- Coty, the cosmetics holding company whose sales grew 7% to $2.2 billion in Q1 2018, created a visual skill for Amazon's Echo Show to use voice commands to shop for hair and makeup products. The "Let's Get Ready" skill can demonstrate more than 2,000 hair and makeup combinations and let viewers add products to an Alexa shopping list, per a statement.
- Coty features its brands, which include Covergirl, Clairol, Rimmel, Max Factor, Bourjois and Sally Hansen, in product recommendations that are customized for the user's hair, eye, skin color and event occasion. "Let's Get Ready" can also sync with a person's Facebook calendar to suggest looks for upcoming events.
- The skill also lets viewers hear and see step-by-step tutorials. The skill will be available this month in the U.K. on Echo devices including the Echo Show, Amazon's first smart speaker with a video screen.
Coty's "Let's Get Ready" skill shows how beauty brands can provide highly customized product demonstrations for viewers based on their individualized needs. Of course, the underlying goal of Coty's skill is to urge people to shop for its products from Amazon's e-commerce platform. Many of the initial reviews of Amazon's Echo Show focused on the device's capabilities as a hands-free helper in the kitchen, where people could ask to see videos like cooking how-to's while they their hands were full with other tasks.
Coty has been ramping up its mobile strategy as the beauty category, more broadly, continues to get a boost from the popularity of social influencers and an influx of young, tech-savvy consumers.
Amazon and Google are currently the biggest competitors in the market for smart-speaker devices, and video-enabled gadgets will become the next battleground. Amazon is currently the leader in consumer voice-enabled devices with about 70% of the U.S. market. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google this month unveiled its voice-enabled Smart Display that is expected to go on sale this summer. Sony, Samsung-owned JBL, LG and Lenovo are on board to make devices.
Meanwhile, a feud over content simmers between Amazon and Google. Sales of the Echo Show reportedly declined when Google removed YouTube from the device last fall. Google briefly restored YouTube to Amazon devices before again pulling the plug last month as the tech giants boosted their rivalry. It was the latest chapter in their feud, which has gone back several years, such as when Amazon banned the sale of Apple and Google's video streaming devices in 2015.