Amazon Fashion’s Black Friday Formula

Amazon Fashion is on a major uptick. With sales momentum driven by Gen Z and millennials, the online retail juggernaut is tailoring its Black Friday strategy to its consumer-crazed loyalists, using AI and social media indicators to outperform competitors.

In fact, recent industry figures show that Amazon is the leading e-retailer in the United States. Although the majority of the company's revenues are generated through sales of electronics, fashion is becoming an increasingly valuable retail segment, and developments in this sector continue to he a main driver in the company's growth.

As of today, Amazon Fashion has rolled out five private labels in Europe at entry-level and mid-range prices — namely Truth & Fable, Find, Meraki, Iris & Lilly, and Aurique —and 103 labels in the United States and outside of Europe, but according to John Bumphrey, Vice President of Amazon Fashion Europe, this is just the beginning. "We always look to innovate for our customers and to create a great shopping experience for them — and what our customers want is choice, value and convenience," John Boumphrey told NOWFASHION.

And Amazon's vast array of e-retail initiatives seems to pay off so far: a report by U.S.-based retail-focused digital marketing agency CPC Strategy shows that the American behemoth is currently at the forefront of the e-commerce apparel industry thanks to its high-performing e-commerce functionalities and features — with close to $232 billion in net revenue in 2018, a 31% increase from 2017.

Moreover, the younger generation seems particularly fond of Amazon Fashion's latest retail initiatives: 63% of Gen Z and 57% of millennial shoppers are already purchasing apparel from Amazon Fashion, according to Nii A. Ahene, chief operating officer and co-founder of CPC Strategy. Nii A. Ahene further noted that most age groups on Amazon are browsing and buying clothing across multiple shopping channels, which speaks to the need for brands and retailers to invest in a strategic multi-channel strategy to engage with apparel shoppers across multiple touchpoints.

"We think that this marriage of content and technology is completely changing the way  customers are getting inspiration for their fashion shopping — and how they are actually shopping," added John Boumphrey. "At Amazon Fashion, we are all about listening to our customers and responding to them, and our customer polls on social media is one of the good examples of how we try to do that."

In this sense, appealing new e-commerce concepts such as Prime Wardrobe (a try-on-and-buy-later shopping feature), The Drop (a made-to-order limited edition designed by international influencers), Style Snap (an AI-powered visual recognition tool), as well as Destination Denim (a both on- and offline 4-day experiential shopping event in Berlin) are amongst Amazon Fashion's recently launched e-retail initiatives that caused a lot of ink to flow in Europe and beyond — and a lot of younger customers to click on the "buy" button.

However, even if they are still e-retail-thirsty, the younger generations are also more aware of sustainable and societal issues: Gen Zers still value individual and digital expression as the millennials do, but according to recent studies by McKinsey & Company, they are radically inclusive, avoid labels, and prefer a sharing economy to ownership. In addition, they mobilize themselves for a variety of ethical and environmental causes, have fewer confrontations, and are all united by the willingness to unveil, understand, and connect through different cultural and socioeconomic truths. In this sense, fashion giants such as Amazon Fashion need to cater to these more inclusive, generational truths if they want to stand a chance to appeal to these younger generations in the long haul.

"At Amazon, we have got tens of millions of customers who are shopping Amazon Fashion — and yet, not two of these customers are alike, and everyone wants to find products that match their personal style," John Boumphrey explained, in order to draw attention to Amazon fashion multi-faceted retail selection. "What we seek to do is carry a broader range of brands and collections, from essentials to niche brands, which all reflect the diversity of our customers' preferences, size, and budgets. It is essential to carry this diverse and inclusive range of selection."

In anticipation of this week's Black Friday, Amazon Fashion has already released hundreds of discounts for its' Deals Week', including ready-to-wear pieces from fashion brands such as Gen Z and millennial-geared brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, just to name a few. However, when asked about ongoing developments, John Boumphrey remains discreet. "We are focused on the intersection between fashion and technology, and ultimately all about figuring out how we can make the shopping experience more exciting for our customers — and this is where we put all our energy into. Even if we have been there for ten years, we have this saying in the company that it is important to stay in 'day one’ and we believe that we are right at the start of this exciting and long journey."

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