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Imagine what it would be like to be able to communicate by voice with each of your individual customers, to have them buy, by you and making them use only their voice and make them fall in love with your products, your services, and your business. Now it is possible with Alexa for business.
Amazon Echo and Alexa are on their way. By the end of October 2018, we can finally have them in Italy. In this short article, I want to tell you 7 reasons why Alexa for business is important to your business, and why you should embrace this technology right away, so as not to waste a huge advantage.
Let’s start with the basics.
Echo is the body, Alexa is the mind (and voice)
Amazon Echo has 7 microphones. Thanks to these it hears your commands even from a distance, if it is not in your own room, or if there is music on.
Once you’ve connected Amazon Echo to Wi-Fi and you’ve entered your Amazon account, you have an immense number of possibilities.
You can have them play music, you can ask for the weather, you can have them add something to your shopping list, you can listen to your audiobooks if you’re an Audible subscriber and you can ask them questions (it’s also linked to Wikipedia).
Alexa automatically downloads updates and learns all the time based on your requests. This means that it will be more and more effective in helping you.
Now let’s see the part that interests us, about business: skills!
What are the skills?
The biggest opportunity Alexa gives you is to be able to develop skills.
Skills are for Alexa what apps are for your smartphone.
Then, for example, you’ll have the skill for the weather, Spotify’s for music, and Wikipedia for you to use. The skills are activated with your voice, so just give it a simple command like “Alexa, play music from the Rolling Stones” and that’s it.
Speaking of business, what’s so special about these skills?
How to use Amazon Alexa for your business?
Engaging with Alexa for business purposes and its skills, you have a new communication channel. It is also the simplest, most immediate, and natural: voice.
You also have the option to send audio notifications. It becomes easier to establish a relationship with your customers and offer a better service (think of an audio notification that automatically updates your customer on the delivery status of their order).
You can then use them to gain new contacts to communicate to. When a user uses your skill, you can access their name, email, and location. Any entrepreneur knows how valuable this data is. And then comes the beauty: the skills allow you directly to sell your products or services without passing the user through the site.
This feature really lowers the number of actions a user needs to take and simplifies the buying process, which every smart business aims for. In addition to a new sales channel, it’s a great opportunity to introduce your business to more people and strengthen the brand.
And if you still don’t want to use them to sell, you can use Alexa for business support, just to take off some rogues. Answering frequently asked questions or simple requests such as hours and business address is something a skill can do great.
Now let’s get in the way, why does your business need a skill?
Gary Vaynerchuk: The next Search Engine is Voice. Alexa has the power to destroy Google!
1 – The sooner you arrive, the better to stay
Developing a skill today gives you a huge advantage over your competitors who will realize (perhaps) in a few years that would be the right thing to do. You will be the first in your industry, you will have time to adjust your shot and make your skill a machine that grinds results.
Your competitors, when they wake up, will have to run to try to reach you. Other than that. Think about when Amazon will introduce (and will) advertising into the skills. You will already have your own popular skill, while your competitors will not have one yet. How big would the benefit be using Alexa for business improvement?
2 – Being there today is free, tomorrow who knows
As today it is free to have your skill on Amazon, but over time the number of skills will grow so much. And then it’s very likely that you’ll have to pay to be among the first results (a bit like what happens today with Google).
3 – The advertising you will receive is also free.
Think for a second.
A new technology of this magnitude arrives in Italy and the media will talk about it, of course. But who will they pay their attention to? On businesses that already have their skills or who keeps using only emails and texts?
4 – Having a skill on Amazon gives you authority and credibility
You invested in a new technology, this for people is an indication that you are a serious and innovative business. Communicate that you are attentive to the needs of your customers and that you want to stay close to them.
5 – Voice is not the future, it is the present
Google revealed that in 2016 20% of mobile searches were done with voice commands. Those with an iPhone are already more likely to ask Siri than to look for something by writing. More than 50% of new generations have a habit of using voice commands. These generations will expect every business to offer this possibility and will want to interact more and more with brands in the most natural way possible. Plus, if you’ve bet on Google positioning, you might fall to the bottom. Voice searches bypass Google and you lose the earned position.
6 – The change will be very, very big and very fast
As soon as social media came out, only students and technology enthusiasts used them. Adults and business snubbed them. Today the Pope also uses them and no business can afford to do without them anymore. In 2008 the App Store was launched and was almost ignored. Today, a lot of business is based on just one app. But apps have been a slower process. People had to understand something new and get used to using it. This time we talk instead of doing, the most natural thing there is.
The learning curve for these voice-activated services is much lower than those based on writing. The easier one thing is to use, the more you use it, the sooner it enters your habits and you don’t do without it anymore. In America, 1 in 6 people (i.e. about 39 million) already has a device like Amazon Echo in their home.
Entering this new market early means growing with him… and then growing a lot. Few technologies have the potential to change our habits so easily and quickly. And it’s just the beginning!
7 – You’re relying on Amazon, not the latest one.
Amazon is the absolute leader of the voice market (62% of the devices are their own) and will stay like that for long. Being a new technology then, Amazon wants first that your business succeeds with skills, offering all the support you need.
Those who know about Marketing and Business have no doubts
Gary Vaynerchuk (mega entrepreneur and state-of-the-art communicator) has his own skill and motivates this choice by saying that the future of attention is there.
“The voice will be the next social media.”
Even according to Neil Patel (mega marketing guru) it is absolutely essential for a business to jump into this new technology right away.
Nir Eyal (author of the best-selling Hooked) explains how this technology is damn powerful in catching people.
If entrepreneurs and marketing men say this, what are companies doing instead?
The big companies are wasting no time
Toyota (the world’s largest car manufacturer) is rolling out Alexa in some of its new vehicles.
Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, has developed its skills.
Domino’s has created its own skill to make orders easier.
Purina has developed its skill that is already giving excellent results.
Zyrtec (the antihistamines) has its own skill to help people with regard to allergies.
Johnnie Walker has developed his skill to suggest the whiskey best suited to the user’s tastes.
The Washington Post and the BBC have their skills.
In short, the big realities are not stopping to watch.
Finally, what can you do? As you have seen the doubts about this new technology are few: it will revolutionize our life and business.