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Amazon Alexa Updates Custom Skills

Bobby Gill | August 9, 2018


Amazon Alexa has already given businesses unique opportunities to reach potential customers. Through Alexa marketing tactics, businesses can offer users branded experiences while “conversing” with their voice recognition software. For instance, Time Out, a publication which offers suggestions for things to do in a given city, launched an Alexa app that lets users find events or experiences in their area simply by speaking to it.

Now Amazon is making it even easier for businesses to make money via their voice recognition technology. With Alexa skills, developers can now integrate in-skill purchasing features. For example, if a developer creates a game for use with Alexa’s voice interface, users can purchase expansion packs or similar extras straight from the program itself.

This feature was made available to a few select businesses during its test mode, which began last November. Now, several major brands have already embraced this new opportunity to monetize their Alexa skills, including TGI Friday’s, 1-800-Flowers, and Atom Tickets.

Your team could do the same with the right voice recognition software development. The following are just some ways you could potentially monetize an Alexa voice interface skill.

Give Additional Content With Alexa Skill’s Voice Recognition Software

It’s important to point out that any Alexa skill for content marketing should offer a decent amount of free material first. Developers will be more likely to attract users to their products if they follow the same model often applied to mobile apps and instead use that during voice recognition software development. That process is as follows: Offer a standard version for free, with the option to unlock premium content for a reasonable price.

An example of a brand already using voice recognition technology for content marketing purposes is Johnnie Walker. The brand’s Alexa skill allows users to learn more about whiskey, find a bottle that matches their tastes, or participate in a tasting guided by Alexa. Johnnie Walker could further leverage this form of Alexa marketing by letting users pay extra for more in-depth content that elaborates on the no-cost features.

Market Physical Items Through Branded Alexa Skills

Plenty of brands can leverage Alexa marketing to sell more items to customers. Prior to Amazon releasing the in-skill purchase feature, most retail brands used the platform primarily for content marketing. They would offer users branded content that would encourage them to head to a store or ecommerce site to buy their products.

Now that extra step isn’t necessary. Virtually any brand that sells items can do so more easily via Alexa skills. Thanks to effective integration of voice recognition software, users can simply order products through the system. This further reduces the friction that often stops potential customers from making a purchase.

Leverage Alexa Voice Recognition Software to Increase Subscriptions

Again, one of the smartest ways to attract users to an Alexa skill is to initially offer it for free in some capacity. Thus, developers creating subscription-based programs may want to offer a free trial period to new users. After the trial period is over, they can give users the option to subscribe via Alexa’s voice interface.

Because the in-skill purchasing feature is still relatively new, it’s highly likely we’ll see more examples of how brands can use this voice recognition technology in the coming months. In the meantime, developers should begin working on their own strategies for monetizing Alexa skills and leveraging the voice interface in their marketing. Amazon just gave businesses the chance to sell to customers in a unique and convenient manner. Now’s the time to start taking advantage of Alexa marketing.

Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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