Alexa Blogs Alexa Developer Blogs /blogs/alexa/feed/entries/atom 2018-07-13T22:22:56+00:00 Apache Roller /blogs/alexa/post/894cc4cd-59e7-4782-af41-85c2d5d5cb97/now-your-voice-first-skills-can-shine-on-fire-tablets Now Your Voice-First Skills Can Shine on Fire Tablets Metty Fisseha 2018-07-13T21:37:46+00:00 2018-07-13T21:37:46+00:00 <p><img alt="" src=" https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/morpheus._CB473646827_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>The Show Mode update allows US customers to use their Fire Tablet as an Echo Show. The Show Mode Charging Dock props up the Fire Tablet while charging and defaults to Show Mode, allowing for even greater ease in hands-free use of voice-first skills on Alexa-enabled devices in the US.</p> <p><img alt="" src=" https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/morpheus._CB473646827_.png" /></p> <p>The new Show Mode and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/All-New-Show-Mode-Charging-Generation/dp/B07BNXZDJ3/ref=sr_1_1?s=amazon-devices&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1531337378&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=echo+show+mode" target="_blank">Show Mode Charging Dock</a> for Fire HD 8 and 10 tablets deliver a full-screen Alexa experience identical to that of Echo Show to customers in the US. When you enhance your voice-first skills in the US for devices with screens, customers can enjoy them on Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV Cube, and now Fire HD 8 and 10 tablets.</p> <h2>How Customers Experience Alexa Skills on Fire Tablets</h2> <p>Through Show Mode, a software update for Fire HD 8 and 10 tablets, customers have the ability to toggle between an Echo Show and tablet interface. When in Show Mode, customers experience skills the same way they would on an Echo Show. The Show Mode Charging Dock props up the Fire tablet and defaults it to Show Mode while charging, making it even easier for customers to enjoy hands-free Alexa skills the same way they would on Echo Show.</p> <h2>Design Engaging Voice-First Experiences for Devices with Screens</h2> <p>If your Alexa skill already supports screen displays, it will work in Show Mode with no changes required. If your skill does not yet support displays, here are some tips for designing voice-first experiences that prove engaging across all Alexa-enabled devices:</p> <ol> <li>Voice needs to be the primary interaction method with Alexa, even when designing for devices with screens. Consider the display as a way to enhance your skill. Design your voice interaction first, then think about how you can <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/create-skills-for-alexa-enabled-devices-with-a-screen.html">add visual elements to</a> support display on Alexa-enabled devices with a screen.</li> <li>It is essential that you choose the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/display-interface-reference.html" target="_blank">right templates</a> to develop visual experiences that work across devices.</li> <li>When designing for screen devices, it is important that your content is easy to consume. Consider brevity, arrangement, and pacing when you are writing your dialogue and designing your visuals.</li> </ol> <p>Learn more about <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/05a2ea89-2118-4dcb-a8df-af3d8ac623a8/building-for-echo-show-and-echo-spot-vui-gui-best-practices" target="_blank">best practices to build skills for Echo devices with screens</a>.</p> <h1>Make Money by Creating Engaging Skills Customers Love</h1> <p>You can make money through Alexa skills using <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/in-skill-purchasing">in-skill purchasing</a> or <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/amazon-pay">Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills</a>. You can also make money for eligible skills that drive some of the highest customer engagement with <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/rewards">Alexa Developer Rewards</a>. <a href="http://dev.amazonappservices.com/Alexa_Skill_Monetization_Guide_LP.html" target="_blank">Download our guide</a> to learn which product best meets your needs.