Alexa will soon answer your questions with ads for products you can buy on Amazon, rather than offering advice from the web.
Announced at the Amazon Accelerate conference (via TechCrunch), the new “customers ask Alexa” feature will see Alexa respond to specific queries with answers pushed by brands.
So, if you’re looking for the best way to get red wine off your carpet, you may not get the answer for blotting as much as you can while it’s still wet, and instead claim to buy from your friendly stain removal shop. spray.
The idea, of course, would likely be a follow-up question from Alexa about whether you’d like to add said product to your shopping list, or buy it now for free Prime delivery that day.
In a blog post, Amazon says, “Amazon has launched a new Alexa-powered ability geared toward helping brands answer common customer questions.”
“This capability is called Customers Ask Alexa, and it works like this: When customers ask Alexa questions, including questions about product features or compatibility, Alexa responds with helpful answers provided by brands from those product categories.”
Brands can start answering these frequently asked questions in the site’s Seller Central section, before launching invites only later this year. Alexa users will start hearing responses from their Echo devices sometime in the middle of next year.
It’s really surprising that Amazon has taken so long to launch a proper brand integration within Alexa. It may seem natural for the voice assistant to suggest products that can be quickly added to a wish list or shopping list.
However, we can see that it’s quite invasive and we have questions about how users’ voice data will eventually be shared with brands to help them improve these answers.