On Wednesday, Amazon made its try-before-you-buy Prime Wardrobe service available to all Prime members in the U.S., expanding beyond the group of beta users who have had access to the shopping program since last June.
But one key element of the service has been removed at launch: Discounts designed to incentivize customers to keep a lot of the clothing they ordered.
When Prime Wardrobe first launched in beta last year, Amazon offered discounts of between 10 percent and 20 percent when a shopper kept three or more items.
By November, Amazon had changed the discount incentives to a flat $20 on orders of at least $200 and $50 on orders of $400 or more.
Now, those discounts are gone altogether.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to provide details on the change, but here’s my best guess at what happened: Either the discount incentives did not drive the buying behavior Amazon hoped it would, or they simply made the program economically unviable.
The Prime Wardrobe service gives customers seven days to try on a wide range of clothing — think dresses, jeans and shoes — at home before being charged for the items they want to keep. Customers have to order at least three items and no more than eight (that’s down from a maximum of 15 at the launch of the beta program and 10 in November).
While the program includes big brands like Calvin Klein and Puma, Amazon is also using it as a way to market its wide array of in-house clothing brands, which now number in the dozens. They include Lark & Ro, Daily Ritual, Goodthreads and Buttoned Down.
It will also be interesting to watch whether the program morphs over time to more closely resemble Stitch Fix, which uses a combination of technology and stylists to select items for a customer. Prime Wardrobe, on the other hand, relies on customers to select their own clothing.[“Source-recode”]