Get ready to go nuts on your shopping cart. Amazon has come to dominate most of the retail world, but it’s still not quite there when it comes to clothing and food. They’re aggressively trying to fix that this year — first they bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, and now they’ve announced they’re preparing a new service that will make online clothes shopping make a lot more sense.
Starting this year, Amazon will kick off Amazon Prime Wardrobe. In beta now, Amazon Prime Wardrobe allows shoppers to have between 3 and 15 items of clothing listed on Amazon Fashion delivered — at no charge. Amazon is letting their customers turn their homes into fitting rooms.
To convince customers to buy in, Amazon is trying to make the whole process as convenient as possible. When the clothes are shipped over, they’ll come with a resealable box and a printed shipping label for returns. Shoppers will have a week to try clothes on before deciding whether they want to ship them back or buy them. Amazon can arrange UPS pickups for anything that needs to go back, but they’ll be sweetening the pot for buyers — a 10 percent discount for three or four items and a 15 percent discount for five or more items.
It’s a big step past the status quo — currently, clothes shipped through Amazon Prime can be returned for free, but customers need to pay for the item up front, and they have to figure out shipping themselves. Those purchases also wouldn’t see the discounts being included in Amazon Prime Wardrobe.
From the business side, this model hasn’t always been successful. It’s the exact thing JackThreads turned to to try to save their business in the past year — and it didn’t work. Then again, for Amazon, it doesn’t really matter that much. Amazon is so huge, it has more of an appetite for loss in exchange for getting a larger piece of the pie. We’ve seen this in their super cheap Fire and Kindle devices, which are sold at somewhere between a razor-thin margin and an outright loss. If any company is equipped to make the online try before you buy model work, it’s Amazon.
Want to give Amazon Prime Wardrobe a try? The service is in beta now, but Amazon expects to make it public sometime this year. It’s not yet clear whether or not a full global rollout is planned.