Amazon Launching Try Before You Buy Service

Amazon launches prime wardrobe
By Evan Clark. Source: WWD.

Amazon’s moved the e-commerce fashion fight from the doorstep to in front of the bedroom mirror, launching a beta test for Prime Wardrobe.

With the new service, which was revealed today but has not yet launched, Amazon’s millions of Prime members can order fashions to try on at home, keeping only what they want. The service offers over a million items across women’s, men’s and kids and gives shoppers seven days to try them on at home. Returns can be left at the front door, where the box will be picked up.

Prime Wardrobe will include styles from Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Adidas, Timex, Theory, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, J Brand, Milly, Parker and more.

There is no minimum or fee beyond Prime membership and shipping is free both ways — making good use of the logistical might Amazon’s been spending heavily to build. Shoppers get a 10 percent discount for keeping three or four items and a 20 percent discount off five or more pieces.

The web giant described it as, “The fitting room that fits into your life.”

Amazon’s taking a page from players such as Stitch Fix, which has been gaining steam and grew revenues to $730 million last year by letting users try on looks at home. While Stitch Fix uses a combination of artificial intelligence and full-time stylists to recommend looks tailored for each user, Amazon brings to the table its massive scale, logistics expertise, aggressive stance and nearly endless supply of funds. Amazon has also been working on ways to recommend looks to shoppers.

Since the dawn of e-commerce, shoppers and retail experts have said stores have one big advantage — the product in real life to touch and feel and try on. If Prime Wardrobe takes off, that advantage would lessen, leaving retailers scrambling all the more. Already, stores of all stripes are struggling mightily to figure out the right combination of online and store to serve the needs of shoppers.

Amazon is not afraid to experiment and has been working hard to find the right fit in fashion. Last year, it launched an livestreaming shopping show akin to HSN or QVC, but shut down the effort this spring.

It is also getting directly into retail now, with a $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods.

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