What is Prime Wardrobe?
As “try and buy” online shopping platforms like Trunk Club and Stitch Fix have become increasingly popular, Amazon has entered the ring with its own shopping service, Prime Wardrobe. Most of Amazon’s competitors operate under a similar model, in which users fill out a style profile and personal shoppers curate items on their behalf. Usually, shoppers are charged a styling fee for each order they place, which is then applied to any items they choose to buy.
Unlike these online personal styling services, Prime Wardrobe cuts out the middleman and allows customers to hand-select their own items – without paying any upfront fees.
Shoppers can order and try on anywhere from three to eight items before deciding whether or not they want to make a purchase. Once a shopper receives their items, they have seven days to try them on and decide if they are going to purchase or return them.
Who uses Prime Wardrobe?
Prime Wardrobe is currently available to all Prime members within the United States, and members of their Amazon household, at no additional cost. Those who subscribe to Prime Video only or get shipping benefits from another Prime member are not eligible for Prime Wardrobe.
What products are available via Prime Wardrobe?
Through Prime Wardrobe, users can shop hundreds, if not thousands, of items across men’s, women’s, girls',
boys' and baby’s clothing, shoes and jewelry. Shoppers can find eligible items via the Prime Wardrobe page or by browsing Amazon for any items sporting the Prime Wardrobe logo.
What’s in it for sellers?
58% of adults in the US have purchased clothing or shoes online, yet 56% of online shoppers still say they prefer to shop in store. Why? Because shopping for clothing online is a hassle. Purchase an item online, and you run the risk of ordering the wrong size or realizing the item isn’t as flattering or as comfortable as you hoped. Not to mention the cost and inconvenience of sending items back. The list of possible issues goes on and on.
Enter Prime Wardrobe. With no upfront costs, the freedom to try items on in the comfort of your own home and no charge to return the items you don’t want, Prime Wardrobe eliminates all the risks associated with online shopping. For the more than 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the US, there’s no reason not to give Prime Wardrobe a try.
For sellers, this presents a huge opportunity. Prime Wardrobe gives eligible sellers exclusive access to a massive pool of loyal Amazon shoppers who likely would not have considered making an online clothing purchase if not for the benefits of Prime Wardrobe.
How do I enroll in Prime Wardrobe?
The short answer is, you can’t. Prime Wardrobe is currently available to sellers on an invite-only basis. Amazon claims this is “to protect the buying experience and ensure catalog quality.” That being said, Amazon has released the FBA ASIN and seller eligibility criteria its catalog team uses to select ASINs and send invites.
FBA ASIN Eligibility Criteria:
- ASINs must have an ASP of >$20
- ASINs with an ASP of >$500 will be excluded to reduce fraud risk
- ASINs must be included in one of the eligible categories
- ASINs that are damaged upon return (such as lingerie) will be excluded
- ASINs that are high fraud risk (such as diamonds or designer purses) will be excluded
- ASINs must be enrolled in FBA
- ASINS must be located in the CVG, IND, SDF, MDW or BNA fulfillment nodes
- ASIN dimensions must have a length smaller than or equal to 18 in, a width smaller than or equal to 14 in, and a thickness of smaller than or equal to 8 in
- ASIN weight must be less than or equal to 20lb (same requirements as large standard size FBA size band)
- Hazmat ASINs will be excluded
Seller Eligibility Criteria:
- The seller must have participated in FBA for at least three months
- The seller’s account must be in good standing from TRMS, “Normal” account status
- The seller must have a professional selling account
- The seller must have a Customer feedback rating of 4.7 or higher
- The seller must have a Counterfeit Complaint Rate (CCR) of 30ppm or less
- The seller must have a Materially Different Complaint Rate (MDCR) of 500ppm or less
- The seller must have at least one PW-eligible ASIN at the time of enrollment
Why is it so hard to join?
All these restrictions make it difficult for the average seller to participate in Prime Wardrobe. But that might be exactly what Amazon wants. If you look at Prime Wardrobe’s top sellers, you’ll see brands like Lark & Ro, Daily Ritual, Amazon Essentials and Goodthreads – all of which are Amazon private labels.
Prime Wardrobe is clearly doing well for Amazon, so what incentive does it have to open up the program to other sellers? Sure, it might expand Prime Wardrobe’s somewhat limited selection of clothing, but it would also significantly increase competition for Amazon. And it’s not like Amazon is desperate for interested sellers. Prime Wardrobe already features big names like Lilly Pulitzer, Adidas, Levi’s, Nine West, Hugo Boss, Disney and Gymboree.
What does this mean for other sellers?
For now, it appears as if Amazon’s strategy is to hook consumers with big-name retailers and then use the platform to support their own private brands. This is certainly a concern for smaller sellers who are losing shoppers to Prime Wardrobe and have no way to compete with the “try and buy” model on their own.
Not only has Prime Wardrobe intensified competition between Amazon and companies like Stitch Fix, but it has also created a more competitive environment within the platform itself, giving Amazon private labels and big name brands a leg up over smaller sellers. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out as Prime Wardrobe continues to grow, and whether or not Amazon will make it easier in the future for more sellers to claim a piece of the pie.