Alexa now talks to Smart Toys & makes it Easier to add In-skill Purchases

Monetization and rewarding the developers is the name of the game. Amazon has launched a new way for developers to integrate Alexa voice assistant into a broad range of smart devices, majorly toys.

The new Custom Interfaces feature of the Alexa Gadgets Toolkit will allow Alexa to power new interactions with devices far removed from standard smart speakers and televisions.

Alexa in the Toybox: Targeting the Gaming Industry

The new feature is aimed at making it simple for developers to apply Alexa to their products. This is a major initiative taken by Amazon Alexa to target the gaming industry. Alexa can be a scorekeeper for a toy basketball net, a teacher for a smart keyboard, a Sudoku puzzle maker, and even a drone autopilot executing maneuvers by voice command.

According to the sales reports of various smart device vendors, people have bought more than 100 million devices that can use the Alexa voice assistant. A large chunk of that is Echos and other smart speakers and displays, but plenty of tools, toys, and gadgets have been built that use Alexa skills for their operations.

The toy aspect, in particular, stands out. Amazon is running a private beta specifically for developers working on games and toys for young children, such as interactive teddy bears and building blocks. It’s the gaming and toys industry they are after currently.

Amazon opens Newer Ways to Monetize Alexa Skills

A key element of the new feature is that the interactive experience available to developers can include premium elements that can be purchased. Monetization is a growing part of Alexa’s value to Amazon and its developer community, expanding since 2017 and the subscription for the Jeopardy! game skill was started.

Now, plenty of Alexa skills include extra content and bonuses for people willing to pay. Amazon has made it easier for developers as well, creating a tool to integrate monetization directly into the skill software.

Developers take a 70 percent cut of in-skill sales and have the ability to add or remove new products from their virtual store, while Amazon takes the 30%. Paying for lessons on the smart keyboard, or new analytics from a smart pet toy is a logical extension, and one that could net significant profits for both developers and Amazon.

For Amazon’s larger strategy of integrating Alexa into as many places and devices as possible, improving how developers bring Alexa to their creations could encourage even more interaction with the voice assistant.

Amazon Makes It Easier to Add In-Skill Purchasing to Alexa Skills

Amazon had made it easier for developers to add in-skill purchasing (ISP) to their Alexa skills. Previously, developers had to write their own code in the command-line interface to build a skill with ISP. Now, Amazon has built a monetization tool in the developer console which give users the ability to add in-skill products in just a few steps.

The monetization feature lets developers customize their products, giving them the option to choose which type of product they want to add (one-time purchase for entitlements, subscriptions and consumables) as well building the offer prompts. Developers can also add or remove products with one click.

Another update is to the skill reporting metrics which now include Upsell To Conversion which measures the percentage of users who hear a product prompt and agree to hear the offer and Upsell to Purchase Conversion, which measures the number of users who heard the offer and then made a purchase.

Alexa Skill Developer benefits this time

To give an example, the creator of the weather Alexa skill Big Sky, Steven Arkonovich, created a subscription for his skill and claims that 50% of his users opt to purchase the premium experience when offered.

In another example, Gal Shenar, creator of the popular Alexa skill game “Escape the Airplane” has also has success, seeing conversion rates “higher than what’d you expect on mobile” at 34%.

Alexa skill creators take home 70% of the revenue made from ISP and is just one piece of Amazon’s strategy to incentivize developers to keep producing quality skills.

Amazon ran an introductory promotion, where the developer would get a free Echo Sub for any developer who adds an ISP to a new or existing skill which generates at least $100 in the first 30 days.

Amazon knows not to bite the hand that feeds Alexa. Developers are the reason why Alexa has more than 70,000 skills worldwide and are a key reason why Alexa is such a success. Better skills make a better Alexa and a better experience for the user.

Bottomline, Amazon Alexa wants its developers to have the bigger piece of the pie and that’s good news for voice app development companies. Voice app development companies can look into creating gaming apps or other relevant apps that would need in-skill purchases to be included. This has the potential to become a chunky source of income for voice app development companies as well as gaming companies.

In case you want to know more, or want to hire our developers for creating voice apps with in-skill purchases, get in touch with us sales@pragmatic-voice.com


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