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/26c76734-3445-4d5f-8c78-aa1eae4100cf/gary-vaynerchuk-voice-will-explode-and-drive-companies-the-size-of-facebook-instagram Gary Vaynerchuk: Voice Will ‘Explode’ and Drive Companies the Size of Facebook, Instagram Jennifer King 2018-07-13T14:00:00+00:00 2018-07-13T14:44:54+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/GaryVaynerchuk_blog._CB473624484_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/" target="_blank">Gary Vaynerchuk</a>, CEO of <a href="https://vaynermedia.com/" target="_blank">VaynerMedia</a>, says, &quot;Alexa and voice is the future of a frictionless world.&quot; Vaynerchuk believes the voice economywill fuel hundred-billion-dollar companies the size of Facebok and Instagram.&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/GaryVaynerchuk_blog._CB473624484_.png" /></p> <p>Working on the Alexa team, I spend the bulk of my time diving deep on the many developer tools and features we deliver throughout the year. But those are just a means to an end. Every time I pause to consider the bigger picture—the fact that we, the whole community, are shaping the user interface of the future with voice and enabling customers of all ages to simply talk to technology—I am inspired and energized.</p> <p>I met <a href="https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/" target="_blank">Gary Vaynerchuk</a>, CEO of <a href="https://vaynermedia.com/" target="_blank">VaynerMedia</a>, at CES and I was thrilled to learn that he shares my excitement for the potential of voice. Gary has the pulse of what people want and how technology can serve those needs. He also embodies an infectious energy that makes you want to go, learn, and do right away.</p> <p>It was a treat to sit down with Gary and hear his take on the future of voice. Here are a few of his points that have stayed with me.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <h2>Voice, Like Emojis, Lets Us Say More Faster</h2> <p>Today, we have our choice in the ways we can interact with technology. But voice will rise to be the dominant user interface because it is simply faster, says Gary. With voice, we can complete everyday tasks and communicate more quickly and with less effort. In this way, it is not unlike emojis, says Gary. Like emojis, its value is instantly intuitive, and that’s why people are quick to embrace it.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Lu1X0GxjIPQ?rel=0" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>Speed is a big reason voice is poised to become the next major user interface. Each decade, we’ve embraced a new way to interact with technology. We’ve evolved from character mode to a graphical user interface, to the web, to mobile.</p> <p>Voice now offers a faster and easier way to communicate and accomplish tasks than mobile apps. We can either tell Alexa what we need (turn off the lights, adjust the thermostat, and set an alarm—or all of the above using a single utterance like “Alexa, good night”), or you can pull your phone, unlock it, open the right app, and perform the task or tasks. When you consider habitual use cases—those that keep customers coming back over time—the efficiency gained through voice adds up over time. &nbsp;</p> <p>Let’s take the simple example of Alexa’s timer as an example. Before using Alexa, I would have never said that setting a timer on my microwave was something that could be drastically improved. However, now that I can tell Alexa to set the timer for the duration of my choosing, I no longer have to get up, walk to the microwave, and press a few buttons to set the timer. The time saving may seem small, but when you think about it, this shift in user expectations is significant. Did we ever imagine we’d reach a point when pushing a few buttons on the microwave would be the harder, slower route?</p> <h2>The Voice Economy Will Fuel Companies ‘the Size of Facebook, Instagram’</h2> <p>Because voice offers a faster and easier way to do things, it will drive hundred-billion-dollar companies “the size of Pandora, Facebook, and Instagram,” says Gary.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/W0BlpuSvPmc" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>We are still in early days of voice, but a number of our developers have already built a thriving business with Alexa. