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Can Amazon Become a Fashion Destination?

It’s hard to get Amazon to share information about past performance or future strategy, so a post titled “Amazon Says Its Fashion Strategy Doesn’t Involve Luxury Brands” sounded like someone got the company to open up a bit.

That article linked to an interview with Amazon Fashion President Cathy Beaudoin in Business of Fashion. It smartly pointed out the appeal of fashion to the ecommerce marketplace: “Amazon’s costs are about the same no matter what it ships, meaning its gross profit per unit is much higher on high-margin fashion items than books, for example.” However, it’s not the first site fashionistas might think of when shopping for haute couture.

Amazon Fashion, “which lives under the Amazon.com umbrella,” sponsors fashion industry events as it tries to appeal to fashion brands. The author of the article spoke to industry experts and determined that one of Amazon Fashion’s biggest hurdles is attracting higher-end brands – difficult because Amazon has “historically traded on low prices and emphasized utility over merchandising and customer experience.”

Amazon Fashion Chief Marketing Officer Jennie Perry told Business of Fashion it’s not focused on the luxury market right now. But in a masterful bit of phraseology that reflects Amazon’s culture to reveal little, she added, “What we are focused on is developing an experience for our large customer base. That customer seems to have a great appetite for many things.”

Experts said Amazon’s data and algorithms could help it succeed in fashion – if it can optimize its site for merchandising fashion.

If you’re interested in learning more about Amazon’s moves into the fashion space,¬†Business of Fashion¬†provides an excellent guide. And look for Amazon’s three men’s fashion sites at New York’s first-ever men’s fashion week July 13 to July 16, which Amazon is sponsoring.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.