Alexa Is Taking A Sales Position
Up until now Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa has happily responded to voice commands without trying to sell us anything – at least that we know of. But that’s about to change as Amazon begins to ramp up its voice-search monetization engine.
Late last week Amazon announced it would begin integrating select vendors into Alexa as part of its new voice-based purchasing platform. To enable this capability Alexa users first need to link their credit card by registering for an Amazon Pay account. Then retailers who partner with Alexa to fulfill purchase requests will become the default option when users give the buy command. For a simple example think of ordering flowers for Mother’s Day. If you say “Alexa, order flowers” she’ll automatically give you options from their preferred vendor 1-800-Flowers, so you can make the purchase without having to place an order on their website. By removing the friction of ordering from 1-800-Flowers Amazon is sure to spike their orders at the expense on vendors like ProFlowers who will be caught on the outside looking in.
And no, Amazon isn’t just doing this to help celebrate Mom on her big day. In return for making 1-800-Flowers the default flower retailer they’ll take a 30% cut of all purchases. This should make flowers a profitable business for Amazon without ever having to plant a single seed. And if they can do this for flowers just imagine how many other products Alexa is about to start selling you.