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/06318b51-f3e3-4aef-8cd3-d3e8ec5e0d06/tom-hewitson-builds-a-thriving-business-with-voice-credits-alexa-developer-rewards-for-growth">Tom Hewitson</a>, who first built the Would You Rather skill to learn about voice design, built a voice design studio that hires six people in just six months. <a href="https://www.earplay.com/" target="_blank">Earplay</a>, which began with a mobile-first approach, pivoted to voice and saw a “much bigger audience than ever thought possible,” according to CEO Jon Myers. And voice-first businesses like <a href="https://www.voicexp.com/" target="_blank">VoiceXP</a>, <a href="https://www.noveleffect.com/about-us/faq" target="_blank">Novel Effect</a>, and <a href="https://getstoryline.com/" target="_blank">Storyline</a> have raised VC funding to add even more capabilities and expand their reach.</p> <p>With the introduction of monetization features, developers are now building compelling premium experiences worth paying for. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/156b211e-355f-4bc8-b1dc-fde19d9acaad/in-skill-purchasing-takes-volley-s-thriving-voice-business-to-the-next-level">Volley</a> added an <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money">in-skill purchase</a> to its popular <a>Yes Sire skill</a>, a role-playing adventure game with more than 1,000 five-star ratings. The Wicked Witch Expansion Pack, a one-time purchase, unlocks additional scenarios for customers to explore. Max Child, co-founder of Volley, says with this premium content, Yes Sire is seeing “a much, much higher conversion rate than comparable mobile metrics.”</p> <h2>‘Alexa and Voice Is the Future of a Frictionless World’</h2> <p>Gary says it all comes down to one word: friction. Customers will rely on Alexa for more tasks throughout their day, and Facebook-sized companies will rise out of voice because voice removes friction.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Pgt81-2g3Qc" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>I use <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AKT2H5G?ie=UTF8&amp;path=%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2FB01AKT2H5G&amp;ref_=sr_1_1&amp;useRedirectOnSuccess=1&amp;" target="_blank">The Dog Feeder skill</a> every day for exactly this reason. In my busy household, I don’t always know whether my wife or kids have already fed the dog. With this skill, I can simply ask Alexa: “Has the dog been fed?” to know if the dog has been fed or still needs to be fed. And once I feed the dog, my family will know I’ve done so because Alexa will tell them.</p> <h2>A Voice-First World</h2> <p>As the builders of tomorrow, I urge you to consider daily routines, from the memorable to the mundane, and those moments when you want to take action right now. Which tasks can you make faster, easier, and more delightful with voice? How will you approach build engaging premium experiences worth paying for? What are the sticky ideas that will enable you to build a business with Alexa?</p> <p>As the saying goes, the future belongs to those who create it. I can’t wait to see what you build next.</p> <p><em>To watch my entire conversation with Gary, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbX5-t_HUlc&amp;list=PL2KJmkHeYQTPyHv5yJ4hSywYmbnIyaVuX&amp;t=0s&amp;index=8" target="_blank">check out the recording</a>.</em></p> /blogs/alexa/post/3e2a13b3-3435-414e-8b3f-79220fd42dd4/certification-jp-5th スキル認定へのヒント: ヘルプインテント編 Nahoko Hirabayashi 2018-07-13T07:14:18+00:00 2018-07-13T07:14:18+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/Launch-Creative-Certify-Tab_Blog._CB475255809_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>審査でよく見られる問題を回避するためのヒントをご紹介します。今回は「HelpIntentでセッションが閉じてしまう」ケースについてです。</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/Launch-Creative-Certify-Tab_Blog._CB475255809_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Alexaのスキルストアに公開するすべてのスキルは、公開前に審査を申請し、認定を受けていただく必要があります。このブログシリーズでは、審査で不合格となるスキルの傾向を紹介し、その対応方法を紹介いたします。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>審査で不合格となる理由として、現在下記の3つが最も多く報告されています。</p> <ul> <li>HelpIntentでセッションが閉じてしまう。</li> <li>StopIntent and/or CancelIntentで スキルを終了しているにも関わらず、 セッションが開いたままになっている。</li> <li>LaunchIntentで適切な返答を返していない。