Alexa arrives on Amazon's main mobile app

Dive Brief:

  • Amazon has integrated its AI-powered digital assistant Alexa into the iOS version of its main app, according to a company news post.
  • IOS users can tap a microphone icon in the Amazon app to use Alexa for shopping by voice, listening to music and Kindle books, along with asking Alexa questions, checking the news and weather and accessing Alexa skills and smart home capabilities.
  • The move by Amazon puts Alexa on call for a much wider audience who might not have Echo or Fire devices. The Amazon news post didn’t mention an Android roll out of Alexa capability.

Dive Insight:

Bringing Alexa to its main mobile app appears a strategic move by Amazon to expand the technology's user base past early adopters in the smart home space. TechCrunch pointed out that, by integrating Alexa with its main shopping app, Amazon is gently introducing its AI assistant to people who might not understand how it works or otherwise don't find it appealing. 

Alexa, being a virtual assistant, might also learn more skills at a faster pace with the broader exposure. Amazon, in turn, can collect more customer data and glean deeper insights from Alexa's mobile interactions, particularly in areas like e-commerce. 

Amazon has only recently begun to share any of its first-party Alexa data with marketers and developers, though more may come in the future as the technology see broader adoption and more frequent mobile use.

For marketers, the broader Alexa rollout points to a growing need to start building out voice-first strategies as consumer habits shift. Gartner has predicted that, by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will happen without a screen, with voice interactions through tools like digital assistants taking over some of the space. 

Filed Under: Marketing Tech Corporate News Mobile
Top image credit: Amazon