What Are Amazon Alexa Skills?

Amazon Alexa Skills are like apps for Amazon devices. They are a great way to connect your brand to the 50% of Americans who own an Alexa-enabled device. If you have ever interacted with an Amazon smart devices in the Echo device family, like the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, or Echo Spot, you have experienced Alexa. Alexa is Amazon’s voice assistant. She can already perform countless tasks and retrieve a wealth of information at your voice’s command.

Most users are familiar with the basic tasks that their Alexa device can perform.

“Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes”

“Alexa, play the Beatles.”

“Alexa, what is the weather for today?” gets you your local forecast.

It’s easy to ask Alexa to set a timer, play music, check the weather, and read the news, play your favorite song, add something to your grocery list, or even check when your latest Amazon order will be delivered. Yet, not everyone knows about the Alexa ecosystem’s real power found in Amazon Alexa Skills despite the Amazon Alexa Echo Dot (3rd Generation) being one of the cheapest and fastest selling devices on Amazon’s website.

For Alexa users, skills open up a whole new world of possibilities. Skills connect the voice assistant to any number of third-party applications or services. Some skills let you do simple things like play games, take an exercise class, or hear a story. More advanced skills allow you to do something like check your credit card balance, control your smart home, turn on your TV, start your car, or order your robotic vacuum to get to work.

Alexa Skills can be found by speaking directly with Alexa on the Dot devices, but also by searching on Amazon in the Alexa Skills search bar.

This functionality is great for users, and it can be even better for brands. Anyone can create an Alexa Skill. That can lead to some skills, designed by tinkerers, that aren’t all that useful. People can visit the Amazon Alexa Developer website and read the steps and get started with the Alexa Skill Kit.

However, the Amazon Alexa Skill Kit can also allow brands to create valuable tools to connect them to current or potential customers. While anyone with basic coding skills can put together a simple skill, these more advanced apps are created by developers for seamless user experiences.

Food brands were some of the first to catch on to the power of Amazon Alexa Skills. Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks were early to the table with skills enabling customers to order their favorites using just their voice. While skills like these are intended to facilitate an actual transaction, others are developed to raise brand awareness.

The most popular Amazon Alexa Skills to date are JW.org, My Morning Prayer and Sleep Sounds: Cricket Sounds.

If you want to reach customers, you need to be where they are, and people are moving from text-based interactions to voice. If you want new customers to find you and current customers to stay engaged with you, voice marketing, including Amazon Alexa Skills is an essential part of an overall marketing strategy.

If you are ready to take the next step in setting up your own Alexa Skill, reach out to us. Let us show you how you can get your business on Alexa today.

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