New Amazon Platform Allows Users to Order Custom-Fitted T-shirts With Personalized Tags
Amazon is moving further into custom apparel and personalization in some subtle but interesting ways. The company's “Made For You” platform allows users to create a custom-fitted shirt (using a “virtual body double”) with the option to personalize the tag.
Here's how it works: Let’s say you want to order a custom shirt from Amazon Made For You. First, you take a full-body, front-and-back photo of yourself on the Amazon app. From there, you enter your height, weight and body type, and Amazon creates a virtual avatar that you can basically act as a tailor for, customizing things like sleeve length, fabrics, color, neckline and more.
There are two general fit styles (feminine or masculine) and two fabric choices: a 56 percent Pima cotton, 38 percent Modal, 6 percent Elastane ti-blend T-shirt; or a medium-weight 100 percent Pima cotton style. When the shirt is done, users can add their name to the label.
The feminine/masculine fit binary is maybe a bit outdated, especially when so many apparel companies are now opting for more gender-neutral fits. But the move by Amazon still highlights how important size and fit are for end-users. Paying attention to the desired silhouettes of modern fashion is crucial if you want to create a product that actually works its way into a wearer's regular rotation.
And Amazon is probably onto something here, even if the virtual body double idea is raising some privacy concerns. The pandemic has changed the way brands and businesses reach customers and consumers, with a greater focus on delivering items directly to people's doors.
This, in turn, has led to more opportunities for customization and personalization. Some promotional products companies have opted for systems that ensure the end-user gets a product they want by giving them a code or an access link to “shop” for a branded product. (SXSW did this with its "digital swag bag" for virtual attendees.)
In theory, with a platform like Amazon's, a company could give end-users a business card or sticker with a link on it where they can go on and create their own shirt exactly to their specifications. There are some legitimately cool potential applications here down the line.
In the near-term, though, the move represents yet another step for Amazon in its continued expansion into custom merchandise. In September, the company made significant investments in on-demand digital printing equipment with its $400 million Kornit deal. And it has been slowly but methodically building its Merch by Amazon business over the last few years, most recently with the addition of a new facility.
Personalized tags and custom fits are small pieces of a larger puzzle. We'd be surprised if these options didn't eventually make their way to Amazon's larger custom merchandise offering via Merch by Amazon or elsewhere. Right now, the Made For You shirts are only available blank. But with Amazon's on-demand printing capabilities, it wouldn't take much to allow users to select an image or graphic for their shirt once they've picked their fit options.