Will Alexa-exclusive deals bring holiday cheer to Amazon?
This past weekend, Amazon.com held its first ever “voice shopping weekend,” offering exclusive deals only available through its Alexa virtual assistant.
Prime members with the device were encouraged to find deals by asking, “Alexa, what are your deals?” each day or by visiting www.amazon.com/alexadeals. They could then order using their voice on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire HD tablet or Amazon Fire TV. The specials ran from Nov. 18 to Nov. 21.
Among the deals (and corresponding voice prompts):
- $80 on a 32-inch Samsung 1080p LED TV — “Alexa, order a Samsung TV”
- $130 on a 10-piece All-Clad stainless steel cookware set — “Alexa, order an All-Clad cookware set”
- $50 on an Amazon Tap — “Alexa, order an Amazon Tap”
“Voice shopping with Alexa takes the hassle out of the holidays, giving customers the ability to order from millions of items simply by saying the word,” said Assaf Ronen, VP voice shopping in a statement. “And the fun doesn’t stop after this weekend. Make sure to ask ‘Alexa, what are your deals?’ every day because we’ll have exciting deals throughout the holiday season and beyond.”
Customers must be Prime members with “1-Click” ordering enabled in order to shop with Alexa. Alexa-exclusive deals will arrive on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every day in November and December.
Amazon, with Alexa, has an early edge in voice shopping over rivals because the Echo speaker is integrated into its e-commerce platform. But by it appears that Alexa still can’t target customers with personalized product recommendations.
The closest Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant have come to e-commerce is enabling users to create shopping lists, but both appear headed toward voice shopping. In June, Apple opened up Siri to developers to support third party apps. And on Nov. 10, the company announced the integration of Siri with PayPal to enable people to use voice commands to send or request money. In December, Google is launching a developer platform to support its Home products.
- Alexa, What Are Your Deals? – Amazon.com
- Amazon offers exclusive shopping deals to people who order through its AI voice assistant Alexa – CNBC
- Apple’s latest iPhone feature lets you shop with your voice using Siri and PayPal – Mirror
- Target piloting Amazon Alexa voice search rival – RetailWire
- Hey, Siri!” Sending & Receiving Money with PayPal is Now Easier – PayPal
- PayPal’s Siri Integration Makes Parting With Money Even Easier – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- The Google Assistant Developer Platform will be ready in December – PCWorld
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Could exclusive virtual assistant deals alter the dynamics of holiday shopping? Will consumers be likely to ask their in-home virtual assistants about deals throughout the year?