The general trend for voice search has risen exponentially during past couple of years. For instance, as of January 2018, it was estimated that the total amount of voice search queries reached one billion entries per month. The information people search for using voice varies according to their age, but there are several common areas where different age groups overlap. Those areas include calls, directions and entertainment.
As per March 2018, it was calculated that the amount of American adults who have access to a smart speaker amounts to 47.3 million. Currently, the two most popular smart speakers are Google Home and Amazon Echo, with Amazon Echo being considered an uncontested best home speaker, according to Business Insider. Alexa supports more than 15,000 integrated skills, and can answer our questions, read the news, schedule meetings and turn off the lights. It is also becoming a highly valuable tool for businesses.
So how can you use Alexa to boost your business? Smart speakers, essentially, work with third party apps. These apps are called “skills” on Amazon Alexa and serve users to perform different sets of activities like ordering food, playing movies or purchasing aeroplane tickets.
For your business, it means that you can create a set of unique intents that correlate with your skill. For example, if you are selling second-hand cars in Melbourne CBD, the second-hand cars in Melbourne CBD becomes your skill, while your intents may be “where to buy a used car in Melbourne”, “Alexa, find the nearest second-hand car dealers in Melbourne CBD”, etc.
Another example: you are a paleo chef and you create custom diet plans for people who want to switch to paleo diet. Paleo diet plans will become your skill, while intents like “Alexa, find me a customised paleo diet plan” will help potential customers discover your skill.
According to Gresham Harkless, having your service business listed on Yelp and having optimised your website for Bing voice search helps with reaching customers through Alexa. If you are selling a product, you route to Alexa is through Amazon Prime.
So what’s in it for your business? The number of people who own Amazon Echo continues to rise, and out of almost 48 million Americans who own a smart speaker 61% opt for Alexa enabled Amazon Echo which makes it an unconditional market leader. And these numbers do not include people who have access to Amazon Echo outside the United States.
Social Media platforms are highly saturated which often makes it hard for a small business owner to get noticed. On the other hand, master marketer Gary V compares using Amazon Alexa today with using Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010. He predicts that early adopters will gain most dramatic results. Consider adapting Alexa early for your business versus trying to succeed there in 5 years, when every business introduces its own Alexa Skills. Unless you invest all your marketing efforts, it is unlikely that your business gets noticed.
With smart speakers like Alexa in rise, there are endless opportunities for your business to learn how to use voice-enabled technology for your advantage. While this article gives you an insight on hoe you can use Alexa Skills for your business, sources like Alexa Skills Kit and Medium publishing platform have got useful guides and tips to get you started.