A whopping two-thirds of consumers start their online product search on Amazon. While plenty of fashion brands have flocked to the platform given its influence on shoppers’ buying journeys, some have kept their distance.
With Covid-19 forcing fashionistas off the high street and onto the internet, will brands re-evaluate Amazon’s role in their ecommerce strategy?
Amazon might represent an appealing opportunity to generate revenue against a backdrop of a fall in global fashion sales of up to 30% this year and the British Fashion Council predicting 35% of UK designer labels might collapse.
For many of the brands I have worked with, especially those making the move from traditional bricks and mortar, the large customer base, vast logistics network and customer service make Amazon an attractive proposition. But setting up and maintaining progress is often a daunting challenge. For this reason, every brand needs to consider their Amazon strategy carefully, as there is no “one size fits all”. With this said, Amazon’s mission is to be “earth’s most customer-centric company” and so brand’s should place focus on areas that improve the customer experience, such as availability, content (e.g. brand stores) and discoverability (e.g. sponsored ads).
If fashion brands can embrace the platform and understand the right strategy for them, Amazon provides an unparalleled opportunity to drive sales long-term. It should not be viewed as a short-term fix. Major brands like Calvin Klein, Levi’s and PUMA are examples of how fashion labels can create well-established, high-performing presences on the platform.
The platform is helping brands adapt to changing consumer demands post-Covid-19. The rise of the environmentally conscious dresser has increased the demand for long-life and “slow-fashion” staples. These products are easier for fashion brands to create, optimise and sustain Amazon “retail ready” listings.
And while some consumers will always prefer to try products before parting with money, Prime Wardrobe is expected to drive additional sales from these consumers. The Prime-exclusive offering allows consumers to try eligible clothing and shoes for seven days before returning any unwanted items or buying.
New initiatives to support vendors also demonstrate the company’s commitment to the industry. Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have teamed up to create an online digital storefront, Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion, which will help connect designers directly with consumers.
Without a doubt, Covid-19 will change consumer behaviour. As the pandemic has accelerated how comfortable shoppers are buying clothes online, the world’s largest e-commerce platform must surely be included in new growth strategies for Fashion brands. But rather just listing products on the site and hoping for the best, the most successful brands will take the channel seriously and develop a long-term strategy for taking advantage of Amazon’s potential to grow sales.
- Louise Evans is Head of Fashion at Molzi, Europe’s leading Amazon agency. She spent nearly three years helping to build Amazon’s fashion presence in Europe.