US Insights

Amazon's Echo Look Sees More Than Just Your Wardrobe

Meaghan Werle

Analyst

Retail 05.08.2017 / 10:00

AmazonEcoLook1

Amazon is likely to leverage this window to your wardrobe in many ways.

During the first day of our eCommerce and Omnichannel Conference, we explored Prime’s broadening ecosystem across three key pillars: convenience, value, and experience. As part of our discussion on how Amazon is elevating experience for Prime members, we predicted that Amazon’s new Outfit Compare tool would eventually incorporate Alexa voice features and additional retail capabilities. By Day 2 of our event, Amazon had announced its latest addition to the Echo family, an Alexa-powered device with an integrated camera called Echo Look.

Though we’d like to credit our magic crystal ball for this foresight, it’s truly through the lens of our Prime framework that we were able to anticipate Amazon’s next move. In this case, Echo Look certainly plays at the intersection of convenience and experience, leveraging machine learning technology to act as an in-home style assistant for users.

Alexa, does this dress make me look fat?

Echo Look is likely to first impact Amazon’s expanding fashion offer. Positioned as a connected selfie stick that will help shoppers decide which outfit to wear with help from Amazon’s Alexa technology, Amazon will likely use the Echo Look to collect more shopper data, and create more personalized, curated shopping experiences online. There are four key ways we see this new data affecting Amazon’s apparel offer.

Amazon Echo Look2

In the near term, this data could be used to bolster the retailer’s growing private label apparel portfolio, incorporating shifting shopper preferences and trends into new designs. This data could also feed into Amazon’s famous “recommended product” algorithms, as many of Amazon’s private label products are already listed as “Amazon’s Choice” when voice shopping via Alexa. Factoring in shoppers’ daily wardrobe preferences with Amazon’s Style Assistant results, and what shoppers have searched for will create recommendations, and potentially customized Amazon Fashion profiles that show shoppers a more tailored view of its vast assortment.

In the slightly longer term, Amazon could leverage this window to your wardrobe to produce bespoke products with its newly-patented custom-clothing manufacturing system. If Amazon can turn around custom products in five days, as is the current target, this would be alarming news for competing brands, including those who sell through Amazon.

Lastly, Look’s visual nature could provide the opportunity to seamlessly connect Amazon shoppers to social media platforms. This could even open the door to Amazon-based social influencers, creating a closed fashion loop with Amazon as a destination for both style inspiration and fulfillment. (We’ll be exploring these possibilities and more in our next Subscription Apparel Webinar on June 8.)

The Evolving Role of Alexa

While Echo Look is clearly going after apparel shoppers, this new device reflects Amazon’s broader intentions to evolve Alexa’s role in the home. At present, Alexa is well-voiced to capture Prime members’ impulse and routine buys through its shopping features. However, Amazon has already expressed interest in advancing Alexa’s ability to facilitate more considered purchases, with programs – such as the Alexa Prize – designed to enhance Alexa’s conversational quality. Echo Look, with its built-in camera, is another way in which Amazon can provide voice shoppers with a more nuanced product understanding to help inform the purchase-decision.

This device has implications beyond apparel, as we expect Echo Look to translate its video and feedback capabilities to other key growth categories, including consumables. Rooted in machine learning, Echo Look’s technology can be applied to various in-home tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and decorating recommendations, as well as health and wellness checks. In addition, Look’s modified Echo design can likely accommodate a screen (something to watch out for in its next iteration), enabling for greater streaming of content and product images to the Echo device. Ultimately, the first generation of Echo Look gives us a mere glimpse into the augmented shopper interactions that will result from this enhanced virtual assistant.          

Final thoughts: The Creepiness Factor

Big Brother or Stylish Sister: What will Echo Look be? It teeters on the edge of comfort when it comes to privacy, as did the original Echo. The thought of speaking to a machine as if it were a sentient human was an uncomfortable thought for many when the device debuted, but those sentiments seem to have faded as Alexa has settled into the daily lives of many Prime members. Will Echo Look fare as well? Will good style advice and high quality selfies be enough for shoppers to trade access into their homes and personal wardrobes? It won’t be too long before we find out.

Source: Kantar Retail

Editor's Notes

Want to learn more about Amazon’s current and future initiatives? Join Kantar Retail at our  Amazon Workshop, October 25th in Seattle, WA. 

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