Prime Wardrobe uses hyper convenient shipping and returns — and wide selection — to take a major shot at department stores.
Amazon’s fashion and retail aspirations are no secret. It’s become a part of their Alexa efforts and they have a patent for their own fast fashion production. And this week, the online retail giant announced a new initiative that has investors psyched: Prime Wardrobe.
Targeted at former mall-shoppers, Prime Wardrobe sends customers up to 15 items of clothing “to try on for free at home,” according to Business Insider. (Presumably only the “sending” part is free — this isn’t a Warby Parker’s situation — but Amazon is offering discount for the more articles of clothing you buy.)
Business Insider asserts that Amazon has a greater selection of apparel than any one department store, but particular name brand choices can still leave something to be desired. But Amazon is working aggressively in that area — Nike is apparently close to selling products through the site which could encourage other name brands to do the same. And yet, for the former mall department store shoppers in the niche Amazon is targeting, their selection is certainly comparable.
Even with free shipping and free returns, consumers are often put off by the inconvenience of returns. It’s not always easy or accessible to finding a box the right size or access to a printer. So, Prime Wardrobe will ship with return label in the box. (Ease of returning also means consumers may be more likely to feel comfortable ordering multiple sizes.) Furthermore, you can reseal the box and leave it on your front porch.
Prime Wardrobe shares a business model with a German sevice called Zalando, according to Credit Suisse analysts as reported by Business Insider. Zalando has been quite succesful which leads the analysts to believe Prime Wardrobe will be too.
Honestly, Amazon nails most of what it sets out to achieve, so there’s little reason to believe they won’t quickly win over shoppers with convenient orders and returns.