Perry Ellis has launched a virtual "Ask Perry Ellis" style advice service via Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, the menswear brand announced Thursday, noting recent survey results uncovering that 81% of men have trouble getting dressed for an event or an occasion and are eager for help — and that another 72% wish there for a way to make getting dressed easier.
Users can say "Alexa, Ask Perry Ellis what I should wear to ..." and choose among nearly 150 programmed occasions, according to a company press release. Alexa replies by offering an appropriate look, taking into account the venue, weather and dress code, and sends the selection to the user’s Alexa app and email, where they can click to the Perry Ellis website and add items to their cart to purchase.
Nearly three quarters of men surveyed admitted to having arrived at an event, occasion or location feeling inappropriately dressed. They reported struggling most with deciding what to wear to job interviews, weddings and dates, though they’re also flummoxed by events like funerals and jury duty.
Perry Ellis’s partnership with Amazon’s Alexa comes just in time for the holidays, during which experts expect voice to play a critical role in shoppers' online research for gifts. Amazon’s Prime Day "provided an early look into the direction of voice commerce, as Amazon educated Prime Day shoppers on how to turn Alexa into their own personal shopper," according to Market Track. And with six new Alexa-enabled Echo devices on the market, shoppers have even more ways to interact with voice this holiday season.
Some 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month this year, according to research released in May from eMarketer. If that forecast proves correct, it would be a 129% jump in voice engagement with virtual assistants over last year. Walmart and The Home Depot have already paired up with Google for voice assistance for their customers.
This isn't the first time Amazon is trying to nudge customers to use Alexa for fashion advice. Earlier this year, Amazon added the Echo Look, a device with a voice-controlled camera that helps users assess their outfits and track what they wear, to its ever-expanding family of Alexa-powered Echo devices. The narrow, oval-shaped Echo Look takes full-body photos and videos, and logs them in a "Lookbook." The device also includes a "Style Check" feature that allows users to choose two photos of outfits to compare. Alexa then delivers a judgment based on automated assessment of factors such as fit, color, styling, seasons and current trends.
Perry Ellis is evolving its marketing strategy with a big push into digital, including social media, and the use of technology, including Alexa's stylist job, the company said. “When it comes to innovation, we combine performance attributes with our sportswear to create a line that embodies go-anywhere dressing," Perry Ellis Creative Director Michael Maccari said in a statement. "We want our customer to look and feel comfortable, but also always be appropriate for whatever event comes his way, the driving force behind the development of the ‘Ask Perry Ellis’ personal stylist skill.”