Ariana Carps, manager and buyer of Bloomfield Hills-based clothing store Rear Ends, says Amazon Explore has given the store a new opportunity to reach customers in different states.
Ariana Carps, manager and buyer of Bloomfield Hills-based clothing store Rear Ends, has joined a new technology platform that offers customers throughout the U.S. virtual shopping experiences.
Selected to be featured in a beta version of Amazon Explore, a new program from e-commerce giant Amazon that offers virtual experiences encompassing travel, cooking, learning and everything in between, Rear Ends can now be shopped by anyone, anywhere in the country.
Customers on Amazon Explore can select to shop Rear Ends, getting a live virtual tour of the store and its merchandise.
“It’s a 30-minute session,” Carps, 36, of Berkley, says. “There’s a $10 fee for the session, but you get it back through purchase credits with anything you buy.”
Carps walks around the store with a one-way video selfie stick provided by Amazon that allows customers to see what’s available. She can recommend clothing, sizes, custom outfits and more. It’s a fully personalized experience that can help local retail stores like Rear Ends go national.
“It allows customers all over the country to shop with us,” says Carps. “It’s the same personal shopping experience we’ve offered to our customers for nearly 43 years, but in a totally different, digital way.”
Longtime family-owned Rear Ends launched on Amazon Explore in late February. Prior to that, Amazon reached out to Carps with interest in featuring the store, which she agreed to. It took a little over two months to set up the process and get Rear Ends ready for virtual shopping. “I’m totally wireless as I walk around,” Carps says. “I start by pulling from a great selection of jeans and just showcasing designs and price ranges.”
From there, she says, customers can guide her toward what they’re looking for and add items like sweaters, tops and more to go with their jeans, the highlight of the store’s selection.
Carps says Amazon Explore has given the store a new opportunity to reach customers in different states, backed by the safety of Amazon. “I know I’m trustworthy, and my customers know I’m trustworthy,” she explains. “But a stranger in another city might not.” Having that added layer of security, she describes, helps both customers and retailers feel safe in their transactions.
“This allows people to shop at a store they might not know,” Carps says of Amazon Explore. Working with the retail giant was her first venture into the corporate world, which she says was an enjoyable experience. “It was eye-opening for me going through the whole process and seeing how they do things. It was really cool.”