Amazon is on the forefront of the smart home technology revolution, and it offers several products for consumers, including TVs, home assistants, streaming devices, and tablets, as well as partnerships with other brands that enhance the consumer experience.
Though Amazon was founded as an online book retailer, the company today is well-known for being able to quickly deliver hundreds of thousands of products to its Prime users, and many view Amazon as the go-to online retailer for anything and everything they might need.
Amazon has a wide variety of apparel and accessories available, but fashion isn’t really the most popular category on the site. The company is hoping that they can change that with a new service, a smart home assistant, and a little bit of faith.
First, there is Amazon Prime, which costs $119 annually (other plans are available at a different cost). The service has existed for a while, and offers customers two-day shipping for applicable orders, access to free streaming music, access to free streaming videos, and a host of other perks, including exclusive and first access to new Amazon services and features.
One of those services is the newly launched Amazon Prime Wardrobe. As indicated, this is a service that is available only for Prime members. The service is meant to compete with other “box subscription” type of online fashion brands, like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, which offer a solution to online fashion shopping with traditional didn’t allow for convenient ways to try apparel and accessories before purchasing them. Prime Wardrobe allows customers to pick three or more fashion items (clothing, shoes, accessories) for two-day delivery. Once received, customers are allowed to take seven days to try on their clothes and decide what they want to keep. They checkout online to pay for the items they want to keep, and print a label to return the rest of the items for free.
Prime Wardrobe alone isn’t that innovative, and in fact their competitor services even offer things like personal stylists that pick clothes for you based on an online profile you create. Amazon is never one to be left in the dust, however, and they have a technology-based in-home solution to make themselves more competitive.
That device is the Echo Look, part of the Amazon smart home assistant product line. This product includes Alexa – Amazon’s AI – and is marketed as a style assistant. The device is the only Echo that includes a hands-free camera, since it is meant to take photos of your daily outfits using just your voice. Users can shoot themselves at different angles and save their outfits to review later. The device also includes a service called Style Check, which serves as a second opinion on your look using a combination of “machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists.”
Separately, neither of these products or services really have the capability to excel Amazon in the fashion arena, but when used together they push Amazon to the front of the line and showcase how new technology and existing ideas can work together to create new services.