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Trend Alert introduces you to the latest trends that are impacting the daily lives of 16-24s.
For today’s young shopper, the typical customer journey includes both online and in-store touchpoints, because both physical and online retail offers benefits that appeal to them. The industry has been coming up with hybrid “phygital” concepts for years, but so far the typical in-store experience isn’t so different to ten years ago. Shoppers might send a selfie to their friends to get opinions on an outfit, or order an item to ‘click and collect,’ but overall the disruption hasn’t been as significant as predictions would have suggested.
In the fashion industry, this could be set to change as an unexpected name from the world of ecommerce makes its bid to compete with the household name clothing stores that dominate physical retail. Amazon has been focused on growing its market share in fashion for a few years now, with strategies including launching their own in-house brands selling items inspired by what’s trending on the platform, and working with influencers to promote their products via their Amazon Live shopping channel. This month they announced the launch of their first fashion retail store, Amazon Style, which is set to open in LA this year.
Shoppers will be able to browse items in-store in the usual way, scanning each one they’d like to try on with their Amazon app. The shop will stock a range of Amazon’s own brands, as well as established fashion brands. They can then head to the fitting rooms, where Amazon employees will have a room ready for them, with the clothes they selected in their size. The fitting room will also feature a screen enabling them to request more items to try. Alternatively, if they’re not sure what they’re looking for, they can provide information about their tastes and preferences, and the shop workers will curate a selection to try – think Stitch Fix for the in-person shopping experience. Another option is for customers to select items in advance and have them delivered to the store to try on, removing the usual need to return any purchases they weren’t happy with by post.
Amazon’s fashion offering is targeted more to older consumers than Gen Z, as is evident from the promotional materials for Amazon Style, but the personalisation and ‘phygital’ integration of the concept certainly has potential to appeal to younger shoppers. Whether they can be tempted to buy fashion from Amazon, generally associated more with convenience than cool, we’re not too sure, but the ideas and innovations they’re trialling here could be successful if replicated for a more relevant, youthful fashion brand in the future.
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