The store will be a hybrid of a typical apparel store and a showroom. A shopper can browse the store for merchandise she likes. If she wishes to try on the garment in the fitting room, she uses her smartphone to scan the QR code adjacent to the garment instead of taking the item off the rack. The Amazon app will open, allowing the customer to send that garment to the fitting room in the size she wants. The app will also display additional colors that garment comes in for her to try on or purchase, plus other coordinating styles.
The app will tell the shopper which fitting room to go in and when it is ready with the clothes she scanned and other recommended garments. In the fitting room, she will see a personalized touch screen, where she can request an employee to deliver more items, such as a different size, to her dressing room.
A shopper can also scan garments’ QR codes, select the size and color and send them directly to the checkout counter, without trying them on, and purchase there. Shoppers can pay at the counter in the traditional ways with cash, credit cards or gift cards or use more tech-forward methods. These include scanning a QR code in the Amazon app using saved payment credentials or Amazon One, which uses a consumer’s palm to identify the shopper and pay.
Amazon says that it is using the same technologies and processes as Amazon’s fulfillment centers to store the correct inventory in the back of the store and to be able to pick garments for the fitting rooms or for checkout “within minutes.” The store is about 30,000 square feet, over half of which—17,000 square feet—is “back of house” inventory storage, says an Amazon spokesperson. This allows Amazon to store an additional 100,000 units of inventory, Amazon says.
The Amazon Style dressing rooms will have touchscreens for shoppers to request additional sizes and garments.
Shoppers can use the Amazon app to fill out a survey of their style and fit for recommendations on what try on.
Consumers can also purchase apparel online, have the garments shipped to the Amazon store to try on and either keep or return there.
This is not Amazon’s first foray into physical retail. The retailer has bookstores, 4-Star stores of best-selling merchandise, Amazon Go convenience stores, Amazon Fresh grocery stores and the Whole Foods Grocery store chain. Amazon is No. 1 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.
This expansion into physical apparel stores makes sense, says Gregory Ng, CEO of customer experience vendor Brooks Bell, as apparel is often a category where shoppers want to see the product and try it on before purchasing. The showroom-esque model works in retail, Ng says, as seen with Apple Inc. (No. 3) and apparel retailer Bonobos, (owned by Walmart Inc., No. 2 in the Top 1000).
“For years, Apple stores have conditioned us to see a demo model, evaluate it, only to have a store associate provide the product from the warehouse. This ensures a simple and optimized display of products and features,” he says. “Amazon Style will adopt this same philosophy ensuring there are not crowded racks of the same article of clothing requiring the customer to sift through to find their right size.“
Amazon Style will also benefit from the data of knowing which garments shoppers try on and ultimately purchase or don’t, without the cost of shipping the item to a customer’s house, Ng says.
“Other apparel retailers need to take notice. Whether they believe their customers want this or not, Amazon Style will disrupt the expectations of shoppers in apparel and footwear,” he says.
Amazon already commands a large share of the online and total apparel market
The Amazon Style apparel store already builds upon a large base of apparel sales. As of 2020, Digital Commerce 360 estimates that Amazon was the top online apparel seller, with
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