The Alexa voice service that powers Amazon’s Echo and other products lets you do things like ask for news updates or weather forecasts, adjust the temperature on your smart thermostat, play music, or get answers to your questions.
Unsurprisingly for an Amazon product, Alexa has also always included a shopping component: ask Alexa to re-order something you’re running low on, and Amazon could look at your purchase history and re-order coffee filters or whatever else you need.
Now it doesn’t matter if you’ve ordered something before: Alexa will let you order tens of millions of things from Amazon using just your voice.
Here’s how it works: say something like “Alexa, order a Kindle Paperwhite” to your Amazon Echo, Dot, Tap, Fire TV, or other device. Alexa will tell you the price, and if you follow up with “yes,” the order will be placed.
If there are multiple items that meet your request, Alexa will try to pick one for you — but I suspect it might not always choose the best or cheapest option. So while this might be a super convenient way to shop, I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to be the best solution for folks that like to comparison shop.
Only items that are available for Amazon Prime shipping can be ordered this way. But that’s still an awful lot of items.
And now that Google, and other companies are preparing to launch their own Echo-like products that allow you to interact with the internet and your smart home products using your voice, Amazon’s edge may be its tight integration with one of the world’s most popular shopping sites. Or maybe people will just see this is yet-another attempt to get you to spend more money on stuff you don’t need.