Alexa Will Now Tell You About Amazon Sales the Day Before and Prearrange Purchases Ahead of Time
Alexa has begun giving users a heads-up the day before items on their wishlist or in their cart go on sale. The voice assistant can then proactively arrange to buy any of those items on behalf of the user once the sale starts. That way, there’s no danger of forgetting about the sale until too late.
The new feature works with any of the later generations of Echo smart speakers and displays but is only available to Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. at the moment. Those interested can activate the alerts in the Amazon shopping part of the Alexa app under “shopping recommendations.” The sales alerts operate much like the package delivery notification. A yellow ring around an Amazon Echo indicates a sale on one or more products in the user’s wishlist, active cart, or that they’ve “saved for later.” After telling the user about the upcoming sale, Alexa will offer to remind them when the sale goes live or arrange to handle the purchase independently. Buying the on-sale items ahead of time is no different from buying them immediately, except that the payment won’t go through until the deal starts. After the transaction is complete, Alexa will send an alert to the app and email confirmation as per usual.
“Our vision is to make every aspect of your shopping journey simpler and more convenient and to help you discover savings and save time along the way. That’s why we’re excited to introduce a new feature for Amazon Prime customers that gets us one step closer to this vision,” Amazon explained in a blog post. “This new feature—along with popular shopping features like Reorder Notifications—is another example of the many ways Alexa is becoming more proactive on your behalf. Alexa is making daily tasks more convenient so you can spend more time doing what you love. We’re excited to continue innovating in this space and to deliver even more seamless ways for customers to shop with Alexa.”
The early sales alert and pre-purchase option serves to further embed Alexa in Amazon’s larger consumer ecosystem. The feature may encourage people to use Alexa more, sign up for Amazon Prime, and make purchases they were hesitant about without a sale. All of those are goals for Amazon. More accessibility and growing comfort with voice assistants has already begun accelerating voice commerce. Voicebot’s recent Voice Shopping Consumer Adoption Report 2021 found 45.2 million people in the U.S. have used voice to shop at least once. As seen in the chart to the right, that’s a 120% growth from 2018, and the space shows no signs of slowing. Amazon has been experimenting with how Alexa might contribute, including running a sales conversion program and partnering with companies like ManiLife and Bayer Consumer Health’s Berocca campaign are both relying on Alexa to help make sales.