The Line, the Switch, and the Wardrobe
Amazon is launching a new service in beta called Prime Wardrobe which allows Amazon Prime members to try on clothes before buying them. No more waiting in line at your favorite retail stores to pay at the cash register. Amazon will ship you 3 to 15 articles of clothing to try for 7 days. At which point, customers can choose to purchase the clothes with a 20% discount, or switch them back for something else. The service comes with a re-sealable box that allows you to put back anything you don't like and ship it back to Amazon for free.
CEO Jeff Bezos has decided to skip over the technology aspect of buying clothes and simply ship them directly. With advances in virtual and augmented reality, customers should be able to virtually see clothes overlaid on themselves using the latest accurate VR technology. However this has been challenging mainly because customers cannot feel the texture of the clothing making it difficult to get the full experience. This is allowed brick-and-mortar retailers to stay in business, because consumers still need to drop by their stores to try on clothes. That said, these retails have been acting as show rooms, while customers still order what they like off Amazon's website.
This move bypasses the retailers completely and lets you try on clothes from the comfort of your home with no pressure. Given Amazon's scale, they have has a breakthrough by turning the delivery of items into a commodity. This has in turn reduced the price and enabled the Prime Wardrobe service.
Prime members may also find this interesting because they can essentially rent clothes this way, for free at the moment. Why not try on some clothes for a few days and return them, thus expanding your Wardrobe at little to no cost. Amazon will likely take further steps to mitigate abuse of the service before it comes out of beta. In the meantime, retailers are likely shaking in their boots, as Prime Wardrobe takes another jab at their businesses.