By   | MEN   |   21 June 2017
How Amazon Wants To Disrupt Fashion

Dwayne Wade, a Chicago Bulls player, got his own store on Amazon. Last week the e-commerce giant made a deal with the star. In a posts on Instagram and Twitter, Wade flaunted his new online boutique. ‘Bringing my style game to @amazonfashion with my own online store, where you can shop my collections’, he told his 9 million followers. Wade offers a number of different brands that he actually works with, in addition to his own sneakers. That’s a pretty great and smart approach for Amazon Fashion - allowing a celebrity to have his own online place there they can sell their brands.
Bringing my style game to @AmazonFashion with my own online store.

Amazon is constantly growing, expanding to cover new areas. Tech, books, foods, and and fashion, which the company is doing its best to promote the new service. Which is pretty interesting, because Amazon is hardly known in this field. Will it be able to attract fashion lovers? Long-time retailers and analysts have their doubts. They say, Amazon is not really optimized to be that kind of service, and it’s general policy could be a problem. Some believe that luxury brands are not eager to work with the popular online retailer because of ‘its association with discounting’. And while people readily order smaller and cheaper kind of clothes, like socks, it’s hard to see Amazon conquering the realm of thousand-dollar suits, dresses and bags.

It’s all about emotions. Emotions are what is different between selling clothes and fashion. Amazon is good at the former. Clothes are something that you need on a daily basis, and while it can be self-expression, it can hardly compete with fashion, which is actually all about telling the world about yourself. In case of Wade, that’s a good choice for Amazon. He offers an emotional connection that he has strengthened with his fans during his long and successful career. He is also known as a pretty classy guy. This shows that Amazon might be walking in the right direction. The front page of Amazon Fashion also shows that the company is getting there. It’s clean, with numerous photos and a clear focus. Like what you see on websites of popular brands. These things actually mark Amazon’s transition from apparel to fashion.
Are you guys having fun? Unlock the next question shall we? Do checkout the #SneakerFest at Amazon here

— AmazonFashionIN (@AmazonFashionIn) May 26, 2017
And that’s a gigantic market to explore. Fashion generally generates lots of revenue. ‘Amazon’s interest in this field is certainly driven by the $300 billion in U.S. revenue’, Ken Cassar told The Verge. Cassar is a principal analyst at Slice Intelligence, which measures all digital commerce activity and customer loyalty. The boost in profits, generated by clothing sales, could add quarter 25 cents to Amazon’s per-share earnings this year.

It’s also something that Amazon has been interested in for a very long time. Amazon has demonstrated its interested in fashion for a decade, since it bought online retailer Shopbop, which specialized in multiple brands of women’s clothes, in 2006. The company has actively been involved in prominent fashion events, like the Costume Institute exhibitions in 2012. Amazon also took part in the launch of New York Fashion Wee: Men’s two years ago. It hasn’t shied away from sponsoring international events, which by the way now have the company’s name in their titles: Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, or Amazon India Fashion Week. It’s a testament Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ ability to play the long game.

This has grown into something bigger at the beginning of 2017. At first, Amazon Fashion launched several clothing brands, women’s dresses and handbags and men’s accessories. Last month, it introduced its lingerie line at cheaper prices. Amazon also wants to involve technology in fashion. Its Alexa-powered Echo received an additional device, whose purpose is to take photos of apparel and give feedback about how it actually looks on the owner. Nowadays, the company is working on building its clothing factory and retail shops.

It seems the tactics have started to yield results. People are showing they have nothing against buying clothes from Amazon. Last year, the company sold the most apparel to U.S. customers from 18 to 34 years old, compared to any other online retailer. Customers told survey agencies that they appreciated Amazon Prime which was the main reason they bought stuff on the website. In addition to convenient service and reviews. According to reports, Amazon had around 7% of the clothing market in 2016. Predictions are, the e-retailer is going to increase its presence to 8.2 percent this year, and double this number by 2021. By that time, annual clothing sales are estimated to be at least $62 billion. Analysts say, Amazon is quite likely to emerge s the biggest retailer of apparel, produced by other brands, in 2017. Yet they still doubt that it can achieve the same results in fashion. There is still a lot of work to be done.

Consulting firm A.T. Kearney sees three crucial goals Amazon needs to reach before it can become a major player in the fashion field. The company should find great creative talents, which will be given total freedom to experiment to add unique products, rather then ‘more of the same’. The firm is convinced that people, especially millennials, want to stand out nowadays. Pricing is another issue. According to A.T. Kearney, Amazon should offer different price points, rather than value per dollar. ‘Premium label creates an aspirational effect’.

Then, the firm believes Amazon needs to expand its physical stores, which serve as ‘playgrounds’. It’s a place, where people can personally experience the brand, create an emotional link to it. Fashion capitals like Paris or New York can help build trust towards Amazon, if it has its stores in these cities.

‘People’s impressions of Amazon are about to change’, said Josh Shaw, founder of one of the brands that cooperate with Dwayne Wade’s store. He says, just a year ago people weren’t too enthusiastic about the direction that Amazon takes. ‘But anything Amazon puts their mind to, they are very successful’.
Top of the checklist: 1. Launch my WADE @AmazonFashion store. Done! #WadeXAmazonFashion

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) May 15, 2017

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