Amazon’s new fashion store will use AI to suggest new styles to shoppers

Ira T. Martin

Amazon.com Inc. today announced it’s getting into the fashion retail industry with its first Amazon Style store, which is a new physical store concept infused with technology ranging from QR codes to artificial intelligence, touchscreens and virtual queues.

The first Amazon Style store is set to open at The Americana at Brand shopping mall in Los Angeles sometime this year, when it will become the first Amazon-branded physical apparel store.

As Reuters reported, Amazon Style will be packed to the rafters with tech designed to aid shoppers by making it easier to find, try on, and pay for items.

Although the store will have traditional clothes racks, each one will feature a QR code that customers can scan to check for available colors, sizes, customer ratings and product information. They can then just hit a button on their smartphone app and the items they choose will be sent to a fitting room, meaning there’s no need for customers to gather all of the items they want to try themselves.

To access a fitting room, customers need to join a virtual queue using the Amazon app, which will notify them when it’s ready to use. By the time they arrive, their selected items will be waiting for them inside to try on. In addition, Amazon said it will also send some additional items into the fitting room that its AI algorithms pick out for each customer, based on the preferences they have shown. Shoppers can also fill out a survey about their style preferences to assist the algorithms.

In another neat touch, the fitting rooms also contain touchscreens allowing customers to browse further and have yet more items sent for them to try.

“It’s like a magic closet with seemingly endless selection,” Amazon Managing Director Simoina Vasen told Reuters.

Amazon’s use of technology notably promises to kill one of the major pain points of shopping – having to get dressed quickly again to dash out of the fitting room if they need to try another size.

Once customers are done browsing items, they can opt to purchase the items there and then, or add them to a wish list and buy at a later date. Naturally Amazon Style also supports Amazon One, which is the company’s touchless payment tech that allows users to pay just by showing the palm of their hand as verification.

Amazon claims the 30,000-square-foot Amazon Style will be more space-efficient than the existing fashion stores of comparable size, with “double the number of styles” available.

Although the store is heavily reliant on automation, Amazon said it will still have human employees who will focus on bringing items to fitting rooms, customer service and managing inventory.

Photos: Amazon

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