Did you know Alexa Skills can help you boost your presence - and sales - on Amazon? Read on!
Chances are you’ve heard or seen someone summoning Amazon’s smart home speaker with any of these commands: “Alexa, play music...listen to the news...turn on the TV...what’s the weather like today?”
But these are not the only actions a tiny device like this can perform.
Users can use Alexa’s voice interface to set alarms, make to-do lists, parrot podcasts, and of course, to shop online. It is also used as a home automation system, capable of controlling other smart devices.
With so many users relying on Alexa to carry out their daily activities, it seems only logical sellers could also benefit from its best features to increase their sales---and, some of them are already doing it...
If you’re an Amazon seller, you cannot miss this post! We’ll show you how you can use Alexa skills to boost your brand awareness and skyrocket your sales. Let’s begin!
1. What is “Alexa” and why is it so popular?
These data points attest to the validity of this statement:
- In 2019, Alexa became the leading smart speaker market, shipping 10.4 million units worldwide and over 100 million devices with Alexa’s built-in were sold.
- In 2020, the skill count for Alexa grew to 70,729 in the U.S. and 34,341 in the U.K. Alexa is now available in over 42 countries, and is supported by over 100,000 devices –with Amazon’s Echo speaker on the lead.
2. Amazon Alexa Skills
As of 2021, there are more than 100,00 Alexa skills. These are apps that can be added to a smart speaker by voice command, a phone, or Alexa’s website.
Here are just some examples of Alexa’s most popular skills and their commands:
- Amazon Prime - “Alexa, what are my deals...where’s my stuff?”
- Big Sky - “Alexa, open BigSky...how’s the weather today...ask BigSky for the wind speed at the boat”
- Alexa Guard - “Alexa, call for help” - Only available in the U.S.
- MyPetDoc - “Alexa, ask MyPetDoc...my dog's eye is red.”
- Audible - “Alexa, what should I read next?”
- Multilingual mode through Echo devices - “Alexa, tell me what you heard...speak Spanish”
- Amex - “Alexa, open Amex...check my balance... pay my AmEx bill”
3. Alexa Featured Partners
As we all know, Amazon has taken over the world. And Alexa Skills makes it possible for all of its users to enjoy their favorite apps without lifting a finger.
Here are some examples of the apps Alexa’s users get to summon from the comfort of their couch:
With so many options for shoppers, sellers can choose to make the most of Alexa’s skills to provide users with specific services while promoting their brand.
4. How can Amazon sellers showcase their products through Alexa?
Amazon customers can find your products way easier through Alexa.
Through voice interaction, Alexa recognizes the user’s command and matches it with your product “code.” Then, your skill receives this request and generates a response.
There are two ways to do it, and they are both available in multiple countries and regions: In-Skill purchasing (ISP) or Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills
5. In-Skill Purchasing (ISP)
When you sign into ISP, you are granted access to suggest (sell) premium digital goods and services, like game features, in skills that already have a custom interactive model.
You can offer these 3 types of premium content:
- One-time purchases: They never expire
- Consumables: The user can buy these features if they’re depleted
- Subscriptions: They are charged recurrently until the user cancels their subscription
Once your skill goes live, you’ll be able to keep track of your In-Skill metrics to monitor how much you are earning and to stay on top of your payments/charges.
This is how the In-Skill metrics report looks like in the Alexa Developer Console:
Visit Amazon Alexa Skills Kit page to learn more.
6. Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills
This second option allows you to sell “real-world” products and services like event tickets, flower delivery, and transportation.
Once a user enables the option “Amazon Pay” for each skill in which they want to make a purchase, you’ll be able to begin to offer your products and begin your transactions. The great thing is that, with this “permission,” the customer doesn’t have to provide any additional details, such as credit card and billing address.
As a seller, you may have to cover these fees:
- Per-transaction fee
- Authorization fee
- Cross-border fee
The amount varies from region to region, and every merchant is responsible for providing each customer information regarding returns.
Keep in mind for either of the two options above, you can measure your skill usage in the Amazon Developer Console, but your sales behavior can still be managed through your Seller Central account.
Visit the Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills section to learn more.
Here are some reasons why you should use Alexa for your business:
- Customer Delight - People are more likely to ask their smart speaker before they start typing. As voice recognition becomes the norm, you will need to understand how Alexa fits into your growth strategy.
- Advantage – Voice search isn’t going anywhere; it is only going to grow. It will be more beneficial to get users to love your Alexa-enabled products before your competitors.
- Visibility - If make your products the default for Alexa now, it will suggest your items without the user calling your products by name.
- Brand awareness - Being on Alexa is just another way people can hear about your brand.
- Authority - In time, having Alexa-enabled features will legitimize your business as a brand that customers can trust.
7. Alexa Features for Sellers | Success stories
Some well-known brands have seen great success with Amazon Alexa. Let’s take a look at how Tide and Johnnie Walker are expanding their brand presence:
Tide developed an Alexa skill that can give step-by-step instructions for removing stains from clothes. All the stain removal recommendations involve using Tide products, which is one way to boost sales.
