- Amazon has created what it claims is the world’s first smart holiday window, "Alexa in a Pear Tree," delivering an interactive experience conveyed through motion, sound and lighting effects, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- The display showcases Amazon's Alexa and other devices like Echo, Fire TV and Kindle while enabling visitors to ask Alexa to turn on holiday smart lights, call Santa and play seasonal music, among other activities. It kicked off in New York's SoHo neighborhood on Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 12.
- While retail window displays designed to inspire and entertain holiday shoppers are a century-old tradition, Amazon's offering points to a potential role for customized experiences driven by smart technology.
Amazon and its agency, New Moon, chose the weeks before the Christmas holiday to debut a unique technology that showcases the company's Alexa and other Amazon devices with the goal of helping people imagine how they can use the devices in their own homes. The real-life interactive experience comes as more people expect to shop in person this year compared to 2020's holiday season when Amazon got a big boost from a surge in e-commerce.
The activation reflects how holiday windows could evolve in the era of smart devices, a marketplace that continues to expand and is dominated by Alexa. The retail industry is likely to take up user-activated technology to personalize experiences in the future, New Moon founder and CEO Jack Bedwani predicts.
"A key visual merchandising shift will see retail displays change according to the whims and preferences of the viewer, rather than a 'one-size-fits-all' approach," Bedwani said in a statement.
Amazon's window showcases how people can recreate a custom holiday Alexa routine at home using Alexa skills. For example, saying "Alexa, open Holiday Yule Log" will make a Yule log pop up, specifically optimized for the Echo Show and Fire TV.
The window features 12 unique routines that correspond to a series of real-life, in-home applications. Each routine is represented within its own ornate birdhouse hanging from the branches of a custom-made fairytale tree. The color scheme is centered on the signature "Alexa Blue," in what appears to be a deliberate move away from traditional holiday colors that link to specific religious faiths.
Amazon's holiday window display is set to become an annual tradition, per the release. To create the desired 3D interactive experience, the window display leverages robotics and a hidden mic in front to muffle the ambient noise on a busy New York City street corner.