- Gwynnie Bee, an online clothing rental service, launched a voice-activated unboxing experience through Amazon Alexa. The feature lets shoppers interact with and learn about the retailer's size-inclusive subscription service as they open their delivered box of products and try on their items in real time, according to a statement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Through an Alexa-powered device, the feature takes the shopper on a tongue-in-cheek choose-your-own adventure while opening a Gwynnie Bee box. The shopper serves as the main character of the story and is taken on a journey that places her into "unexpected, exciting and often laugh-inducing situations" to demonstrate how the retailer's clothing can be put to use.
- The voice experience also tells members about Gwynnie Bee's features, such as clothing rental and free dry cleaning.
Gwynnie Bee's voice-activated experience is a fun way for customers to imagine themselves wearing newly arrived clothing while Alexa guides them through a customizable story as they unbox their products. Members pay a flat rental fee to try out 3,000 styles from more than 150 brands without the pressure of purchase, and its new Alexa experience could serve as a highly individualized personal shopper, almost resembling a store salesperson, helping them determine what to keep.
The Alexa experience may help to differentiate Gwynnie Bee from other women's clothing subscriptions like Le Tote, Trunk Club and Stitch Fix. Clothing subscription services can be helpful to consumers who want to explore new trends or favorite styles without a significant commitment of time and money. For some shoppers, especially busy professionals or stay-at-home parents with young kids, home delivery of items may be more convenient than going to a store, demonstrating the potential success of Gwynnie Bee's model.
At the same time, shopping hasn't gained much traction on voice platforms, even as Amazon has sold about 50 million Alexa-enabled devices. Only about 2% of people with these devices, such as Amazon's Echo line of speakers, have made a purchase with their voices so far in 2018, two people briefed on the company's internal figures recently told The Information. Among people who bought something through Alexa, 90% didn't make a repeat purchase. However, about 20% of Alexa users have engaged with voice shopping by asking the digital assistant questions like "What are my deals?" or "Where is my stuff?" the news site reported, signaling that the tech may grow for shoppers down the line. That voice shopping study comes as other researchers forecast high growth for the space as the technology evolves and consumers grow more comfortable making purchases on mobile and voice-powered devices. Purchases made through smart speakers will surge from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022 in the U.S., according to a study from OC&C Strategy Consultants. The three most common categories for voice shopping are groceries, entertainment and electronics, while clothing ranks fourth, the firm said.