Ex-Amazon supervisor's startup Kwontified aims to help fashion retailers navigate e-commerce – GeekWire

Cyber Monday 2016 at Amazon Success Middle in Dupont WA. (GeekWire Picture / Kevin Lisota)

Within the retail world, Amazon is turning into inescapable, with Kenmore and Nike lately becoming a member of the ranks of huge-identify corporations promoting the wares by way of the corporate’s on-line retail platform.

A Seattle startup known as Kwontified needs to help retailers cope with this new actuality, navigate the complexities of promoting on Amazon and different e-commerce platforms and get essentially the most out of their digital storefronts. It's led by Elaine Kwon, an ex-Amazon shopping for supervisor targeted on the corporate’s fashion push, and former lawyer and enterprise improvement skilled Jordan Taylor. They're working with primarily fashion, magnificence and way of life retailers for now.

Kwon mentioned the speedy tempo of change in retail, in addition to the rising affect of Amazon and different on-line retailers over fashion has despatched a shockwave by way of the trade.

“We noticed an enormous alternative with (on-line retail) affecting not only a explicit sort of name that was making an attempt to survive in at this time’s retail market, however even among the many most established manufacturers which have been round, some for over 100 years, everyone seems to be panicking,” Kwon mentioned.

Kwontified Co-Founders Elaine Kwon and Jordan Taylor. (Kwontified Picture)

The corporate helps sellers by mining knowledge from Amazon’s API and sharing essential metrics which are laborious to discover, resembling methods to decide which clients will change into repeat customers. Kwontified additionally helps retailers with a forecasting operate to allow them to preserve the right stock readily available, fights counterfeit merchandisers and units retailers up to broaden to worldwide e-commerce marketplaces.

Kwon and Taylor began the bootstrapped firm a bit of greater than a 12 months in the past. At this time it has 5 workers, and it's actively in search of a number of extra folks in its Seattle workplace.

Kwon has seen first-hand the significance of excellent recommendation for Amazon sellers. A few of her members of the family offered shopper electronics on Amazon. They acquired recommendation from a purchaser, and after working at Amazon, Kwon mentioned she realized they have been led astray.

“If somebody had taken extra time to actually perceive the character of their enterprise, how to help them develop — the place totally different recommendation ought to have been given and totally different course ought to have been given — they might have ended up in a really totally different place with their model on Amazon.”

Amazon’s fashion ambitions return a number of years, and the corporate has struggled to break into the market up to now. In 2012, Amazon shut down Endless.com, a 5-12 months-previous excessive-finish on-line fashion website that offered equipment. Final 12 months, Amazon-owned MyHabit faced the same fate. 

However Amazon’s momentum in clothes and fashion is simple. A examine final 12 months discovered that Amazon is predicted to change into the biggest clothing retailer within the U.S. in 2017, shifting forward of Macy’s. Final 12 months, Amazon rolled out seven in-house fashion brands, and this 12 months it launched a fashion targeted Alexa-powered system, the $200 Echo Look.

Amazon’s fashion push has historically been blunted by the issue that customers couldn’t attempt on garments to see how they match earlier than buying them. However Amazon seems decided to rectify that situation with Prime Wardrobe, a service that lets internet buyers choose and ship a field of garments, sneakers and equipment to their houses to attempt them on earlier than shopping for.

All these strikes are making it harder for retailers to keep off Amazon.

“About 5 years in the past, most fashion manufacturers that we have been making an attempt to get in contact with at Amazon, they didn’t actually care to be on the platform,” Kwon mentioned. “Lots of them didn’t even actually care about their on-line presence in any respect. Sadly at this time that place is breaking lots of their backs.”

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Ex-Amazon supervisor's startup Kwontified aims to help fashion retailers navigate e-commerce - GeekWire