Over 60% of people order clothes online every year, with Amazon being the most popular. The prices, the sheer number of products and the honest reviews are just a few reasons why. But there’s nothing quite like heading into a physical clothes shop, filling your hands with hangers and trying on some new looks. After opening shops such as Amazon 4-star, Amazon Go and, most recently, Amazon Fresh, where better for Amazon to venture next than into fashion. This week, they announced their first men’s and women’s clothing shop opening later this year, Amazon Style.
Another new Amazon thing?
Yep – they just can’t help themselves! Amazon have a bit of a reputation for half-investing in an idea. It comes out with a bang and after a while miraculously disappears or falls on the backburner whilst a new idea takes off. For example, why aren’t they shouting more about their climate pledge friendly initiative? Where’s Amazon 4-star gone? And dipping their toes into the live streaming market with Amazon Live ended up with zero interest. Allowing creators to sell products over livestream was never going to compete with the likes of YouTube or Tiktok, and with a max of less than a thousand viewers a day, was it really worth it? They certainly have an eye for a catchy name, we’ll give them that!
So what makes Amazon Style different?
With their fingers all over technology, Amazon want to combine the joy of traditional clothes shopping with an ultra-personalised, technological experience. Shopping for the modern world! Take the best elements of shopping online – the speed, the reviews, the recommendations – and the benefit of trying on clothes before you buy them, and you’ve got Amazon Style.
The shop will feature thousands of different styles and brands based on Amazon feedback and current trending items. They’ll also meet a range of budgets – trying not to alienate anyone we see!
What technology will there be?
The shop will be packed with several new technologies, including:
- Touchscreens in the changing rooms so you can request different sizes or styles of clothes at the touch of a button.
- Technology similar to Amazon warehouses that mean items can be delivered to you in your changing room within minutes.
- QR codes on all the products so you can easily see available colours, sizes and read reviews whilst you’re in-store, before adding them to a fitting room.
- Personalised recommendations based on your shopping tendencies that will match your budget, fit and style preferences.
- Palm recognition at the checkout so you can pay and get out of there in the blink of an eye.
What are the benefits of shopping at Amazon Style over online?
A personal shopper…without the shopper
It’s almost like having a Personal Shopper without having to fork out for it. The personalised elements give the impression of making you feel special and looked after while you shop. All that without having a pushy salesman in your ear or feeling bad when you decide not to buy something – you can just leave it in your changing room closet!
The QR codes are a really interesting feature. Instead of having to sift through the rack to find the right size, there will just be display items. You scan the QR code and are taken to the shopping app. There you can check out what colours and sizes are available and see customer reviews on the item. You can then either add it to your changing room or send it straight to the pickup counter. Alternatively, Amazon will take note that it’s something you looked at and be able to make recommendations of similar items.
It saves you wasting time searching around, in theory. The idea behind this is to also allow the Amazon Style shop to feature more looks and less clutter. Just imagine how nice that would be during discount seasons rather than fighting through the sale rail!
A tech-savvy fitting room
The reimagined fitting rooms are also really quite cool. You’ll be pinged on the app when your changing room is ready for you. Once you’re in, your items will be displayed beautifully on the racks for you, with an apparently hidden closet should you want to request anymore items. The touchscreen allows you to continue shopping and get clothes delivered to you within minutes, saving you the awkward lean out the door searching for an employee to help.
Working hand-in-hand with shopping at home
Even when you’re at home browsing online, if you see something you want to try, you can request for it to be delivered to the Amazon Style shop. Then you can pop in to try it on without having spent any money or having the hassle of returning it. Who even has time to get to the post office?
How do they know so much about me?
The algorithm buffs are always listening. How many times have you had a chat with someone about a product or film, for example, and then the next time you open your phone there’s an advert for that very thing. Spooky, you say! Or just some very clever technology…
With all these algorithms and technologies working non-stop to see how you shop, they’re able to recommend similar items and essentially increase their chance of upselling. In the end, it’s always about the money.
But surely it’s an invasion of privacy?
It’s no different to the Amazon Fresh shops really. In those, you simply waltz in, scan your Amazon app on the way, select what you want at the mercy of hundreds of cameras and then walk out checkout free. Then it charges straight to your Amazon account. Hassle-free is the way to be apparently! Sure, they’re getting a sneak peek into your mind and shopping habits, but weren’t they already when you were doing it online?
Here’s a great review video from The Independent who visited the first Amazon Fresh store in London when it opened. They say a great piece at the end on privacy; ‘Amazon may well be banking on the idea that the mass of shoppers simply won’t be too worried, and will accept that a little more has to be given each time we want advancements in convenience.’
There are perhaps some questions that could be raised here. What if part of the technology fails? Would you be waiting in your changing room for a new size to be delivered only to have to dress and search out an employee? Their whole thing is speedy, efficient, personalised shopping, but what if you can’t access the app for some reason? Wouldn’t you just get frustrated and head to a different shop? Personally, I’m always a bit hesitant to be so reliant on technology, but maybe that’s why Amazon are branching out into the physical world more and more.
Where is the Amazon Style store?
The first shop is now open at The Americana at Brand, a Los Angeles shopping destination. Check out the introduction video below.
If all goes well, we can certainly see it following in the footsteps of Amazon Fresh.
You can read more about Amazon Style and what to expect here.
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