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Getting the drop—Amazon is now betting on the marketing strategy du jour

Excerpt from video promoting The Drop (source: Amazon).

The eCommerce behemoth is expanding to the drop game and teaming up with US influencers

“Never before … and maybe never again.” That’s how Amazon is communicating its new drops, fashion collections designed by influencers and only available for purchase for a limited time on Amazon’s platform. Under the self-explanatory name “Amazon – The Drop,” the Seattle-based giant is getting in on the distribution strategy that has worked so well for streetwear brands like Supreme and Palace. The objective could very well be the acquisition of new customer segments and target groups.

The influencer collections are “live for 30 hours or less because fabrics are limited,” according to Amazon.com/TheDrop. Then in an effort to reduce waste, “[they] make each style only when you order it to reduce waste.” To get the drop on the drop, users are invited to enter their mobile number to sign up for drop announcements via text message and to follow Amazon’s Instagram Account. Then there is also a collection of basics (Amazon calls them “the Staples”), which are available continuously and are “those wear-on-repeat pieces that build the base to any look.”

Girls today, boys tomorrow?

The “Amazon Drop” website does not provide any details on which influencers Amazon is collaborating with for the first collection. US media reports, however, have stated that Paola Alberdi (1 million Instagram followers), Patricia Bright (1 million Instagram followers), Sierra Furtado (1.7 million Instagram followers), Emi Suzuki (1 million Instagram followers) are on board. The quartet follows the official “Amazon Drop” Instagram account. No word at present if male influencers will also present their own collections moving forward.

The drop strategy for distribution is a staple that helped streetwear brands like Supreme and Palace Skateboards become massive international brands. Other industries have copied their model successfully, such household brands as Adidas, as well as luxury brands like Burberry and Moncler (“The scoop on the drop“).

Influencer x Drops = Desiribility2?

In addition to brands, influencers, too, are in on the drop, selling their own line of products with it as well. Superstar influencers like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner generate massive demand to their online shops with cosmetics and perfumes, mega influencer Arielle Charnas drops her own collections at major US retailers, like Nordstrom, where she generated USD 1 million in a single 24-hour period. But the strategy is not limited to the titans of the US-influencer scene: even small(er), regional blogs, like Germany’s Carmen Kroll and Julia Zwingenberg, who run a social brand called “Oh April,” effectively employed the strategy to net 60K Instagram followers in 24 hours and sell out the “dropped” collections.

So now, Amazon is expanding into both trend areas at once. The reasoning behind the move figures to be to offer yet another form of shopping. Until this point, Amazon has made a killing by fulfilling a pre-existing demand, with over 50% of all product searches in the US and Germany taking place on Amazon. But it has never been actively involved in creating demand or desirability. Which in turn means that the majority of younger, fashion-conscious women, the “Instagram Generation,” has never bought garments on Amazon—which is why it would make sense for Amazon to add the “drop” to its already extensive repertoire.

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