal experience, I do believe they have a methodology in place to capture a significant piece of the clothing sector. While brick and mortar brands continue to struggle in the rapidly changing market, Amazon is capitalizing on their e-commerce expertise. The question remains, what will the inventory look like? I will be honest, after some light pursuing at their current clothing selection, I found more than a few items I would love to try before I buy.
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