Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 500, today announced it is testing a new perk for its Prime loyalty program members: Prime Wardrobe, a service that will let Prime members order fashion items online, try them on at home, then return anything they don’t like for free.
Consumers will see the Prime Wardrobe logo on more than 1 million items across women’s, men’s and children’s apparel with the retailer’s Amazon Fashion section. If they select at least three items, Amazon will ship the items for free and consumers have seven days to send back anything they don’t like for free. Shoppers receive a 10% discount if they keep three or four items and a 20% discount if they keep five or more items.
While offering free returns isn’t a revolutionary idea, Amazon’s approach of offering a discount for keeping more items could help it keep its costs under control, says Ananda Chakravarty, a Forrester Research Inc. senior analyst. “Offering free returns can be a dicey proposition,” he says. “But by encouraging shoppers to keep more items and send back less returns, it can close more sales.”
The service is somewhat akin to Stitch Fix, No. 134, the fast-growing retailer that generated an Internet Retailer-estimated $300 million in online sales thanks to its business model that uses a mix of artificial intelligence and stylists to send shoppers items they think will suit their style. Shoppers keep the items they like and send back those they don’t like for free. If a shopper keeps all five items, she receives a 25% discount on her entire order.
The move reflects Amazon’s growing interest in fashion. The retailer in April introduced the Echo Look, a small tower-like, voice-activated camera that can take full-length photos and short videos to enable shoppers to see how they look from multiple angles while, at the same time, helping Amazon gather valuable intelligence about the clothes consumers are wearing.
Amazon has already established itself as a leading fashion site among millennials. The retailer accounts for 16.6% of all apparel sales among U.S. consumers aged 18 to 34, according to Slice Intelligence data, far outpacing Nordstrom Inc., No. 17, which was second at 8.1%.