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Amazon Boosting V-Commerce with Alexa Discounts on ‘Prime Day’

Today is Amazon’s “Black Friday in July” Prime Day. Among many other deals, the company is offering its Echo at a $50 discount. Users who already have one can get an additional $10 off an order if they use voice purchasing through virtual assistant Alexa.

To utilize the capability, “voice purchasing” must be enabled in the companion Alexa app. I used it this morning for the first time and it worked fairly smoothly (I tried to buy a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite and it conveniently didn’t recognize “refurbished” so I had to buy a new one).

Amazon is seeking to expose and train Echo owners in using voice purchasing, recognizing that it 1) further enhances the value/mystique of Alexa/Echo 2) reinforces loyalty. Perhaps the second point is unnecessary. Amazon Prime Echo owners are among the most loyal of loyal Amazon shoppers.

Alexa voice commerce

According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, there are now 63 million Amazon Prime members in the US. Each of them spends an average of $1,200 per year (vs. $500 for non-Prime members). The firm also estimates that 52% of US Amazon shoppers are Prime subscribers, for the first time.

Amazon Echo has been outselling Amazon’s Kindle devices and is a kind of Trojan Horse into the smart home for Amazon. Along with Siri, Google and Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon has been educating its customers about virtual assistants and voice search. Now with voice purchasing incentives, it’s doing so with v-commerce.

There’s no one tracking this to my knowledge but it will be interesting to see how much of Amazon Prime buying starts to come through Alexa over time.

Update: Amazon said that yesterday was its biggest sales day ever. It also said the following about voice purchases through Alexa: “Members purchased on average one Alexa-exclusive deal per second during Prime Day using their voice.”

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