Preparing for the Future of Alexa Shopping

Amazon has had years to develop and fine-tune the user experience of its website. When it comes to Alexa shopping, though, there are years of learning left to go. Voice assistants are rapidly gaining placement in homes, but not many consumers are using their devices to shop.

In fact, a recent study found that only 2 percent of Alexa device owners have used it to make a purchase. Of those who have made a purchase using Alexa, only 10 percent of consumers made another purchase. Ouch. Amazon has disputed the study, but even if the numbers were double or triple those findings, the fact remains that consumers are not rapidly adopting voice for shopping.

Regardless of current numbers, Amazon is committed to Alexa and voice-powered shopping. Amazon’s commitment to something gives it a lot of potential. Brands need to consider their content in light of Alexa and make sure they are ready to shine on the voice-powered scene.

Amazon Alexa Shopping

What is Amazon Doing to Make Alexa Shopping More Appealing?

Amazon has been trying a variety of tactics to incentivize Alexa shopping. For Black Friday, the retailer released some early deals that consumers were only able to access by asking Alexa. And on Giving Tuesday, Amazon partnered with Toys for Tots to encourage consumers to donate an item through Alexa.

Amazon has also asked consumer packaged goods companies to help them advertise. It goes without saying that CPGs are the likeliest entry point into voice-powered shopping. So, Amazon has asked them to include mentions of Alexa and how to purchase products via Alexa in their holiday advertising.

In addition to looking for ways to draw consumers in, Amazon is working to address some of the challenges of voice-powered shopping.

When it comes to purchasing clothing, for example, it is difficult enough to get consumers to purchase online. That means there’s almost no chance anyone will buy a shirt using a voice assistant, sight unseen. To fix this, Amazon introduced a way for Alexa to integrate smartphones. Alexa-enabled speakers can now send images and links directly to a phone.

Alexa also now has an expanded repertoire of answers available about products, so if a consumer asks whether a Fitbit is waterproof, she can help them out. Despite the current dismissal of Alexa shopping, Amazon is working hard to bring about their desired future.

What Should Brands Do About Their Alexa Presence?

Making sure your content works well with Alexa not only prepares you for the future, but it is generally good practice for now. If your title and bullets don’t sound nice out loud, chances are they aren’t easy to read, either.

Titles should be short, without excess numbers and characters. Read more about optimizing titles here.

Your bullets should be short and to-the-point, too. Alexa does not read for more than 20 seconds. Avoid punctuation, special characters, and beginning with adjectives. You can read more about optimizing bullets here.

Finally, good content should also come with a strong search strategy. Showing up first on Alexa is more important than on any other channel. According to a study from the marketing agency Digitas, 85 percent of consumers who have made a purchase via voice say they bought the first option presented. As Amazon invests in Alexa shopping, brands should invest in showing up first with clear content that is ready to make a sale.

Let's work together.