6 Alexa Skill Updates to Empower Businesses



A look back to Alexa Skill advancements that are beneficial for developers and businesses.

6 Alexa Skill Updates

Posted on June 16, 2020 by Apeksha Khanna | Blog | Total Hits:

When voice assistants began to emerge, they were seen as a useless tech due to their inability to provide helpful, rich, and contextually-influenced answers. But as the rate of technological innovation began to increase, Voice assistants and voice recognition evolved to be integrated in Voice command devices like smart speakers and other products. In 2014 Amazon launched its first Voice recognition smart devices and, since then, 100,000 skills registered on Alexa.

Alexa Skill Development holds an opportunity for your business :

● Alexa is recognized as the top voice assistant because it provides diverse applications in business.

A report by Statista, Three years from now, it is estimated that there will be 8 billion digital voice assistants in use.

● 72% of Younger consumers drove the adoption of voice assistants who thought Voice search is more convenient than text.

● 100 million Amazon Echo devices sold by 2019.

● 34% of Voice assistant users used devices for finding products to buy.

● 67% of users use voice assistant for listening to music.

● Voice assistants lead to Faster interaction and improved consumer retention. Users who are opting voice searches to play music, order online, schedule reminders than text are more likely to convert.

The continuing adoption of voice assistants made the company to pour huge resources into making Alexa more usable. Last year, Amazon shifted its focus from customers to developers. Amazon added a few features that empower businesses and developers to provide rich user experiences.

A look back to 2019, which brought us Alexa advancements that are beneficial for your business:

Alexa Recent Updates

1. Personalization

Amazon late last year announced Skill Personalization for the Alexa Skills Kit that empowered Developers to build skills that can differentiate between speakers in the household, eliminating the need to switch between Alexa accounts. When a user interacts with Alexa Skills, Alexa sends a string made of characters and numbers called PersonID. Companies can use these access token of the client’s associated account to deliver solutions.

2. Brand Own voices

Soon after Alexa Voice Personalization advancement, Amazon shared use cases of custom brand text-to-speech voices. For instance, you are ordering a KFC using KFC’s Alexa Skill, and instead of hearing default Alexa Voice, you hear Colonel Sanders’s voice. The brand voices are developed through Amazon Polly, an AWS service. The Text-to-Speech voice represents brand’s persona to differentiate and add vocal identity over competitors’ products and services.

3. Alexa Presentation Languages

Amazon Alexa added Alexa Presentation language two years ago, allows developers to build interactive “ visually rich” Alexa skills. Brands were able to create content around images, text, layouts, speech commands, and built-in-intents. Later in Sep 2019, added support for animations and vector graphics compatible with Echo Show, Echo Spot, and the new Echo Show 5.

4. Account Linking

This App-to-App account linking feature enables app users to activate a skill from within an app that utilizes an Alexa skill. Prior to this, to activate an Alexa skill in a third-party app, the user had to leave the app and enable the skill within the Alexa app. This process was lengthy and led many users to abandon the skill before even installing it. The App-to-App account linking feature allows easy skill installation and authentication that improves skill interaction rate.

5. Alexa Sound Linking Library

Developers can access more than 2,500 new sound clips on Alexa sound library to build rich and engaging experiences. This skill set is best for the education and gaming industry. It has 50 sound categories including animals, boats, doors, and sports. Brands can create a rich background leveraging imitating sound clips.

6. Skill Game Integration

Alexa’s game skill to build story-based, fiction and role-playing games. Initially Amazon launched leaderboards for used for building multimodal skills and later added story game building skill capabilities to build skill flow faster. Story builder provides an easy-to-use solution for the creation of skill flow and content by separating content creation from skill code. The editor desktop application for content creators, and the VSCode extension for developers. The builder reduced story development time by allowing Content teams to quickly prototyping without having to rely on the development team every time they make content changes.

The Closure

Many companies are already ahead of competitors as they have begun experimenting with Alexa skills to enhance Brand service deliverability and User engagement. Alexa skills are being used across multiple industries, making it suitable for every business. Some top brands have already provided its use cases of Alexa recent advancements. With so many improvements going on in voice technology, it’s time for your business to leverage Alexa skills.

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