Amazon Alexa is one of the go-to resources for answering questions in hundreds of millions of smart homes worldwide. If you own an Alexa-powered smart speaker, you’ve likely asked it questions for quick answers when your phone or Google isn’t around to help you. Soon you may find you’ll get specific advice from Alexa that includes ads directly from companies with products specializing in the topic
Announced at the company’s Accelerate 2022 conference, the new feature is called Customers Ask Alexa. It allows brands to include answers to customer questions, so when they ask them either online or through your Echo device, Amazon will allow it to have a sponsored product response coming from its smart speaker or on Amazon’s web page. For example, if you ask, “How can I remove pet hair from my carpet?” brands that have products specializing in that area will now be able to sponsor this slot. The brand will be able to say to buy its product to remove pet hair from carpets in response to your query.
It’ll then provide links directly to Amazon’s storefront so you can purchase the product quickly. And there you have it; Amazon has made another sale. This may prove helpful in some scenarios, but if you were looking for a household alternative to remove pet hair from a carpet, you might not be impressed by the result. You may have to find your smartphone and ask that question to another service to find that answer.
Amazon’s blog post says, “Brands registered with Amazon Brand Registry will see the new Customers ask Alexa feature in Seller Central, where they can easily discover and answer frequently asked customer questions using self-service tools. All answers go through Alexa’s content moderation and quality checks before Alexa selects the most relevant answer to share with customers.”
You won’t see this feature for a little while yet, as it’s being included for specific brands from October this year. Then it’ll roll out to all eligible brands in 2023. For users, you’ll find the feature appears as part of Amazon search later this year, so it’ll also appear when you’re searching specific queries on the company’s website. Echo smart speakers won’t get this feature until mid-2023.