</li> </ul> <p>上記のうち、今回は「HelpIntentでセッションが閉じてしまう」ケースについてご紹介します。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>まずヘルプインテントの悪い例を見てみましょう。</p> <pre> <code>ユーザー:アレクサ、十二星座占いを開いて スキル:ようこそ十二星座占いへ。このスキルでは、十二星座で今日の運勢を占います。占いをはじめますか。 ユーザー:ヘルプ スキル:今日の運勢を占います。たとえば、ふたご座の運勢を教えてと聞いてください。(セッションクローズ)</code></pre> <p>この例では、ユーザーへ次の発話を促しておらず、セッションを閉じてスキルを終了してしまっています。しかし、ヘルプの応答は、ユーザーが次に発話できるよう、セッションを開いたままにする必要があります。また、ユーザーの次の発話を促せるよう、ユーザーへの質問で終わるのが望ましい形です。</p> <p>どのようにコーディングすればよいでしょうか。</p> <pre> <code class="language-javascript">const HelpIntentHandler = { canHandle(handlerInput) { return handlerInput.requestEnvelope.request.type === 'IntentRequest' &amp;&amp; handlerInput.requestEnvelope.request.intent.name === 'AMAZON.HelpIntent'; }, handle(handlerInput) { const speechText = '今日の運勢を占います。たとえば、ふたご座の運勢を教えてのように聞いてください。何座の運勢を占いますか?'; const repromptText = 'たとえば、ふたご座の運勢を教えて、あるいは、てんびん座の運勢を教えてと聞いてください。'; return handlerInput.responseBuilder .speak(speechText) .reprompt(repromptText) .withSimpleCard('十二星座占い',speechText) .getResponse(); }, };</code></pre> <p>上記のサンプルコードではresponseBuilderに .repromptを設定することでセッションを開いたままにしています。</p> <p>では、実際にどのような会話になるか見てみましょう。</p> <pre> <code>ユーザー:アレクサ、十二星座占いを開いて スキル:ようこそ十二星座占いへ。このスキルでは、十二星座で今日の運勢を占います。占いをはじめますか。 ユーザー:ヘルプ スキル:今日の運勢を占います。たとえば、ふたご座の運勢を教えてのように聞いてください。何座の運勢を占いますか? ユーザー:ふたご座の運勢を教えて。 スキル:ふたご座の今日の運勢は星3つです。</code></pre> <p>ヘルプへのスキルからの応答では、スキルの主要な機能およびスキルの操作方法に関する分かりやすい答えを提供する必要がある点も、ご注意ください。こちらの例は、ヘルプインテントの会話の一例ですので、詳細はテクニカルドキュメントの<a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/docs/custom-skills/voice-interface-and-user-experience-testing-for-a-custom-skill.html#providing-help">ヘルプの提供</a>をご参照ください。</p> <p>より詳細なドキュメント・チュートリアル・サンプルコードにつきましてはGitHub上の<a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-skills-kit-sdk-for-nodejs/wiki/%5BJapanese%5D-Home">ASK SDK for Node.js</a>をご確認ください。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>スキル認定に関する関連記事</strong></p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/blogs/alexa/post/0ce8abf3-2b86-4a1d-9c6f-cee639d8bddf/certification-jp">Alexaスキル認定へのヒント集</a></p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/blogs/alexa/post/a0a3bc83-2247-48e3-a2a4-cf7af7fec843/certification-jp-2nd">Alexaスキル認定へのヒント:サンプルフレーズ編 </a></p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/blogs/alexa/post/de085f2a-3cfb-4549-9f23-52cdef6f263a/certification-jp-3rd">Alexaスキル内の広告について</a></p> <p><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/51eb71ea-1711-4719-8d67-ddb38df5dc0b/certification-jp-4th">Alexaスキル認定へのヒント : スマートホームスキル編</a></p> <hr /> <p>皆様からのフィードバックは、私たちにとってとても貴重なものです。スキルの認定に関するご意見がありましたら、<a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/support/contact-us?subjectCategory=ALEXA&amp;sc_channel=website&amp;sc_publisher=devportal&amp;sc_campaign=Conversion_Contact-Us&amp;sc_assettype=conversion&amp;sc_team=us&amp;sc_traffictype=organic&amp;sc_country=united-states&amp;">お問い合わせフォーム</a>からいつでもお送りください。</p> <p>また、 スキル開発時に分からないことがあれば、<a href="https://forums.developer.amazon.com/spaces/293/index.html">Alexa開発者フォーラム</a>もご利用ください。フォーラム上でいただいたご質問に、担当がお答えいたします。</p> /blogs/alexa/post/c97f3bb7-9701-41e8-ac06-a3a44b9f1638/use-the-new-fallback-intent-to-respond-gracefully-to-unexpected-customer-requests Use the New Fallback Intent to Respond Gracefully to Unexpected Customer Requests Shiraz Datta 2018-07-12T17:15:09+00:00 2018-07-12T20:00:52+00:00 <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Fallback-Intent_Blog_(1).png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/Fallback-Intent_Blog_(1)._CB496102119_.png?t=true" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Announcing the new AMAZON.FallbackIntent&nbsp;in the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) built-in library.&nbsp;You can now add the right response to your Alexa skill in all English locales to handle unexpected customer requests with AMAZON.FallbackIntent.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Fallback-Intent_Blog_(1).png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/Fallback-Intent_Blog_(1)._CB496102119_.png?t=true" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify"><em>Editor's Note: as of July 12, 2018, AMAZON.FallbackIntent is now available in all English locales.