Amazon Updates Alexa Developer Console and Adds Retention Statistics

Amazon has released a new Alexa Skills Kit developer console beta that is designed to streamline the developer console. It reorganizes the dev console into build, test, launch and measure phases.

The new test section includes a more robust testing interface for both spoken and text-based testing. It is a material upgrade to the previous tools and integrates testing more seamlessly into the development lifecycle. Alexa developer Octavio Menocal commented:

Being able to test the Dialog management is awesome! I struggled with this in the past, and now combined with AMAZON.YesIntent and AMAZON.NoIntent is a great advantage.

The launch section also enables you to launch a skill as public or private using Alexa for Business. You previously needed to publish private skills using the Command Line Interface (CLI).

Metrics and Retention Dashboard Updates

One of the more significant updates is the new metrics dashboard and the retention tool is a standout. People familiar with Google Analytics will recognize the retention metrics matrix layout. It displays current week users and the percentage that returned each week. You can learn more about metrics in the new console here.

There is a lot of discussion about retention metrics for Alexa skills. Voicebot reported in 2017 about metrics on two different occasions that showed average retention doubling during the year, but only reaching 6% for weekly returning users. Discovery is a particularly vexing problem for Alexa skill developers and it is critical to implement strategies to retain new users when they are acquired. The new cohort analysis will offer developers a tool to measure their performance over time. You can read more about the new console release and access new documentation through today’s blog post by Amazon’s Paul Cutsinger.

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