In 2017, Amazon accounted for 7.9% of clothing sales in the US, second only to Walmart, who had accounted for 8.6%. With the majority of shoppers now purchasing clothing most frequently on Amazon, selling clothes on Amazon is something sellers should consider.
A survey of 1,103 American adults from March 2018 reported the following recent apparel purchase behaviors:
- Casual tops: 68%
- Casual bottoms: 38%
- Shoes: 48%
- Athletic wear: 34%
- Accessories: 26%
- Dresses: 23%
- Underwear: 24%
Obviously, these numbers point to the popularity of Amazon as a go-to for people who are looking to purchase clothing. Some people believe that shopping for clothing is tactile, and that shoppers want to feel the fabrics and see the clothes on before purchasing. While that certainly is true for a lot of shoppers, we also live in a world where everyone is constantly busy, leaving less and less time for things like shopping. Being able to quickly shop for clothes online and receive them within a couple of days, shoppers are willing to risk it rather than try and find time to go to a brick and mortar store to shop.
Amazon’s Prime members are a big driving factor to the potential success of selling clothes on Amazon. This loyal customer base is twice as likely as non-Prime shoppers to buy clothes on Amazon. Even though big fashion brands doubt the ability of Amazon to sell higher-end fashion, it’s already been proven that shoppers are buying their everyday clothing items from Amazon more often than other places. Customers even admit that they do not necessarily see Amazon as their go-to place for these kinds of higher-end, trendy items. However, the one thing sellers can rest assured knowing is that if they’re interested in selling clothing on Amazon, there is hope for them!
The most important things to understand about the shoppers who are most likely to buy clothes on Amazon is that they are 18-34 and that they are buying more casual, everyday items. Respondents to the March 2018 survey cited the easy and convenient shopping experience as the most popular reason for buying clothes from Amazon. The key to being successful at selling clothes on Amazon is to understand the items this 18-34 age group is looking to purchase and providing it through Amazon Prime.
Part of the ease and convenience Amazon offers Prime members is free returns. This is a major draw for customers looking to purchase anything from Amazon but is more specifically making it easier for customers to purchase clothes. While no seller wants to have items returned, when selling clothing on Amazon, it is going to happen at some point. Because customers obviously can’t try on clothing items before buying them when shopping online like they can in a brick and mortar store, the return process Amazon Prime offers is a big part of why Amazon is so successful selling clothes. This may seem like a big deterrent to sellers considering selling clothes on Amazon, but if you are doing Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) it is all handled by Amazon Customer Service.
If you want to minimize returns on clothing items:
- Have a detailed size chart
- Offer multiple pictures of the product from different angles (click here to see Amazon’s image guidelines for clothing)
- Fully utilize your product listing information
- Use video if you have a private label
Selling clothes on Amazon presents a robust opportunity for sellers looking to break into a new category. Amazon has already established a great, loyal customer base who love the ease and convenience of purchasing clothes on their marketplace. So why not give it a shot?!