&nbsp;</em></p> <p style="text-align:justify">The new <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/standard-built-in-intents.html#fallback" target="_blank">AMAZON.FallbackIntent</a>&nbsp;in the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) built-in library helps you handle unexpected utterances, or when a customer says something that doesn’t map to any intents in your skill. As you design your skill, you identify and define a set of utterances and intents to capture the many possible variations that a customer can speak. When your skill is active, Alexa will try to match all customer utterances to one of the skill's intents. There may be instances when the customer request is not appropriate for your skill. If Alexa maps one of these requests to your intents, it may provide an unexpected response.</p> <p style="text-align:justify">We refer to these types of requests as “<a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/standard-built-in-intents.html#fallback" target="_blank">out-of-domain requests</a>.”&nbsp;The new AMAZON.FallbackIntent lets you respond gracefully to an out-of-domain request to your Alexa skill. You can provide a specific handler for this intent in your Alexa skill to provide additional instructions or sample utterances on what the skill does and reorient your customers. For example, the trip planner skill illustrated below has mapped utterances (within the skill), to the skill’s intent. However, if a customer speaks an utterance that is out-of-domain (outside of the skill), unexpected, or does not map to any of your skill intents,&nbsp;then the skill can invoke the AMAZON.FallbackIntent to redirect the customer to utterances that are mapped to an intent or provide additional information.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="Fallback_intent_Final.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/Fallback_intent_Final._CB496102112_.png?t=true" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify">Additionally, you can use the new <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/73b9a88c-e48c-4afa-8f2f-964bda933509/discover-how-customers-engage-with-your-alexa-skill-using-a-new-api" target="_blank">Intent Request History API </a>&nbsp;that offers an aggregated and anonymized view of customer’s intent requests to evolve your skill’s intents or fine-tune the out-of-domain model as necessary.</p> <h2 style="text-align:justify">How to Add Amazon.FallbackIntent&nbsp;</h2> <p style="text-align:justify">You can update your Alexa skill's interaction model in the <a href="https://alexa.design/2FuiNkw" target="_blank">Alexa developer console</a> to include the AMAZON.FallbackIntent, and add an intent handler to your backend or <a href="https://console.aws.amazon.com/lambda/home" target="_blank">AWS Lambda function</a>.</p> <p style="text-align:justify"><img alt="screenshot-Fallback.png" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/AlexaSkillsKit/screenshot-Fallback._CB496306189_.png?t=true" /></p> <p style="text-align:justify">AMAZON.FallbackIntent is currently available for all English locales supported by the Alexa Skills Kit.&nbsp;To get started with AMAZON.FallbackIntent, read the <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/custom-skills/standard-built-in-intents.html#fallback" target="_blank">technical documentation</a>.</p> <h2>Build Engaging Skills, Earn Money with Alexa Developer Rewards</h2> <p style="margin-left:0in; margin-right:0in">Every month, developers can earn money for eligible skills that drive some of the highest customer engagement. Developers can increase their level of skill engagement using the Amazon.FallbackIntent and potentially earn more by improving their skill, building more skills, and making their skills available in the US, the UK, and Germany. <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/rewards" target="_blank">Learn more</a> about our rewards program and start building today.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/2b9f00a1-551e-461a-ae13-88b3323b353f/how-to-prime-your-skill-for-prime-day Recording and Resources: Prime Your Skills for Prime Day Jennifer King 2018-07-12T15:52:50+00:00 2018-07-12T22:26:48+00:00 <p>It’s time to get your skills ready for Prime Day, one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Check out these blog posts, documentation, and other helpful material to start improving your skill.