Amazon Wants to Be Your Personal Stylist

Just don’t expect curated apparel within 2 days

Amazon fashion set on the floor, amazon box, purse, jacket, heels
The service debuts with women's fashion in sizes 0-24. Amazon
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

Amazon has added a styling service for women’s apparel to its year-old Prime Wardrobe program in yet another move signaling the ecommerce platform’s intent to conquer fashion.

Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe costs U.S. Prime members an additional $4.99 monthly, which entitles them to one styling per month. This styling includes personalized recommendations for apparel in sizes 0-24 and XS-XXXL, as well as shoes in sizes 5-12, which indicate the retailer, like Walmart, is on trend with inclusive sizing.

It was not immediately clear why Amazon chose to debut with women’s apparel, but, on the Prime Wardrobe site, Amazon states, “We look forward to expanding our capabilities for men’s selection soon.” (An Amazon spokesperson reiterated language from the Prime Wardrobe site about adding men’s styles soon.)

Even though Personal Shopper is another perk for Prime members, it is not eligible for free one-day (or even two-day) shipping—which Amazon has been trumpeting from proverbial rooftops since its Q1 earnings call. Instead, shipping for this particular service “may take 4-6 business days,” which Amazon says is to “ship your order in as few boxes as possible.”

The spokesperson did not address a question about why shipping takes so long, even for Prime members.

To start, users must search for “Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe” within their Amazon apps and then tell Amazon about their preferences like style, brand, fit and budget.

Amazon said it notifies users prior to their styling date to ask if they have specific requests. From there, stylists curate apparel from “thousands of brands,” including its own Amazon Essentials brand, of course, as well as Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Rebecca Taylor, Champion and Adidas.

Amazon says it uses “a combination of technology innovation and a personalized human touch” to curate these items, but it wasn’t immediately clear what this means exactly: how much styling comes from artificial intelligence—and what the platform already knows about users based on search and purchase behavior—and how much is from actual human stylists.

The description on the Prime Wardrobe site could go either way:

Our fashion stylists come from varied backgrounds in the fashion, retail, editorial, styling and creative fields. They are trained to select items and styles based on fit, color, styling, seasonal and current trends.

The spokesperson’s response to the question “Are the stylists human?” was the information above, verbatim.

Users receive a preview of their picks “within a few days” and then choose two to eight items to try on at home. Prime members who do not find two items worth shipping “can provide feedback on your picks which will be sent to our stylists.”

From there, the service works much like Prime Wardrobe. Users have seven calendar days, which starts the day their order is delivered, to try on items at home and send back what they don’t want in a resealable package with a prepaid return label.

Users who do not complete checkout within the try-on period will be charged for all items in the order, but they still have 30 days from the end of the try-on period to return unwanted items for a refund.

@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.
Publish date: July 30, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT