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Amazon Alexa Adds Voice Commerce Features for Third Party Developers

Amazon Alexa Adds Voice Commerce Features for Third Party Developers
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Amazon has announced new features to increase voice commerce and enable third-party developers to take advantage of paying shopping transactions through Alexa. During its Alexa Live event on Wednesday, Amazon launched Alexa Shopping Actions. The Voice Insider newsletter from Voicebot was the first to report on the secret beta program behind the voice commerce solution in December 2020.

How Alexa Shopping Actions works

Alexa Shopping Actions enables third-party Alexa developers to promote the sale of any product sold on by experimenting with their skills. It doesn’t have to be a product that a skill developer produces or sells, just a product available for purchase through Amazon.

When users of a skill are offered the opportunity to purchase, they can ignore or decline the upgrade and the skill continues with the normal experience flow. However, if they accept the offer, Alexa guides the user through a voice shopping experience to confirm the order. After the request is completed, the user is returned to the Alexa skill that is still active where the user experience was left off.

“To make it easier for developers to design a shopping experience with Alexa Shopping Actions, we are launching Shopping forms (including recommend a product, browse multiple products, find a product) that encapsulate tried and tested Amazon-designed dialog patterns and responses that the developer can deliver and customize [for their] An Amazon spokesperson told Voicebot in an email interview.

The benefit to the skill developer comes from the Amazon Associates Program. This is Amazon’s affiliate marketing program and has been extended to Alexa skills with Shopping Actions. This allows the skill developer to receive a referral fee of up to 10% depending on the ad. However, in practice, the referral fee is 1% – 10% of the purchase price depending on the product category. One of the developers who participated in the beta program said they received a referral fee of 1% to 8% and conversion rates were higher than what you’d find on the web.

Bringing consumer brands into the Alexa ecosystem

This is good news for Alexa developers as it offers a new monetization option for their skills. Many Alexa skills focus on a particular niche and are good candidates for contextual advertising solutions. With that said, the biggest impact is likely to be on consumer brands.

Amazon has long hoped that every consumer brand would create the Alexa skill. This hope has not yet been fulfilled although a few have jumped. However, consumer brands that currently sell on Amazon now have a new incentive to launch the Alexa skill. You are no longer limited to the implementation of experiential and participatory skills. Alexa Shopping Actions now enables them to use Alexa as a new channel for direct sales. This means that the new feature will likely have a greater impact on consumer product brands unlocking new skills in Alexa than existing third-party developers driving a significant new source of revenue.

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