Through products like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, or Amazon Fire TV, you can now tell Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to buy tens of millions of Amazon products. So Alexa owners can say “Alexa, order new Charmin toilet paper” or “Alexa, order me AAA batteries.”
To buy items, just say “yes.”
Before today, Alexa was only able to reorder previously ordered items or Amazon’s Choice products — and the little Echo Dot. At this time, Alexa’s product ordering is limited to Amazon Prime customers.
The personal assistant cannot order apparel, shoes, jewelry, watches, Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry, Prime Now, or Add-On items.
“There are some limitations around things that require sizing like clothes and shoes. But it’s still day one and we’ll be adding more items all the time,” an Amazon representative told VentureBeat.
The past several weeks have been very busy in the world of voice-activated virtual assistants. Google announced its Echo competitor Google Home, which is due out later this year, and Apple released SiriKit for iOS. Meanwhile VentureBeat reported that a future Apple TV will be updated to compete with the Echo. It is not yet clear whether Apple TV or Google Home will allow people to order things off of Amazon.
Though its rollout has been gradual since it hit the market two years ago, Alexa seems to have become important for the future of the major online retailer. Weeks ago Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon Echo could turn out to be the fourth pillar of the company, along with Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services, and its retail marketplace.
Alexa’s new purchasing option comes days after Amazon Echo and Amazon Tap users learned they can add more than 1,400 skills by saying “Alexa, enable.” (Soon Citibank account holders may even be able to pay bills with Alexa, according to a report from Fortune. CapitalOne was added to Alexa in March.) Amazon released the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) for developers one year ago.
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