Amazon wants you to buy more things, which is why the company just announced that brands would soon be able to respond to your Alexa questions with targeted responses and ads.
When you ask your Alexa-powered smart speaker a question about a product, Amazon will respond with helpful answers from a brand in that category and a link to their product. It’s calling this new capability “Customers ask Alexa,” which means your questions will get replies with ads included.
Starting in late 2022 and on Echo devices in 2023, when a customer asks something like “How can I remove pet hair from my carpet?” or “How to fix a clogged drain?” Amazon will deliver brand-submitted answers instead of tips from around the web. The idea here is that instead of just getting a generic answer, you’ll get a targeted response and be able to buy a product that offers a solution immediately.
“Brands registered with Amazon Brand Registry will see the new Customers Ask Alexa feature in Seller Central, where they can easily discover and answer frequently asked customer questions using self-service tools.”
As you can probably imagine, brands will be fighting tooth and nail to try and offer the best answer for customers in hopes of selling more products. And while that sounds good at first, I don’t want to get flooded with ads whenever I have a question about something around the house. Amazon did clarify that answers are attributed to brands that provide them, but those answers “are not sponsored or paid for by the brand.”
Amazon says these new brand-submitted answers will go through content moderation and quality control checks, so hopefully, they’ll arrive tastefully. As for the millions of Alexa users, we’re about to get ad-filled responses to common questions.
During Amazon’s Accelerate conference this week, the company also confirmed that it would finally let brands and 3rd-party sellers email customers directly with marketing materials. And as you can probably imagine, that might open the floodgates for spam like never before, but we’ll have to wait and see.
These changes are designed to get people to buy more stuff on Amazon, whether we like it or not.
via Android Police