Alexa Offers Developers A/B Testing for Voice App Engagement
Amazon has introduced a new testing tool for Alexa developers seeking to boost engagement with their voice apps. The Alexa Skill A/B testing service lets creators set up A/B experiments that can provide insight as to how to encourage more users to spend more time and money with their app and boost the number of separate sessions when users start the software up again.
A/B testing is standard practice for finding the best designs and marketing strategies. Two options are deployed with an audience getting one or the other, and the response to the two options helps decide which one should be deployed universally. The principle can be used by voice apps to test the best terms the app should respond to and the best responses to encourage repeated use by reducing friction in navigating the voice app. Setting up these tests can be cumbersome and take a long time, which is why Alexa’s new system strives to streamline the process. The setup can be completed in a few hours and analyzed over the course of weeks. Amazon cited Vocala as a client that used the A/B testing to discover that one prompt was more than 15% more effective in pushing forward paid conversions.
“In response to recent developer feedback related to the importance of experimentation, today, Amazon is launching the Alexa Skill A/B testing service. The new service allows skill builders to design A/B experiments with the goal of maximizing in-skill purchases, repeat visits, and number of dialogs for a session,” Amazon explained in a blog post. “The A/B testing service automates different facets of experimentation from customer randomization to navigating users to control and treatment versions of skills, and displaying experiment-related analytics on a dashboard.”
Alexa Developer Friendliness
The Alexa Skills A/B testing service covers all kinds of customer engagement, retention, drop-off, and monetization rates. The new features build on the announcement last summer of the Alexa Skill A/B Testing trying out new or updated Alexa skills enclosed in the Alexa Skill Design Guide Amazon unveiled at the same event. It also seems like a good way to augment Amazon’s new plan for giving a bigger share of Alexa skill revenue to developers. The Alexa Skill Developer Accelerator Program revamped the earnings division for those bringing in less than $1 million a year so that Amazon’s share of revenue is cut by a third to 20%, starting in the second quarter of this year. The increased revenue share will roll out with new ways for developers to capture traffic and boost the visibility of their skills. Amazon claims the benefits are worth as much as another 10% in potential revenue.
Both the testing and the payment division boost Amazon’s efforts to get more money to Alexa developers. The same goes for the Paid Skills option for developers to sell a skill upfront joined in-skill purchasing and subscriptions as a new revenue stream. Meanwhile, the removal of limits on Alexa Hosted Skills mostly removed the hosting fees developers needed to pay to support their Alexa skills. The voice assistant also introduced Alexa Shopping Actions, enabling developers to add in-skill purchases for products sold on Amazon.