Amazon’s Choice is a label applied to products that can be directly purchased from Amazon Echo (i.e., by voice command). In the past, Amazon Echo (aka Alexa – the Echo AI) could only reorder items that a customer had already purchased.
Now, Prime members can place voice orders via Echo for music and “tens of millions” of Prime-eligible products.
Alexa is a cloud service that works differently based on the type of Alexa-enabled product.
For example, far-field Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, can be used to answer a variety of questions, such as “what is the weather today in San Diego”, or tell Alexa to do something, like “add lightbulbs to my shopping list” or “play hip hop.”
Although ordering items via Amazon Echo is not necessarily a brand new capability, prior to the announcement in early July – customers were only able to reorder items they had previously purchased, but now customers have access to all Amazon’s Choice items with Prime-eligibility.
How Does Echo Select Amazon’s Choice Items?
Step 1. First, the customer must request an item from Amazon Echo (Alexa) using one of the voice commands listed below:
To purchase an item using Amazon Echo, the shopper must have their Prime Account activated and 1-Click payment method set up.
All shoppers must also have their voice purchasing turned on via the Alexa mobile app.
Shoppers can manage their shopping settings in the Alexa app, such as turning off /on voice purchasing or requiring a confirmation code before every order.
*Pro-Tip: All physical orders are eligible for free returns. Just like orders placed through Amazon.com, orders placed through Alexa are subject to Amazon’s Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.
Step 2. When a customer makes a voice purchase request, Alexa searches through several purchase options in the following order:
- Your Order History (Prime-eligible Items)
- Amazon’s Choice – Amazon’s Choice items are highly rated, well-priced products with Prime shipping.
- Prime-eligible items from Amazon
If an item is available, Alexa tells you the item name and price. Then, Alexa asks you to confirm or cancel the order. If Alexa can’t find the requested item or can’t complete the purchase, Alexa may offer one of these options:
- Add item to cart on Amazon
- Add item to your Alexa Shopping list
- See the Alexa app for more options
- You can also ask Alexa to cancel your order immediately after you place it or track your shipped order.
For example, if a customer searches for “shoulder dolly”, Alexa will first search for items in the customer’s order history, even if they don’t use the full/official product name. If you haven’t purchased this item before, Echo will then suggest an Amazon’s Choice brand.
If a customer orders an item via Amazon Echo – priority will be given to an Amazon’s Choice product (as seen in the example screenshot below). In response to a purchase request, Echo will also tell the customer the total price (including any taxes) and offer different sizes if available.
Step 3. Finally, Alexa can track your orders from Amazon. If you have multiple open orders, Alexa gives you the status of the order with the closest delivery date. If Alexa is unable to track or cancel your order, customers can manage the order from “Your Orders” page.
Below is an example of a Sponsored ad featuring one of Amazon’s Choice products:
Amazon’s Choice Requirements
When shoppers use Echo to make a purchase, Amazon will first look for Prime-eligible products in their order history and offer those for purchase. If a matching item isn’t found there, Alexa will look for “Amazon’s Choice” items next and then search through all Prime-eligible products.
For example, if a customer asks the Echo to buy toothpaste, Amazon might offer a Crest toothpaste, rather than Aquafresh because it knows that this customer already previously bought from the Crest brand. But if a customer has no purchase history – it could offer a different brand that qualifies as an Amazon’s Choice item.
At this point, it’s still unclear if the Marketplace plans to use the Amazon’s Choice label beyond the Echo device.
According to an Amazon spokesperson, “All Amazon’s Choice selections are highly rated, well-priced products eligible for Prime shipping. Amazon’s Choice offers are selected with a variety of factors in mind, ranging from rating to shipping speed.”
Below is an example of an “Amazon’s Choice” marked item we spotted in the search results this month.
Non Prime-Eligible Items for Amazon’s Choice
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can ask Alexa to order select Prime-eligible items that are sold or fulfilled by Amazon. However, the following items listed below are not currently eligible for voice purchasing including:
- Amazon Fresh
- Prime Pantry
- Prime Now
- Add-On items
Although there is still much to be revealed regarding the credentials for Amazon’s Choice items, it is clear the Amazon Echo has come a long way from it’s initial introduction in 2014. Today, the device has generated over 20,000 five star reviews and earlier this year introduced it’s two offspring items including Amazon Tap (battery powered bluetooth speaker) and the Echo Dot.
As the program continues to advance, we can expect improvements will be made to open up the limited category options – enabling Prime customers to voice-enable product orders without the need for a desktop, mobile or tablet.
For more on Amazon’s Choice via Echo, email [email protected]