When Lands’ End became one of the retailers to open its own section in Amazon.com’s apparel category in the fall of 2002, its dual goal was to lure new customers and reactivate old ones. “That’s exactly what we’re seeing,” Sam Taylor, vice president of e-commerce for Lands’ End, a unit of Sears, Roebuck and Co., tells Internet Retailer. “About half of Lands’ End customers on Amazon are either brand new to us or reactivated Lands’ End customers who haven’t shopped with us for some time.”
Lands’ End’s experience is not uncommon among leading apparel brands that sell over Amazon, says Paula Rosenblum, director of retail research for research and consulting firm Aberdeen Group, who admits to being skeptical at first of using Amazon as a selling stage for established brands. “I thought it was a statement of defeat when apparel retailers signed up, but it has turned out to be a winner for all,” she says. “Retailers are getting incremental customers and I haven’t heard any complaints.”
Retailers are getting more than just incremental sales through Amazon, Taylor says. He notes that Amazon has been helpful in discussing new ideas for increasing Lands’ End sales on Amazon.com; for example, studying consumer reviews recorded on Amazon of different brands and analyzing the mix of products shoppers put in their Amazon shopping baskets. “Our merchants use this data to see the most popular brands of Amazon’s customers,” he says.
Although he declines to specify how sales have increased on Amazon, Taylor says they’re trending at or better than expected. “We’re very pleased with the results we’re seeing,” he says.