AMAZON JUMPS INTO THE TRY BEFORE YOU BUY ONLINE CLOTHING MARKETPLACE WITH PRIME WARDROBE
Customers will be able to pick from over 1 million items on Amazon Fashion, get them shipped to their homes and send back whatever they don’t want within seven days for free. Amazon will encourage customers to keep more of their orders by offering discounts, such as 20 percent off for a purchase of five items or more.
Prime Wardrobe is still in a testing phase, so isn’t yet available to the public. A handful of companies, including Nordstrom’s Trunk Club and Stitch Fix, already provide similar services. Those other two services, though, provide stylists to help customers pick out clothing.
The service — which offers clothing from Calvin Klein, Adidas, Carter’s and other brands — could be a way to persuade more customers to buy their clothing online and avoid the mall. Right now, online clothing and accessories sales make up 24 percent of the total in the US, according to Cowen & Co., so there’s still plenty of room for Amazon to grow there.
Selling clothes, particularly form-fitting items like pants, may prove costly for Amazon, since returns rates are already high in the clothing category. Making it easier for customers to try on a lot of clothing and returning some of them could make that problem worse.
While Amazon-owned Zappos has successfully grown as an online shoe store, Amazon itself still appears to be experimenting with different ideas to build up its clothing business. The company developed its own clothing brands and even created a live TV show called “Style Code Live,” which was cancelled this year.
Amazon also introduced the Echo Look, a smart speaker with a built-in camera that can be used to offer fashion tips.