Early this year we received a number of questions from businesses asking for ways to make their Alexa skill easier to find and engage with. We still believe your best opportunity for discoverability starts with building a quality skill to engage and keep customers coming back. For merchants and developers with an online presence, offering Amazon Pay, we’ve come with some actionable tactics to help you start promoting your Alexa skill today.
#1 Highlight skill phrases through owned channels (i.e. social, email, web)
One-shot utterances, or Alexa skill phrases, combine your skill’s invocation name, usually your shop name, and a desired action. Here’s an example phrase: “Alexa, ask Nutrition Co to reorder granola bars.” They can be used to activate your skill and immediately help your customers achieve their goals. Similar to hashtags, make sure you include those whenever you are communicating that you have a skill, providing an intuitive direction that enable more users to try out and understand what the skill is. Example: “Alexa, tell <merchant> to do <X>” or “Alexa, ask <merchant> for <Y>”. The more frequently users see these phrases, the more likely they are to remember it.
To continue driving engagement and building a habit with users, place these phrases across your owned channels like social (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), email (newsletters, marketing campaigns), and your website (banners, landing pages, checkout) or other paid channels (search, social, syndicated). Engagement starts with education and repetition through a simple call to action. Here's an example.
#2 Incorporate skill phrases into your site experience to help customers check out
The cost of losing customers at checkout is a lot higher than you might think. Baymard reports that ecommerce sites can increase their conversion rate by 35% solely through a better checkout design.
Consider adding alternative voice payment option, letting customers pay with Alexa. For items that are eligible to be ordered using Alexa, let customers know they can now complete the checkout using voice with Alexa. Add messaging like “Alexa, complete my <cart ID> from <merchant>”. To enable this option, you must have an online store and be able to assign a unique ID to each shopper’s cart which the buyer will provide to Alexa. The skill phrase only needs to tell the skill what the customer is willing to purchase, as account linking is already handled via Alexa.
#3 Place a reorder phrase within your order confirmation page or email
A simple way to improve engagement and delight customers is to focus on making their habitual purchasing easier. If you can begin to build habits by providing them with an easy way to re-order items they need on a regular basis, such as subscriptions, pet food, detergent, etc., you are more likely to build lasting engagement and inspire further activity. For example, return users to your website can see an option to reorder their previously purchased regular-use items. You can add a banner style Alexa phrase next to the items making users aware of an alternate method of re-ordering the items using.
Seamless reordering on Alexa is possible using Amazon Pay by saying “Alexa, tell <merchant> to reorder <item>. Amazon Pay Buyer ID can help you identify returning customers.
You can add a banner-style advertisement on the order confirmation page with a simple phrase to reorder and supporting educational context: “Interested in easily reordering your item via Alexa? Simply sign up for this service using your Amazon account below [displayed Login with Amazon (LwA) button]. Afterwards just say ”Alexa, tell <merchant> to reorder cat food”.
#4 Create a multi-channel and multi-modal commerce experience with voice
There is a desire for an effortless, frictionless experience across all channels. With a growing number of choices to shop, businesses cannot take consumer loyalty for granted anymore. It has to be earned and nurtured. One way to bolster engagement is by letting your customer start in one channel and end in another.
Consider highlighting products within your voice experience. To reduce the paradox of choice, start by offering customers their most frequent purchases. You could also start by offering your businesses most popular products. We recommend starting with simple products and service for purchase, as customers typically prefer hands-on evaluation for more complex products. It can be a better experience to let the customers discover products via voice, but complete the purchase on web. You can achieve this by sending a link of the right product to the customer’s email address, or as a card into the Alexa app. Amazon Pay Buyer ID can help you build the cross-channel identification to support this.
Building an engaging multi-modal experience for devices with screens is a good way to delight customers and simplify their checkout experience as well. Having a visual product representation on supported devices can save customers from having to switch to a web experience just to get a visual idea of your product.
#5 Promote your skill through non-web channels
Bring the online experience offline by weaving your skill phrases into TV and print materials. Imagine a customer reading a Billboard magazine and coming across your advertisement hinting that they can purchase the product now without even getting off the couch – “Alexa, tell <merchant> I want to buy <item>”. Consider the offline channels where your customers are engaged and find ways to meet them where it will matter most, from TV commercials when they are watching at home, to their favourite catalogue as they enjoy a cup of coffee.