Alexa lovers rejoice! Amazon has expanded the shopping capability of its digital voice assistant service. Previously, Amazon Echo users could ask Alexa to make basic purchases such as reorders of existing products as well as order a handful of select items from Amazon. On Friday, Amazon announced that Alexa can now search and purchase millions of products that are eligible for Prime shipping. Now when users ask Alexa to buy a product, Alexa will suggest a Prime eligible product and tell the cost, and users can simply place the order by responding “yes.” Certain product categories, including apparel, shoes, jewelry, and watches, are currently not eligible for purchase through Alexa, but Amazon says it is adding new items to Alexa’s shopping list daily.
What Brands Need To Do
This expansion marks an important step in Amazon’s integration of its industry-leading ecommerce business with its growing line of Alexa-enabled products. As we explained in our Outlook 2016, conversational interfaces will drastically change the rules of search discovery for brands and this serves as a good example to that point. When shoppers search for items via Alexa, they won’t see a list of options as they would on Amazon.com, but are instead served with a few top choices determined by Amazon. As Alexa-enabled devices continue to proliferate, especially among Prime members, it can significantly alter how shoppers discover and order products, and brands relying on Amazon as a sales channel will need to take proactive measures to respond.
The Lab has extensive experience with building Alexa skills and helping brands navigate the new realities that conversational interfaces are set to bring. If you’re interested in learning more about our take on this topic, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab.