To help parents buy affordable children’s clothing without committing to a subscription or hunting for bargains, eCommerce innovators are offering style boxes of nearly new kids’ apparel. Kids on 45th is just over a year into shipping “wardrobes of lightly used children’s clothing,” CEO and Founder Elise Worthy told PYMNTS in an interview. The platform aims to bring bundled clothing at the lowest possible price point, Worthy said, to compete with the Goodwills and Walmarts of the world.
Kids on 45th caters to consumers who don’t want to go searching for products, such as a mom with a toddler on her hip and another small child pulling at her shirt sleeve. That customer doesn’t necessarily want a rich discovery or browsing experience. “We optimize for a fast checkout on a mobile device in two minutes or less,” Worthy noted. She pointed out that consumers are focused on solving the problem of finding children’s clothing, and not necessarily delighting in choosing every garment.
The site starts by asking consumers for the size of their children’s clothing, their style preferences (do they like stripes? Animals?) and a one-sentence, tweet-length description of the what their children like. That style questionnaire, Worthy said, should take “a very small amount of time.” Consumers then view a default box that shows the items Kids on 45th thinks they will need based on the season. The company accepts credit or debit payments, as well as PayPal and PayPal Credit.
Unlike other players in the children’s style box space, the company doesn’t require a subscription, and there is no requirement to make a purchase. However, Kids on 45th does send out seasonal email nudges asking if customers want to schedule a box. Customers only have to choose the types and sizes of clothing, such as three long-sleeve shirts, four pairs of pants, two short-sleeve shirts, two dresses and one pair of sunglasses.
As Worthy sees it, the company is doing the browsing work for the customers – in essence, they are treasure hunters, so the customer doesn’t have to spend the time “shopping clearance racks and treasure hunting at Goodwill.” The company offers a “customer happiness policy” to ensure that shoppers are satisfied with their purchases. If an item doesn’t make a customer happy, the company will provide a credit, and the shopper can then locally donate the product.
Kids on 45th recently notched $3.3 million in funding from YesVC, Maveron, SoGal Ventures, Liquid 2 VC, Sesame Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Brand Foundry Ventures to grow its reach. Only a year after rolling out its eCommerce business, the company says it has shipped more than half a million items.
The Kids’ Subscription Box Market
Beyond eCommerce startups such as Kids on 45th, Walmart recently announced a partnership with KIDBOX to offer Walmart.com customers an exclusive and curated style box for kids. The service offers access to personalized styles from more than 120 premium kids’ brands, such as Butter Super Soft, Puma BCBG and C&C California, per a report earlier in the month. Shoppers can visit Walmart.com and complete a short style quiz. KIDBOX’s stylists then use the answers to tailor the box based on the child’s preferences and the local seasonal climate.
In 2018, Stitch Fix unveiled its upcoming launch of Stitch Fix Kids. Stitch Fix Founder and CEO Katrina Lake said at the time, “Our new Stitch Fix Kids offering is a testament to the scalability of our platform. We’re excited for Stitch Fix to style everyone in the family and to create an effortless way for parents to shop for themselves and their children. Our goal is to provide unique, affordable kids’ clothing in a wide range of styles, giving our littlest clients the freedom to express themselves in clothing that they love and feel great wearing.”
From Stitch Fix to Kids on 45th, eCommerce disruptors are looking to change the way parents buy clothing online for their children.