- Amazon is now adding a styling service to its Prime Wardrobe apparel box offering that provides personalized recommendations for $5 a month for Prime members. The service launched with women's apparel, but Amazon indicated that it would offer the service for men's apparel, too, in the future.
- The service, dubbed "Personal Shopper by Prime Wardrobe," offers recommendations based on technology and human stylists from fashion, retail, editorial, styling and creative fields, according to a dedicated webpage for the service.
- That puts it further into the same space as Stitch Fix, which offers recommendations for its try-before-you-buy and box services through a mix of algorithmic and human advice. Stitch Fix's stock fell 2.6% following Amazon's announcement, according to Seeking Alpha.
Box services, subscriptions and try-before-you-buy services abound in retail today. Much of what has distinguished Stitch Fix from the pack is its blending of personal stylists with a data-obsessed corporate culture that enhanced human recommendations (or perhaps vice versa).
According to its most recent earnings filing, Stitch Fix employs more than 3,900 stylists, paid hourly and working remotely, to help generate personal recommendations for customers. "Our stylists provide a personal touch, offer styling advice and context to each item selected, and help us develop long-term relationships with our clients," the company says.
In addition to its ranks of stylists, Stitch Fix Chief Operating Officer Mike Smith told Retail Dive last year that the company collects 90 data points from user profiles as well as measurement data on products and feedback data.
Stitch Fix maintains this mix of the personal with data science in service of the customer has made for profitable growth, with its active client base growing 16.6% year over year in the first quarter, which saw revenue grow nearly 30%. (Operating income, however, turned negative as the company increased its ad spending and compensation related to a higher head count.)
At $5 a month for Prime members, Amazon's styling service is essentially priced lower than Stitch Fix, which charges a $20 styling fee with its service (which is credited toward any items the shopper keeps). How far Amazon might drive into Stitch Fix's territory may depend on how well its personalization performs with customers, and how many customers prefer the convenience of staying within Amazon's retail and entertainment ecosystem.