‘The Amazon Coat’: Chinese company made winter coat goes viral in the U.S.

Global Business

'The Amazon Coat': Chinese company made winter coat goes viral in the U.S.

A coat made by a Chinese company sold on Amazon has gone viral in the U.S., getting thousands of five-star customer reviews. It is a phenomenon unlike anything ever seen before. Karina Huber has more.

Stand on a street corner in New York and within minutes you’ll inevitably spot what’s been called the “it coat” of the season. Sold on Amazon for $139.99 it has become a massive hit.

Known as the ‘Amazon coat,’ it is made by Chinese company Orolay. It said the coat raked in $5 million in sales in January. That’s more than what it made in all of 2017.

The trend reportedly started at the 92nd Street Y, on New York’s Upper East Side, an affluent area. A preschool teacher reportedly was seen wearing the coat, which she saw posted on a popular travel blog. Then mothers across the neighborhood started wearing it too.

The coat has been compared to those made by Canada Goose that sell for close to a thousand dollars. Experts said part of the appeal is its affordability.

“In American retail, we know that actually wealthy consumers really like a good deal. So, that’s very different than other places in the world where people are willing to pay top price right off the bat,” Jonathan Williams, Adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology said.

New York magazine picked up on the trend. So, did The New York Times. Then the coat went viral. More than 66-hundred people have reviewed it on Amazon and it has its own fan-created Instagram account with more than 2700 followers

“The coat itself is not terribly interesting but because people were talking about it going viral, it went viral,” added Williams.

Social media expert Natalie Zfat said Orolay benefitted greatly from a new program that incentivizes bloggers to post about items sold on Amazon.

“They’re not just posting about the coat because they like it, they’re of course posting about it because they earn an affiliate commission every time a coat is sold on their channels.”

That commission is 10 percent. That’s almost $14 for every Orolay coat sold.  

“So that might not sound like a lot of money to me and you. But I think if you have a million followers or even 50,000 followers and you can move 20 units a day, well there’s your vacation at the end of the month,” added Zfat.

The Orolay coat may be the first example of an Amazon item going viral. But it won’t be the last. The fashion press is now buzzing about a $25 bathing suit sold on Amazon, claiming it’s gone viral.