This year, Amazon showed a willingness to try its hand at everything: fashion, cosmetics and even groceries. Fashion and beauty brands are increasingly interested in how the online retail giant Amazon is shaping the landscape of e-commerce. (Members can attend our full clinic on the retail giant on January 23.)
Amazon has been successful in consumer adoption: 30% of consumers start their product search on Amazon versus 13% on Google. Despite that, many have dismissed Amazon’s foray into fashion due to its association with low-end household products, discounted items, and the absence of editorial discretion on the site.
Predicting Amazon’s failure as a fashion destination is to ignore the company’s capacity for adaptation, best described by a picture from the website’s original launch in 1995 when the site sold only CDs, videos and books:
Amazon’s site has evolved since then and will continue to. Realizing the importance of visuals in fashion, it has invested heavily in visuals, opening up a 40,000-foot photo studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in October.
Fashion and Beauty brands are becoming easier to find on Amazon. In 2012, it was a top eight downstream site for 43% of Beauty brands compared to 28% in 2010. More than half of Fashion brands studied in our Digital IQ Index: Fashion report appeared on the first page of Amazon’s results. The search giant might have a lot of visual and editorial work to do before becoming a primary destination for fashion and beauty, but those doubting its capabilities on that front can take a look at Shopbop.com, the trendy Amazon-owned online retailer known for its glossy, magazine-style pages as well as its curation of fashionable products.
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