Amazon Echo Look. A whole new (and on initial review, arbitrary) development from Amazon. The Echo Look is a $20 upgrade from the standard Echo, sporting a camera with LED lights and microphone. The device ultimately goes hand-in-hand with the Amazon Echo Look app. Images captured are uploaded to the app, where you can build a digital wardrobe photo-book of outfits that accumulate over time. Amazon’s Style Check uses machine learning (from experts in the style space) to comment on your style decisions based on pictures captured by the device. The camera even has the ability to create a depth of field affect for images.

It aims to bring a virtual fashion assistant into the comforts of your own home, activated by voice. In other words, the device has the ability see and hear you within the privacy of your own room. And its invasive nature has definitely raised a few eyebrows. It doesn’t stop there. Amazon have also unveiled the Echo Show, a home hub device with a touch screen, so that owners can use it to carry out video calls.

As expected, there has been an uproar of privacy worries since the releases, especially regarding the Amazon Look. Not only will Amazon be collecting pictures of outfits, as a by-product, they will gather an immense amount of data of people’s faces and the insides of their homes. Many are stating that Amazon haven’t clarified a privacy policy, that the company doesn’t say anywhere in any kind of clear language what the risks are.

Beyond worries of privacy, there has been a lot of speculation about the Echo Look aiding Amazon’s underlying retail ambitions. The new in-house photographer is the ideal collector of a monumental amount of data regarding outfit combinations and fashion tastes. With Amazon’s outreach spanning into fashion, it won’t be long until Amazon will target users with their own products and clothing ranges and walling them within the Amazon ecosystem.

Arguably, Amazon is a step ahead of a lot of retailers. The Echo Look offers an interaction in the real world, offering style advice you could get from a shop assistant. A web-based business means they have a strong digital foundation, but data gathered from the real world means their user targeting can transcend digital means. In fact, the release of Amazon Echo could be the wake-up call that brick-and-mortar retailers need to push for an omni-channel presence. By amalgamating digital marketing efforts with real-life interactions, retailers can provide targeted and personalised means to reengage consumers with their brands. This gives the opportunity of a holistic view, both online and offline.

So, how does Amazon Echo relate to mobile and retailers?  

The release of the Amazon Echo Look should be a wake-up call. Brick-and-mortar stores need to take advantage of all the opportunities available for them to target their customers in real life. And they can be way less invasive in their efforts. Arguably, mobile is at the heart of bridging real life behaviour with online opportunities and actions. Here are a few mobile marketing tips that retailers should consider.

Location based targeting. Knowledge regarding customers’ geographic locations means retailers have the potential to send push offers at opportunistic moments. When users are near a physical store, they can present a current deal that will entice their entry into the store. Retailers can also make good use of the mobile wallet. Retailers can drive traffic and sales, improve engagement, boost conversion rates all while extending their brand identity. Making use of e-coupons and re-engaging users by updating offers in the mobile wallet are clever ways to ensure convert users in stores. Lastly, many shopping apps are integrating mobile functionality such as barcode scanning and mobile check out to centralise the functionality of a mobile whilst shopping. They become accessory to purchasing items. This can provide valuable data that can offer an array of opportunities for personalisation later down the line.

Whilst the release of the Amazon Echo Look is a bold look to the future of retail, it is an eye opener to the ever-evolving modalities that retailers can use to target and convert consumers. It does, however, leave us questioning…what comes next?

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