Amazon’s Echo may not just be built for convenience—it could also open a door for marketers as well.
The online retailer confirmed Friday that, along with its “on-demand button” system, it has enabled its voice-activated speaker, which uses a digital assistant named Alexa, to order new items using voice requests. This includes thousands of items that range from food to accessories to media-based items. All a customer has to say is something such as, “Alexa, order (product)” and Alexa will make a suggestion. Afterward, all they need to do is say yes to finalize the order.
Not all items are available, as Alexa is mainly compatible with items that are available through Amazon Prime. That said, new items are being added regularly, so it’ll become a more useful utility over time.
This is the latest evolution for Alexa, which previously was able to play NPR radio, check a bank balance and even order an Uber car if needed. “We launch things when they are ready,” said an Amazon spokeswoman about the evolution of Alexa’s services. “Our speech science engineers have made something very complicated and difficult to do so exceedingly easy for customers.”
So how will this technology benefit brands and marketers? It provides a new way to reach out to consumers without ads. By partnering with Amazon and offer sponsored products or services, it can find a way to naturally cater to a targeted audience.
Companies have been quick to adopt certain technologies over the past few years. For example, Marriott created a virtual reality program to take visitors to distant tropical islands and other exotic places around the world, even if they were already on a vacation. McDonald’s also recently embraced VR technology, with campaigns based around its Happy Meal and The Angry Birds Movie.
It’s sure to take some time, as the ordering system just went live today. However, as Alexa’s use becomes more frequent, partnering with one of the world’s biggest sellers could be a key way to reach consumers.