With an area of almost 3,000 square meters, the e-commerce giant Amazon will open its first clothing store near Los Angeles this year, a very popular division of its website. After trying its luck in the food and pharmacy markets, the technology company is launching into the style business, promising a more virtual than physical experience, thanks to QR codes, which will allow the customer to choose items and receive them in the fitting room, as algorithms that will turn the purchase into an interactive experience, with little human participation.
“We would not attempt anything in physical retail unless we felt we could significantly improve the customer experience,” the tech giant explained in a statement, collected by the Reuters agency. The size of the store, smaller than that of a clothing store of any standard chain, is explained by the selection model. Customers will have to scan through the Amazon mobile application the code corresponding to the color and size of the sample models that appear on the shelves, on which they will also be able to see evaluations of other customers. To try on the clothes, shoppers will wait in a virtual queue before unlocking access to the booth with their smartphone when it is free.
Once in the changing room, the consumer will have at their disposal a “magic cabinet with a selection [de prendas] seemingly endless,” according to Simoina Vasen, the company’s managing director. The dressing room will be “a personal space for you to continue shopping without having to go out,” the executive explained in a statement. Each changing room will have a touch screen so that customers can request more items that the establishment staff will deliver “in a matter of minutes”.
In the “Amazon Style shopping experience”, an algorithm will practically take customers by the hand, multiplying the offer based on their previous selection. Touch screens will recommend items to shoppers, just as they do now on the web, thanks to the record of each garment the customer scans. By the time these arrive at the dressing room, employees will have already deposited the items requested by customers and others that the Amazon algorithm has chosen. Consumers will also be able to answer a satisfaction survey, giving even more clues about their preferences.
Amazon’s style division, which offers men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, has already overtaken giant Walmart, the largest US retailer, as the top-selling apparel retailer, but is still trailing lag behind department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. However, the food division (supermarkets and physical stores) has not managed to stand out in traditional retail. Amazon’s virtual pharmacy, launched during the first phase of the pandemic, has not yet revolutionized a market dominated by large listed chains. Despite the slowdown in consumption and the congestion of supply chains, Amazon’s online business has skyrocketed since the start of the health emergency and last October announced profits of more than 19,000 million dollars, almost 35% more than in the same period of the previous year.
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