Johnnie Walker developed a skill that helps consumers find the perfect blend. The skill can also recommend different drink recipes, or guide through a tasting of various Johnnie Walker whiskeys.
This was a smart move from both companies since they bet on customer interaction as a strategy to place their brand in the forefront of the consumer’s mind.
8. Alexa Most Recent Features:
Amazon released a new Live Translation for Alexa in early 2021. This new skill allows individuals, speaking in two different languages, to communicate with each other in real time.
Alexa acts as an interpreter and translates both sides of the conversation. Translated Skill for Amazon Alexa is used by 4.5 million users. Now, translations are about to improve. Users can ask Alexa to translate between Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Hindi, French, German, Spanish, and English in real-time.
All you need to do is the following:
- Set your device’s location and system language to “English U.S.”
- Say: “Alexa, translate English to [second language].”
- Keep your conversation as normal. Alexa will listen in and translate as needed.
- When the conversation is over, say “Alexa, Stop”.
Amazon says the feature can also be used for language learning. It is also a perfect update for businesses to expand their reach to different markets. For example, Live Translation is a key for communication between hotel guests and staff through the Alexa for Hospitality platform.
Note: The new Live Translation is only available on Echo devices in the U.S. at the moment.
Type with Alexa
Talking is not the only way to get Alexa’s attention. Amazon rolled out a chatbot feature for the Alexa mobile app in December 2020.
Using the chatbot is useful if a user wants to keep their device’s microphone off. It's also handy when they are in another don't want to shout commands at Alexa.
To chat, open the Alexa app and do the following:
- Open Home and select the keyboard icon.
- Type in your request.
- Tap Return or Go to send the message to Alexa.
Although voice will remain the dominant interaction method on Alexa, all interactions will work through the chat functionality.
Note: The feature is only available for iOS users, but Amazon plans to add support for Android devices.
Increase your Brand Exposure with Alexa
As mentioned before, shoppers can ask Alexa to search for products, check an order’s status and manage shopping lists.
A user can ask "Alexa, where's my stuff?" to navigate through orders. To see their shopping list, they can say "Alexa, show me my shopping list."
However, your store can’t really exist until it ranks well in Amazon Search. This means you have to use the best and the most relevant keywords to create content that sells on Amazon.
Here’s how you can do it:
Product listings should provide a great customer experience. They are your best shot to show off the core features of your product and answer any questions your customers may have.
A+ content is a simple way to level up your presence on Amazon. It gives you the opportunity to showcase all your Alexa-enabled products and add multimedia content.
Here are some useful tips:
- Use phrases that contain targeted head terms in the title, backend and bullet points.
- Create detailed and friendly product descriptions to entice your shoppers.
- Ensure your products look good and tell how the product will benefit them. Great image quality will increase your chances to make a sale.
Creating proper A+ Content and storefronts to boost ranking and keep the customer’s attention.
Each positive feedback you receive is a competitive boost to attract new customers and to rise above the competition.
For Alexa-enabled products, you should rely on Amazon Vine.
This program allows you to seed your Alexa-enabled product to trusted Amazon’s certified reviewers prior to launch. Customers will test out your device and provide detailed reviews.
It’s recommended to enroll in Vine 35-45 days before launch to generate enough trusted reviews. The final ratings will launch on Amazon once the product is available for sale.
Your presence and brand awareness on Amazon is determined by how you advertise, and this is key to improve your sales. An Amazon marketing campaign is ideal for this type of work. You can build a quick ad campaign to boost the visibility of your Alexa-enabled product. To get the most of your ad spend, however, you need to use the right strategy in your campaigns.
For instance, if your Amazon Search Terms report includes ASINs or product categories, you can create targeted campaigns. This will target specific ASINs or categories so they appear for relevant searches.
You can also focus on the best-sold products to create sponsored campaigns:
- Sponsored Products are CPC ads that appear in shopping results and on product pages.
- Sponsored Display advertises your complete product catalog on many channels, at the same time.
- Sponsored Brand highlights the uniqueness of your brand and three product offerings.
The effective promotion puts you in front of as many consumers as possible and increases organic ranking.
9. Final Thoughts
Voice commands like Alexa are on the way to becoming the primary search interface. That’s because consumers get a much more conversational experience. It gives users the feeling of interacting with “another person,” and that beats texting in most cases. As voice becomes the new standard, customers are going to expect voice services from their favored brands. Sellers need to optimize for this search format, lest they risk losing clients. So, use Alexa’s Skills to turn words into meaningful actions. Soon, your voice will boost sales and delight your customers.
Esteban is an SEO copywriter at AMZ Advisers, with several years’ experience in digital marketing and e-commerce. Esteban and the AMZ Advisers team have been able to achieve incredible growth on the Amazon platform for their clients by optimizing and managing their accounts and creating in-depth content marketing strategies.
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