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07/20/2022

Amazon offers embedded Alexa shopping experiences

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Alexa Shopping Kit
Amazon is adding shopping functionality to its Alexa voice assistant.

The new Alexa Shopping Kit enables customers to discover, research, and purchase relevant products available on Amazon via voice.

Through an embedded shopping experience within an Alexa skill, customers can purchase products that are recommended by developers within their skills. Developers will be able to earn a commission on qualifying referrals through the Amazon Associates on Alexa program.

In addition to providing customers with the ability to purchase products, developers can also use the Alexa Shopping Kit to drive product awareness and offer recommendations. Skill builders can choose the products they want to surface, and Alexa will enable the shopping experiences within their skill. 

Retailers and brands can recommend their own products sold on Amazon. In addition, skill builders can earn up to 10% commission on qualifying product referrals through the Amazon Associates on Alexa program when customers buy eligible products surfaced within their skill or add those products to their cart, and complete their purchase later on Amazon. Developers can track their earnings on the developer console. 

Specific capabilities of the Alexa Shopping Kit include:

  • Discovery (product recommendations and gifting ideas): The Alexa Shopping Kit will offer capabilities that enable developers to surface and recommend relevant new products or gifting recommendations to customers both when they are, and when they are not, interacting with a skill. Developers can notify customers about. Both of these capabilities will be tentatively available later in 2022.
  • Product research (answer customer questions):Consumers can ask questions about a product, such as cost, reviews, or when it can be delivered.
  • Purchase (add to cart or wish list and buy):Skill builders will have access to shopping actions that enable customers to add recommended products to their Amazon cart or shopping list on Amazon and buy the product. The “add to cart” and 'buy” shopping actions are available in all Alexa locales, while the “add to wish list” shopping action will be tentatively available later in 2022.
  • Post-purchase (Insights to deliver recommendations): The Alexa shopping kit provides actionable insights designed to enable skill builders are to compare and contrast metrics for every product recommended by their skill, and use this to identify and surface the ones that their customers like the most. At launch, developers will be able to access aggregate metrics for the “add to cart” and “Buy” shopping actions, with additional insights rolled out on an ongoing basis.

Amazon Associates on Alexa will be generally available later in 2022.“Overall, we are only getting started with the Alexa Shopping Kit and will continue to add features that will enable skill builders to embed shopping experiences within their skill and earn additional revenue in the process,” Amazon said in a post on its developer blog.

Amazon automates Prime deal shopping with Alexa
In other recent Alexa shopping developments, Amazon Prime customers in the U.S. who use newer-generation, Alexa voice-enabled Echo smart speakers can now be proactively notified up to 24 hours in advance of a deal becoming available for an eligible item on their wish list, in their shopping cart, or that they have saved for later purchase.

When this feature is enabled, customers will see the yellow ring light or a pop-up notification on their Amazon Echo device. To learn more, the customer can ask, “Alexa, what are my notifications?”

If a customer wants Alexa’s help making the purchase, they can ask Alexa to remind them about the deal when it goes live. Or with user permission, Alexa can order the item on their behalf.