Impulse marketing: Alexa reaches out to customers

Smart assistant amps up the customer experience in the ALBERTO store

Shopping in the ALBERTO concept store is an experience that triggers emotions and appeals to the senses. Quite literally, as Alexa, the smart virtual assistant, has now started taking the initiative and proactively addressing customers – a surprising on-top benefit at the POS. This interactive system from Amazon has been creating unique shopping moments ever since it was installed two years ago. Individualised features and a specially developed ALBERTO skill advise customers and help them make choices. Besides breaking the ice, the charming assistant’s ideas on styles, designs and fit are a refreshing element that add a personal touch and provide inspiration and a sense of adventure in the exciting world of ALBERTO.


“Have you seen the fantastic biker jeans next to me?” Customers in the ALBERTO concept store are now sitting up and taking notice. This is because the voice that utters sentences like these comes from a digital box. Alexa, the smart virtual assistant, recognises the presence of customers through a sensor and now also addresses them directly and proactively. She provides tips on styles, designs, colours and fit, draws attention to individual items in the collection, and encourages visitors to look at them more closely and try them on.

This is an innovative feature at the POS that fits like a dream – just like all the innovative ideas and collections from the pants specialist. Customers can experience this for themselves in the store. “They want to be surprised, they are always fascinated by whatever touches them emotionally and by the unusual and unique,” says Marco Lanowy, managing director of ALBERTO. Like Alexa, the voice-controlled software in Amazon Echo devices. Alexa is a pioneer in the field of revolutionised voice commerce and enhances the customer experience with feminine charm. Marco Lanowy on this form of impulse marketing: “New technologies are an interesting element for enlivening customer experience on the shop floor.” Customers are positively calling for the ultimate experience. Speech-based voice commerce of the type facilitated by Alexa would never replace human contact or customer proximity of the type guaranteed in-store by the brand ambassadors. However, the last two years have clearly shown that voice commerce provides an emotional plus, an added value.

At the beginning of 2017, the ALBERTO store in Mönchengladbach was the first retail outlet in Germany permitted to use the revolutionary software “Alexa” on the basis of a preferential agreement with Amazon. With her individualised features and a specially developed ALBERTO skill, the smart virtual assistant immediately turned out to be a much-used benefit at the POS.

Although the media landscape occasionally describes it mockingly as a “tin can”, the Amazon Echo and its Alexa software have by all means turned out to be a “can opener” - or a door opener when interacting with customers. “It’s a playful element in our communication strategy that sticks in people’s minds,” is Marco Lanowy’s opinion. An element that has drawn attention in the retail world far beyond the concept store.

A proactive Alexa that now takes the initiative and purposefully addresses customers will guarantee all the more new ideas and special shopping moments in the ALBERTO store.