Your Amazon Alexa smart speaker might soon pitch ads when you ask it for answers to specific questions.
The utility, called ‘Customers ask Alexa,’ is geared toward brands expanding their business, all while helping answer common customer questions. “When customers pose questions to Alexa, including queries related to a product’s features or compatibilities, Alexa responds with helpful answers provided by brands from those product categories,” reads Amazon’s blog post.
For example, if an Alexa user asks the smart speaker, “How can I remove pet hair from my carpet?” the answer can be provided by a brand that specializes in said category of cleaning, like iRobot or Dyson, for example. Alongside the answer, the brand can also provide links to its Amazon storefront, making it easier for the customer to find products concerning the issue.
Amazon will provide brands with questions that Alexa identifies as relevant to the brand’s store. “If selected, your answers will display at the top of Amazon Search. This feature may increase the discoverability of your products, drive conversion, and boost your reputation as a product expert,” says Amazon.
It’s worth noting that ‘Customers ask Alexa’ responses are not paid for or sponsored by brands.
The feature will be available for a select group of brands in Seller Central beginning in October 2022, with a wider rollout scheduled for some time in 2023 in the United States. “Customers ask Alexa will be available to shoppers via the Amazon search bar in late 2022, and via Echo devices in mid-2023,” writes the company.
The feature can be helpful for users, but only in certain scenarios. More often, it will be an annoying feature that will require you to shout “Alexa, STOP,” multiple times a day. Regardless, it’s a win-win for Amazon and the brands. For the brands, it’s added publicity, while for the retailer, the new feature is sure to bring in added orders.
Image credit: Amazon