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Unboxing with Alexa: How Gwynnie Bee Uses Voice to Engage Customers

Fashion subscription company Gwynnie Bee is putting a new twist on the unboxing experience.

Unboxing typically centers around people opening their e-commerce packages on camera, resulting in videos uploaded on platforms like YouTube for all the world to see. From toys to electronics to cosmetics and fashion, unboxing has morphed into an entrenched social media phenomenon that sees “stars” earning considerable sums for showing off their wares.

But Gwynnie Bee is taking a different approach, aiming to inject a bit more fun into members’ private unboxing moments.

While the size-inclusive clothing rental membership e-commerce business’s new Alexa skill includes some utilitarian features, the focus is on an unboxing “adventure” that the member is invited to star in once she opens her latest Gwynnie Bee box.

Gwynnie Bee’s service allows customers to rent anywhere from one item at a time for $49 a month to 10 garments at once for $199 monthly, with complimentary shipping and returns. There’s no limit on how many items a customer can rent each month or on how long she can keep an item, though there’s an option for her to purchase any favorites.

Upon opening a new Gwynnie Bee box packed with their latest selected styles, customers are greeted with a card inscribed with “Choose your own adventure” and instructions to scratch off one of the two “adventure” options, which will reveal the invocation phrase that will begin the Alexa experience. Amazon’s digital voice assistant might ask which of the new clothes the customer wants to try on first, naming each item specifically by brand name, color and type.

The experience aims to mix humor with education, guiding the member through various daily scenarios like potentially spilling coffee on her rental dress, with a reminder that Gwynnie Bee returns are free and the company also takes care of the washing and dry cleaning.

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Once the unboxing adventure is over, members can interact with the Alexa skill to initiate an item return, letting Gwynnie Bee know to start preparing the next package. Alexa also takes members through the process of reviewing the garment and concludes by dispatching a confirmation email including a photo of the returned item. The email offers customer service information in the event that Alexa accidentally initiated a return for the wrong garment.

The Alexa skill also helps members get transit updates on their incoming boxes.

Gwynnie Bee said it proactively developed the Alexa skill in response to the “hockey-stick growth” it’s seeing with voice interface adoption. The company created a discussion forum where skill users are invited to provide feedback on improvement and functionality suggestions. “In-skill purchasing has been surfaced in the forum and is on the list of improvements we are taking into consideration,” Gwynnie Bee said.

So what’s next?

“In voice, you can expect rollout of capabilities across multiple platforms like Google Assistant and in our native Gwynnie Bee app,” Gwynnie Bee said. “In terms of other innovative experiences, we are exploring different platforms such as augmented reality that can further bridge the gap between physical clothing and digital experiences.”