Amazon raises the e-commerce bar
The electronic retail giant has introduced a new option to its range – Prime Wardrobe. It allows clients to order clothing and try it on in the comfort of their own home. This will be a free service for anyone who has paid for a yearly Amazon Prime membership. Commenting on Amazon’s decision and its effect on the e-commerce industry is Marek Molicki, regional manager at Gemius.
The new Prime Wardrobe service allows customers to order home delivered clothing, shoes and accessories with no upfront payment. Clients then have seven days to return any goods, during which time they can try them on and decide which to purchase. Unwanted items can be picked up by courier, and the customer pays only for the goods they choose to buy.
Electronic trade is constantly evolving. This is being influenced by Amazon and by former start-ups, such as Zalando. Their owners are not afraid to take bold, and often controversial decisions. They are the ones setting the trends – not only in terms of the usefulness and functionality of online shops, but also in terms of that most important thing in e-commerce – logistics. Prime Wardrobe is going one step further than Zalando by not requiring any upfront payment; however, it needs to be remembered that Amazon Prime membership comes with an annual fee of 99 dollars.
How will e-commerce respond to the bar Amazon has set?
Progressively, more shops will offer their clients similar services. One-click payment, same-day delivery, and free delivery and return: these are no longer exceptional – in fact, customers have come to expect them. Moreover, there are already companies offering the same benefits as Prime Wardrobe. They send their customers their chosen clothing and accessories direct to their door. The option to try goods out at home before paying for them will soon become a standard in many other shops. It all depends on the business model and the patience of the investors. But for many smaller online shops, what Amazon and Zalando are offering will not be cost-effective. This is particularly true when you consider the narrow profit margins and the need to take in delivery and return costs.