Amazon automates Prime deal shopping with Alexa

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Prime members have a new way to save money with Alexa.

Amazon is giving Prime members who use its Alexa voice assistant solution a leg (or an ear) up when it comes to finding discounts.

Amazon Prime customers in the U.S. who use newer-generation, Alexa voice-enabled Echo smart speakers can now be proactively notified up to 24 hours in advance of a deal becoming available for an eligible item on their wish list, in their shopping cart, or that they have saved for later purchase. When this feature is enabled, customers will see the yellow ring light or a pop-up notification on their Amazon Echo device. To learn more, the customer can ask, “Alexa, what are my notifications?”

If a customer wants Alexa’s help making the purchase, they can ask Alexa to remind them about the deal when it goes live. Or with user permission, Alexa can order the item on their behalf. A customer can say, “Alexa, buy it for me,” and when the deal is available, Alexa will use the default payment and delivery address in their Amazon account to make the purchase.

Customers won’t be charged until their automated Alexa order is successful. Once the order is placed, customers receive a notification on their smartphone via the Amazon app, as well as an email confirmation with the order details. Customers can track their order status and estimated delivery at any time by asking, “Alexa, where’s my stuff?”

Voice assistants are becoming a more popular digital commerce channel, especially among valuable Gen Z consumers, according to a recent survey from Brightpearl. Results indicated two-thirds of Gen Z shoppers have used non-traditional ways of spending in the past year, with 35% using Amazon Alexa.

So, it’s not surprising that interest in offering customers Alexa-enabled shopping conveniences is growing not only at Amazon, but at other retailers, as well. For example, specialty vitamins and supplements retailer GNC is partnering with Amazon to launch hands-free, voice-activated ordering via Amazon Alexa voice-enabled devices. 

Customers will be able to link their GNC accounts during the GNC skill setup on their Amazon device or mobile device with the Amazon Alexa app installed. The skill setup will permit users who have accounts on the GNC e-commerce site to repurchase products from their last three most recent orders. I

In addition, the skill will permit users who have auto-deliver & save (ADAS) delivery subscriptions with GNC to modify subscriptions; as well as create the ability to pause, skip, cancel, change send dates, send immediately, or remove an item from ADAS orders. The skill will also allow users to increase or decrease subscription frequency at the item level or subscription level.

“Our vision is to make every aspect of your shopping journey simpler and more convenient, and to help you discover savings and save time along the way,” Amazon said in a corporate blog post announcing the new automated shopping feature. “That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new feature for Amazon Prime customers that gets us one step closer to this vision. We’re excited to continue innovating in this space and to deliver even more seamless ways for customers to shop with Alexa.”