Alexa 'Answer Update' Feature Will Get Back to You Later

Alexa isn’t the shopping behemoth Amazon hoped it would

Alexa isn’t the shopping behemoth Amazon hoped it would

With Amazon supporting Alexa with an "open skills" development kit, it's likely we'll see rapid advances in the range of in-car functions the system can provide. Fewer still place an order via Alexa and then decide they have the stomach to do it again. But Amazon's Alexa doesn't like it when there is a question posed that she can't answer. It is a surprisingly low engagement rate, though Amazon did sell in the neighborhood of 50 million Alexa devices.

A figure that is slightly more encouraging for Amazon is that 20 percent of those who bought something with their voice some a more broad engagement, asking things like "What are my deals?" and "Where is my stuff?" to tracker orders. Right now, those users who are shopping with Alexa mainly use it to stock up on home supplies.

If true, that's a far smaller number of voice-activated shoppers than previous third party reports have estimated.

All these facts ultimately make sense as browsing the authentic Amazon site manually to make the purchase is unarguably a finer way to compare the options than having options suggested via speech.

There's also no sign of the feature in the Alexa app's notifications settings, at least not on my device. There are instances when Alexa doesn't know the answer to a particular question. The skill will not be triggered "after listening to a news item or other information about a news item".

This makes the findings are quite interesting, as it potentially shows that consumers might be embracing smart speaker technology, but still want to physically view or inspect an item before they go forward with a purchase.

"Clearly, voice shopping is not yet in the stage of being a mass market product", one of the sources said.

An Amazon spokesperson told, "Millions of customers use Alexa to shop because it is the most convenient way to capture needs at the moment".

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