Amazon Style is now open at The Americana at Brand in Glendale. The store puts a high-tech twist on the typical clothes shopping experience with QR codes and special dressing rooms with secret doors that are key to the entire experience.
Let me explain.
For starters, the store was bigger than I expected, but it’s actually cut in half. Half of the store is “shoppable,” the other half is where the clothes are stored and employees are busy bringing items to dressing rooms.
More on that in a bit.
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There is just one of each item on the floor. There’s no sifting through different sizes and colors to look for your fit. Everything has a QR code on it.
If you find something you like, you scan the QR code using the Amazon app on your phone. If you don’t need to try it on, you can send it directly to pickup and checkout. If you need to try it on, you can send it to a fitting room where you’ll meet your clothes later.
Since it takes a bit to retrieve your clothes and prep your room, you can continue to shop and add clothes your room until you get a notification that your dressing room is ready.
On the floor is a mix of brands you know and Amazon’s house brands. The company is using a lot of data to stock these stores. If an item is a top seller online, it has a good chance of appearing in the store. There are also brands in the store that have never been sold in a physical location.
There are over 40 high tech fitting rooms, many of them on the second floor. Once yours is ready, you use your phone to unlock it wirelessly.
When you walk inside, it’s a sizeable room. The items you picked are already placed inside, along with a few suggestions Amazon’s algorithms think you might like.
There’s also a big touch screen inside the fitting room. You can use this to request a new size or color of an item you try on, or see suggestions for more items you might like and request those be brought to your dressing room.
While you’re waiting, you can scroll through various clothing items and thumbs up or down them to help Amazon’s AI build a better picture of your fashion sensibilities. This will power future suggestions on the website and in store.
Now, about those secret doors. This is the key to the entire operation.
Inside the fitting room, there is a special closet with double doors.
Employees quietly open the “back door” of this closet to add any clothes you request to the mix. They might also add a few more suggestions you might like.
For privacy reasons, while employees have the back door to the closet open, the front door you can access automatically locks. A red light lets you know the door is locked.
When the employee has finished stocking your closet, you’ll hear a notification sound and the entire closet lights up in a warm glow. The touchscreen also lets you know it’s time to open the door.
This experience is both magical and has the potential to make or break this entire operation.
If clothes take too long to be delivered, shoppers will get frustrated and won’t want to waste their time coming back.
If Amazon can deliver this experience in a timely manner, it makes solo shopping a whole lot easier because you can try on various fits without leaving the room to look for another size.
Overall, Amazon Style puts a unique twist on the clothes shopping experience and the tech even makes it kind of fun. Only time will tell if shoppers are ready for this tech-forward experience.