Amazon Turns Omnichannel On Its (Designer) Ear


Once known as the “fast” and “cheap” option for online goods, it seems Amazon is now looking to add “couture” to the list of descriptors of the seemingly endless menu of products and services it offers.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon has recently announced that it is teaming up with luxury clothing merchant Moda Operandi to create a “seamless shopping experience” that will offer high-end designer label garments on its eCommerce marketplace. The partnership, as Bloomberg notes, could help Amazon up its apparel — an area of retail where it has struggled — and push its payments operation into the brick-and-mortar side.

For Moda Operandi, a startup that has raised more than $130 million in the six years since it was founded, a partnership with a global eCommerce giant like Amazon would allow it to connect its physical stores with online operations on a global scale. No small feat.

How would it work? Online shoppers would start their experience at Moda’s Web store and finish at its New York or London emporiums. Shoppers can log in on Moda’s website with their Amazon ID and place items in their cart. Powered by Amazon’s connected smartphone app and utilizing beacon technology, sales associates at the Moda store will be notified when a shopper has arrived to try on clothes selected online. They can also see all of the items a customer may have browsed or liked and help guide them to other in-store purchases. When the customer is ready to check out, they can seamlessly pay for their purchase using their connected Amazon account and stored credit card info.

As Bloomberg details, the Amazon-Moda Operandi partnership is the latest example of retailers and payments companies joining forces to offer the convenience of online checkout with the instant gratification of in-store shopping — a process known as “click and collect.” The fashion-forward digital shoppers of the world will get to see designers’ entire collections the day they’re unveiled, a must in the world of high-fashion, where being “on trend” is tantamount. The partnership would allow these savvy style mavens to browse and purchase items and sometimes receive them before they have even appeared in stores. What more value could a retailer hope to provide?