Amazon have launched their Find. fashion label in a multi country campaign across the EU with 700 items of clothing and shoes for men and women. Find. was first spotted on Amazon back in May, but the marketplace is now heavily pimping the new label on EU Home Pages with an introductory offer of 20% off when you spend £40 with the coupon code ‘FIND20’.
Fashion is big business on Amazon, although they’re traditionally better known for consumer goods, electronics, home and garden and of course media (books, CDs, DVDs) products. In Q4 last year Amazon sold 60 million fashion items and at the time Susan Saideman, Vice President, Amazon Fashion, Europe, said “Fashion is one of Amazon’s fastest growing categories and we are still only a handful of years into a very long-term investment”. Expect this to be just the start of Amazon’s efforts to ramp up fashion across the board and the Find. label in particular.
This is Amazon’s first fashion brand designed exclusively for the European market as opposed to the fashion labels they have launched in the Americas and it’s not a small range. With 463 for women 228 items for men it’s a pretty extensive range for a launch.
Amazon Find. isn’t your typical low cost product you might expect, neither is it particularly high end fashion. This is your Next type price point with shirts around £20-£25, dresses at £20-£50 jackets at £40-£60 jeans at £25-£30 and shoes in the £30-£80 range.
Fashion is going to be an interesting category for Amazon to crack, especially with their own Fashion brand. What would make you shop on Amazon as opposed to ASOS or Zalando? Could they tempt you away from your favourite high street brand where you know the sizes fit you? Will Amazon Find. be drowned in the 10s of thousands of fashion items from other retailers? (We know Amazon are going to be going big on this so expect to see adverts all over the marketplace, social media, press and bill boards across the whole of Europe).
One of the big draws for Amazon buyers is Prime and while many of the items from Amazon Find. are available with next day shipping, I found a simple pair of jeans that is on two day shipping but most people buying fashion online won’t be in a desperate hurry. It’s symptomatic of the size Amazon has got to in Europe that some of their stock is too far away for next day delivery and longer than next day is becoming more and more frequent. As they expand their own label fashion brand it will be interesting to see if delivery times remain keen and if they have sufficient stocks to cover the whole of the EU.
It’s no real surprise to see Amazon launch this new range in the UK. The have a habit of disrupting as many markets as possible and their ambition has no boundaries. We’ve seen them get frustrated with tech and build their own servers (AWS which they now sell as a service), decide couriers aren’t good enough and launch Amazon Logistics (now the fourth biggest UK carrier by parcel volume but not available to third parties yet), build wareshouses and sell fulfilment (FBA – available for both Amazon and third party sites) and more recently disrupt the supermarket industry sending share prices down (Whole Foods acquisition).
Fashion is one of the biggest consumer categories around the entire planet so naturally Amazon want to cut as big a slice as possible.
What does Amazon Find mean for retailers in the longer term?
A word of warning to all fashion retailers – Amazon don’t really want you on their site unless you’re adding value. They’re quite happy that you’ve helped them grow their business and if you’re a brand eventually they’ll want to buy direct from you as a vendor but if you’re simply a box shifter Amazon would like to cut you out as you take a margin without adding value other than stock holding. Amazon will happily tolerate you while they need you and there will always be a market for last season stock, but one day soon Amazon will want to either carry all in season stock from brands direct or see consumers buying their own brands.
This isn’t true just for fashion, Amazon are building a logistics network where they see a future of goods shipping directly from manufacturers as far afield as China through to consumers in the UK, EU and America. Start figuring out where you’d like your business to be in 10 years time and if it’s not niche and doesn’t add value then their may no longer be a future for you on Amazon.