Will Amazon Prime Wardrobe change how Americans shop for clothes?
Amazon is beta testing a new perk for its Prime subscription program that may spell big trouble for department stores and other clothing retailers.
Amazon Prime Wardrobe allows members to order a box with three or more pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories to try on at home. They only pay for the items they keep while returning unwanted pieces for free. Amazon claims that more than one million items for children, men and women are included in the program.
Every order shipped includes multiple items that customers get to keep for seven days without charge — think Stitch Fix or Trunk Club without the personal shopper fee. If a Prime member purchases three or four items, they receive a 10 percent discount on their purchase. If they buy five or more, the discount increases to 20 percent. Any unwanted items go back in the resealable box provided by Amazon with the supplied free shipping label. Customers place the box on their front steps, or wherever it was delivered, and Amazon collects it.
A video produced by Amazon to promote its new “try before you buy” program says it “takes advantage of the ultimate fitting room — your room.”
The beta of Prime Wardrobe follows Amazon’s launch of the Echo Look in April. The newest device that uses the Alexa voice interface comes with a camera for shoppers to take full-length photos of themselves in different clothing. They can then use the shots with the Look’s StyleCheck feature, which employs “advanced machine learning” and “tips from fashion specialists” to provide feedback.
The information collected using the Look will help in providing future purchasing suggestions, according to Amazon.
- Introducing Prime Wardrobe – YouTube
- Prime Wardrobe – Amazon.com
- Will Amazon’s Echo Look be a clothes selling machine? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely is Prime Wardrobe to disrupt the U.S. retail clothing business? What do you think will be the response of companies competing with Amazon in the apparel space?