Amazon Alexa Creates Marketing Model Through Visual Recommendations

On Wednesday, Amazon released in the U.S. the Echo Look, a hands-free depth-sensing camera with LED lighting built in to an Echo device that will take a photo or a video -- and thanks to Alexa, make recommendations on clothing styles.

The platform uses a combination of machine-learning algorithms and advice from fashion specialists to provide personalized recommendations for items that consumers can find through sellers across the Amazon marketplace via a direct link. 

While the fashion recommendations link directly to sellers across Amazon's marketplace, Amazon doesn't charge merchants to recommend or sponsor their products, but the strategy creates a new advertising and marketing model for the marketplace. 

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There is no sponsor or marketing program for the pairing ideas, according to an Amazon spokesperson. The recommendations are based on fit, color, styling, and current trends, and how they complement the items in the photo.

The company is calling Alexa on Echo Look a "style assistant" that provides personal recommendations on fashion. Features such as Style Check, Collections, and suggestions of new pieces to complement an existing wardrobe all come with Echo Look.

The Style Check feature also provides the consumer with a second opinion on which of two outfits looks best. The consumer submits two photos and then within one minute the feature returns a recommendation based on fit, color, styling, and current trends.

It also includes an explanation of why one is better and suggests items that coordinate well with clothes that the consumer already owns.

Each photo or short video taken is added to a Daily Look lookbook for inspiration. The Collections feature helps keep closets organized with the content searchable by descriptions, favorites, colors, seasons or weather.

Search is the paid media source most closely linked to driving brand traffic through recommendations and promotions, according to RevTrax’s Promotion Benchmarking Report released today. The report, which measures conversions to purchases, includes data from more than 350 brands spanning hundreds of millions of unique promotions -- from health to food and beverages -- that were delivered between April 2017 and March 2018. 

“Incentives have not evolved with the times,” said Jonathan Treiber, RevTrax chief executive officer. “People are motivated by incentives.”

Those incentives in Amazon’s latest marketing technology through Echo Look, however, play more on consumer emotions than direct discounts and promotions, and focus on the consumer being satisfied with the purchase because Echo Look says they look good in a dress or matching purse and sweater.

Treiber makes a good point. “People don’t believe ads, they believe their friends,” he said, not realizing the direct correlation with Amazon’s Echo Look device. “They will look at reviews, recommendations or go on social media to get advice.”

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