A spot of brand consolidation is in the works at Amazon U.K. The online retail behemoth is planning to migrate users of its standalone shoes and accessories website, Javari.co.uk, over to Amazon U.K.
It’s announced the forthcoming move — due to take place on June 25 — in an email to Javari customers, which points them to a dedicated Amazon Fashion section of its U.K. website offering multiple fashion categories for browsing; not just shoes and bags but clothing, jewellery and watches.
The email notes:
We’re bringing our fashion offer together in one place so you can shop the widest selection with the greatest convenience. The Amazon Fashion site features the latest shoes and handbags from an expanded selection of brands – including many of your favourites found on Javari – along with the season’s key trends and edits.
You’ll enjoy all the benefits of shopping at Amazon.co.uk, including fast delivery and free returns on eligible items, by logging in to Amazon.co.uk with your Javari account details. You’ll be able to get unlimited one-day delivery on millions of eligible items with a Prime membership. Sign up now for a free month trial if you haven’t tried Amazon Prime yet.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Amazon Fashion.
Amazon launched Javari as a standalone shoes and accessories site back in October 2009. The closure of that standalone brand could be seen as a failure, in one sense — the Javari brand evidently hadn’t developed enough of a life of its own to be worth sustaining on its own. And there are multiple online fashion sites playing in the space who have built up better known brands — whether it’s Asos or Net-a-Porter.
But as with all things Amazonian a potential loss is being flipped into a potential gain as Amazon reroutes Javari custom to the main Amazon mothership. Aside from email blasts telling customers to jump ship to its main website, after August 25 visitors to Javari.co.uk will be automatically redirected to Amazon.co.uk.
The key differentiator for Javari was the offer of free shipping and returns on all orders. Now that Javari is headed for Amazon proper, that offer goes away — but Amazon UK offers free shipping on orders over £10, which means that most shoe related purchases are likely to still qualify for free shipping.
In addition, Amazon continues to push its Amazon Prime membership service. Subscribers to that get free one-day delivery on items sold by Amazon. So building out a dedicated, branded fashion portal is another way for Amazon to drive interest in Prime membership — and especially to make it more attractive to a female, fashion-buying demographic.
Meanwhile Prime itself works as a voluntary customer lock-in to command customer loyalty, since the user pays out up front for a year’s membership and is therefore incentivized to shop on Amazon for the rest of the year to get their money’s worth.
Prime subscribers also get access to Amazon’s streaming video service — Amazon Prime Instant Video — so the more consumers Amazon can pressgang into Prime, by hook or by crook, the more potential eyeballs on a streaming service that competes with the likes of Netflix.
And the more eyeballs to market Amazon’s own hardware devices to — such as its Kindle Fire tablets and the forthcoming long-rumoured smartphone — which are, of course, portable media consumption devices for Prime Instant Video. In essence, all the strands of Amazon’s business are tightly knitted to reinforce each other.
(It’s also worth noting that Amazon sells access to its streaming video service on a standalone monthly subscription basis — so even if punters on its website aren’t convinced by Prime membership, they might see a TV show they like the look of and sign up to its monthly streaming service.)
Returning to Javari, another pertinent strand here is that Amazon recently launched a new feature that lets Twitter uses add items to their Amazon basket by sending a tweet.
For that feature to function, the product link has to be identifiable as an Amazon product — so more reason for the company to build momentum around ‘Amazon Fashion’, rather than push separate fashion brands that aren’t instantly associated with Amazon.
So, while Javari is on the chopping block, Amazon itself continues to expand the reach of its primary brand.