Amazon Prime Wardrobe: Great for Shoppers. Worth the Trouble for Sellers?

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The high demand for comfort and immediacy has led companies to optimize resources to offer the best shopping experience for customers. In recent years, window-shopping has been taken to a whole new level and it’s now possible thanks to big clothing retail players like Zappos and Stitch Fix, which allow customers the opportunity to buy clothing items from the comfort of their home.

Clearly, Amazon cannot afford to lag behind competitors and came up with a solution for those shoppers who are not keen on going through shelves or waiting for a turn to try on clothes in an uncomfortable space: Amazon Prime Wardrobe.

Let us make it clear that brick-and-mortar is not old-fashioned, it’s just not as convenient as it used to. And as time goes by, more and more people try to avoid the hassles of buying stuff in actual stores. For this reason, the clothing industry has begun to open a path for itself in the world of eCommerce to cater to the needs of online shoppers.

If you are a clothing retailer currently selling on Amazon, you might want to find out if this program is convenient for your business.

3 Reasons Why Some People Won’t Shop Clothes Online

When it comes to choosing apparel, online shopping is not always the best solution for some people. One of the main struggles online clothing stores face is that a considerable number of shoppers are still hesitant about buying clothing items online, and they consider it as a gamble of luck.

Here are some of the most common reasons why some people won’t buy clothes online:

  1. Will it fit me? – Size and fitting vary according to fabric, and many people are unwilling to deal with such disappointment.
  2. Different color -The color may change due to the editing of the pictures.
  3. Feel of the material – For many people, experience is a crucial factor. Sometimes the fabric may vary from the one received; therefore, being able to interact with the products in person is paramount for some.

On top of all this, if the buying experience isn’t enjoyable, shoppers have to deal with a cumbersome return process.

However, as the years have gone by, online retailers have put in sufficient effort to please unpleasant customers by making returns a part of the solution – not the main problem.

And since there’s no such thing as “impossible” for Amazon, “Try Before You Buy” has become more than a catchy phrase.

How Does Amazon Prime Wardrobe Work?

On June 20th, 2018, Amazon Prime Wardrobe launched out of Beta. This is a Prime-exclusive program that allows shoppers try on clothing items – at home – before buying them.

In a nutshell, this is how it works:

  • Prime members select 3-8 items (they will need a credit card, a debit card won’t do)
  • Orders can take 4-6 days.
  • They get seven days to try them out. (The 7-day try-on period begins once all the items in their order arrive.)
  • Before the end of their try-on period, they have to access their order in “Your Orders” to check out and indicate which items they’re going to keep, and which ones they’re returning. (They can only check out once.)
  • They will only be charged for the items they decide to keep at retail price and all other selections are returned free of charge.
  • Prime Wardrobe will send an email to notify when all their return items have been received.
  • Shoppers can track the process of their return package here.

It is worth mentioning that Amazon doesn’t let shoppers order the same clothing item in various sizes.

Personal Shopper by Amazon Prime Wardrobe

This styling service, exclusive for Prime members, provides shoppers with a personal stylist who will select pieces that suit their budget, fit, and style preferences. This service comes at a price, however. Prime members will have to pay a monthly fee of 4.99 USD, which entitles them to one styling per month.

Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe is currently accessible via the mobile Amazon App for iOS or Android mobile phones.

Is Amazon Prime Wardrobe Convenient for Sellers?

When Amazon rolled out this program, there was a huge controversy over how it was going to be possible to control all the returns from customers.

To mitigate this concern among sellers, when this program was still in Beta phase, Amazon would reward shoppers if they kept most of the items:

If a shopper chose to keep three or four items, they received a 10 percent discount on the whole order, and if they kept five or more items, they received 20 percent off everything they kept.

However, this incentive is no longer active.

These were some of the main concerns sellers had when the Amazon Prime Wardrobe was launched:

“Once an item is opened, it’s considered by Amazon to be ‘used’. I cannot sell ‘used’ clothing on this site.”

“Anyone wondering if their clothing sales are hurting should notice the clever little icon in the center of the top of their listings. Click it and you will find that they have a new deal for clothing buyers.”

“This has me a little nervous: Try first, pay later, 7 days return.” – Ilsa Acosta, Ventulino Bohemian Dresses

Although “free-returns” is now the norm; Amazon is very serious about both seller and shopper satisfaction; therefore, the new returns policy specifies the following:

“Items must be returned with tags on and in their original packaging, including: hangers, polybags, shoe boxes, dust bags, and gift boxes. Items must be unused, unworn, unwashed, and undamaged. When we receive a return, we will determine in our sole discretion if the products are in acceptable condition as specified in the Amazon Fashion returns policy. If returned products are determined by us not to be in acceptable condition, we may in our sole discretion charge you the purchase price and ship the products back to you to keep.”

Closing thoughts

The way Amazon chooses which brands are eligible for the Prime Wardrobe is not in the public domain yet. And we understand that, with this program, there might be a high risk of not getting your goods back in the best possible conditions.

However, keep in mind that Amazon’s Fashion Returns Policy is backing you, and you will be compensated for any unpleasant surprises that may arise.

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