It can be difficult to keep up with Amazon’s fashion empire.
The company sells proprietary and third-party apparel products on the main Amazon site, its luxury stores subsidiary, and Amazon-owned Zappos. Although the exact figures depends on who measures, most sources agree that Amazon is the dominant force in e-commerce clothing, owning something akin to 50% of the online clothing market. Still, its reputation among fashion brands is more mixed, and the proliferation of fakes on the platform has scared high profile fashion partners like Nike.
Over the past two years, however, the company has rolled out a suite of fashion-tech features, all in the hope of finding new ways to attract fashion customers. The pace of innovation is furious, with new features appearing almost every month – yet while some of those features are already gone and could be tantamount to throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks together, they have, in overall, increased Amazon’s fashion influence. . According to a Kantar study, the share of shoppers who say they do most of their clothing purchases on Amazon has increased by 3 percentage points since 2019. These gains are still relatively small and could be influenced by the pandemic, but this suggests that the Amazons’ many launches in the fashion landscape are creating tangible movement.
Amazon has made inroads and is growing, said Rachel Dalton, e-commerce analyst at Kantar, who also noted that certain clothing purchases – like women’s shoes – are among the products that customers are most likely to buy. on Amazon at higher rates than they were a year ago. They have made fashion a top priority.
To see how they got there, here’s a look at some of Amazon’s high-profile fashion launches over the past year and a half.
Drop: Amazon released one of its most enduring fashion pieces, the streetwear line curated by influencers The Drop, in May 2019. He was among the first to bring a sense of exclusivity to Amazon: All of The Drop products are limited edition, designed by recognizable designers and influencers, and all are only available 30 hours after launch.
In all respects, The Drop is one of Amazon’s most successful fashion products. The-Drop-focused Instagram account has over 220,000 followers and top names like Kylie and Kendall Jenner collaborated with him to create fashion pieces exclusive to Amazon.
StyleSnap: When Amazon first launched StyleSnap in June 2019, an in-app tool where users can photograph or capture an outfit they like and in return receive recommendations for similar products on Amazon, the company declared that StyleSnap would change the way you shop, forever. Amazon has also built a the integration for influencers, so creators enrolled in the Amazon Influencer program can earn credit and commissions if their outfits are captured in StyleSnap.
Despite the initial fanfare, StyleSnap has largely vanished from the map. Modern Retail found few references of it on social media, and Rachel Dalton, e-commerce analyst at Kantar, said: “My feeling is that it’s a bit hidden, maybe not used as much as they are. hoped.
#FoundItOnAmazon: Also in June 2019, the company revived an older social discovery tool – called Amazon Spark – as an Instagram-like product page called #FoundItOnAmazon, where influencers pose in Amazon products in exchange for commissions.
One of the things Amazon is trying to do is bring these social signals to its platform, Dalton said, adding that the goal is to make Amazon a destination for people beyond just shopping. . It’s hard to gauge how many people visit the #FoundItOnAmazon page on Amazon’s own storefront, but the hashtag itself has found a second life on TikTok, where users have driven huge amounts of traffic clothing products from Amazon – and other products – via affiliate links.
Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe: The company’s response to Stitch Fix arrival in the summer of 2019, and in exchange for $ 4.99 per month, it gave Prime members access to a series of personal stylists, who curate outfits for clients based on a survey they complete. . Last September, Amazon extended the service to also include men’s clothing.
Amazon has not released any figures relating to the success of the Prime Wardrobe program, but in a recent analysis the Motley Fool Noted that Stitch Fix remains the market leader – and Amazon’s many fashion-related launches, which he called a “lack of focus,” could prevent Prime Wardrobe from overtaking Stitch Fix.
Make the cut: In March, Amazon debuts a shoppable fashion reality TV show called Making The Cut, essentially a Project Runway lookalike. The outfits that appeared on the show are available for purchase on Amazon at the end of each episode.
Although host Heidi Klum said She was hoping the show “would last a long time,” Amazon did not renew it for season 2, suggesting she might have fallen short of expectations.
Common threads:This summer, Amazon Fashion received an endorsement from Vogue when the two teamed up to give independent designers a digital storefront on Amazon to sell their designs, despite a dark moment for the luxury fashion industry.
Style by Alexa:Amazon also has invested in turn Alexa into a product discovery tool. When customers ask Alexa what to wear, the voice assistant makes a decision based on local weather and a person’s purchase history. Then various possible outfits appear in the Amazon Shopping app.
There are many reasons to be skeptical, including that an earlier version of this feature, the Echo Look Camera which recommends clothing to customers based on their body, folded last May. But Amazon seems optimistic about Style by Alexa. Chuck Moore, Alexa Vice President, Told Vogue Business that “over half” of Alexa users regularly tried out its shopping features, opening the door for clothing shoppers. But it could be a big demand to bring voice shopping to a visual medium like fashion.
Luxury stores:Amazon’s long struggle to conquer high-end fashion brands culminated with the launch of Luxury Stores in the fall, an “invitation-only store in a store” that first attempted to bring high fashion businesses to Amazon. Oscar de la Renta was the first official partner. Luxury stores remain relatively exclusive, so its exact success is difficult to measure, but a positive sign for Amazon is that new partners, most recently Elie Saab, have continued to register for sale in luxury boutiques even after launch.
Made for you: In December, Amazon added its Made For You service, which allows shoppers to customize shirts based on their exact body type, while choosing their preferred material and style. Each shirt costs $ 25.
Will these features last?
All of these features may be a lot to follow, but Dalton said volume of product launches is part of the strategy. Amazon has the resources to experiment in public, and they want to do a lot of things and see what works, she said. Last year they really focused on the fashion category as a whole.
Many of these products use what Dalton called social media signals. StyleSnap is most effective when customers are scrolling Instagram or Pinterest and capturing outfits that grab their attention. Meanwhile, FoundItOnAmazon, which is heavily populated with Amazon influencers, mimics the aesthetics of these social platforms, with a more explicit focus on shopping. It’s a break from the usual buying dynamic on Amazon, but it also matches the dynamic of the fashion space, which lends itself well to influencers.
According to Dalton, when it comes to these features, it may still be too early to tell what will stay and what will not. But all in all, these approaches seem to be reshaping the way consumers view Amazon as a fashion player. Their strategy is to be a fashion leader. They present themselves as Amazon Fashion, she said. Even if these specificities do not survive like those of today, they will evolve according to [their] lessons learned from all of these tactics.
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