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qz7qDwVyphQ" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>It’s time to get your skills ready for Prime Day, one of the biggest shopping days of the year. You’ll soon be able to reach and delight even more customers via voice.</p> <p>To put your best skill forward, <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/videos/283810575" target="_blank">watch the on-demand Twitch stream, Prime Your Skill for Prime Day</a>. You’ll learn how to design, build, and launch conversational skills that deliver customer value and drive habitual use.</p> <p>In addition to skill-building tips, we’ll share exclusive insights from best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk to help you get inspired. You’ll learn why Vaynerchuck is excited about the future of voice, what customers love in an engaging voice experience, and our vision for the future of voice UIs. We’ll also share stories about how some of the most successful skill developers in the world are building their businesses with Alexa.</p> <h2>Resource Roundup: Prime Your Skills for Prime Day</h2> <p>To help you get started, we shared a number of resources during our live Twitch sessions. Check out these blog posts, documentation, and other helpful material to start improving your skill.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong></p> <ul> <li>On-Demand Webinar: <a href="https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3527246882938534147" target="_blank">Voice Design 101</a></li> <li>Alexa Skill Builder’s Guide: <a href="http://alexa.design/webmobiletovoice" target="_blank">How Building for Voice Differs from Building for the Screen</a></li> <li>Documentation: <a href="http://alexa.design/guide" target="_blank">Amazon Alexa Voice Design Guide</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Build</strong></p> <ul> <li>Video: <a href="http://alexa.design/newconsole" target="_blank">Alexa Developer Console</a></li> <li>Documentation: <a href="http://alexa.design/askcli">Alexa Skills Kit Command-Line Interface</a></li> <li>GitHub: <a href="https://github.com/alexa?utf8=%E2%9C%93&amp;q=alexa-skills-kit-sdk-for" target="_blank">ASK Software Development Kits</a></li> <li>Blog Post: <a href="http://alexa.design/testing">Why Testing and Automation Matter</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Launch</strong></p> <ul> <li>Blog Post: <a href="https://alexa.design/certificationtips">Tips for a Successful Alexa Skill Certification</a></li> <li>Documentation: <a href="http://alexa.design/languages">Develop Skills in Multiple Languages</a></li> <li>Alexa Skill Builder’s Guide: <a href="http://dev.amazonappservices.com/vuivsgui_guide_download_page.html" target="_blank">How to Scale Your Alexa Skill Using Amazon Web Services</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Engage</strong></p> <ul> <li>Blog Post: <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/352e9834-0a98-4868-8d94-c2746b794ce9/improve-alexa-skill-discovery-and-name-free-use-of-your-skill-with-canfulfillintentrequest-beta">Improve Alexa Skill Discovery and Name-Free Use of Your Skill with CanFulfillIntentRequest (Beta)</a></li> <li>Blog Post: <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/4a39d8bf-e27e-4da1-8a37-1196d3bd1f5c/how-to-increase-customer-engagement-with-your-alexa-skill">How to Promote Your Skill</a></li> <li>Alexa Skill Builder’s Guide: <a href="https://build.amazonalexadev.com/10_things_every_skill_should_do_v2.html" target="_blank">10 Things Every Skill Should Do</a></li> <li>Blog Post: <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/f2ef2a55-b465-4580-a9fc-2c0a9be49f00/gain-interaction-insights-using-new-analytics-in-the-ask-developer-console">Gain Interaction Insights Using New Analytics in the ASK Developer Console</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Make Money</strong></p> <ul> <li>Web Page: <a href="http://alexa.design/credits">AWS Promotional Credits</a></li> <li>Web Page: <a href="http://alexa.design/rewards">Alexa Developer Rewards</a></li> <li>Documentation: <a href="http://alexa.design/ispdocs">In-Skill Purchasing</a></li> </ul> <h2>Stay Connected</h2> <p>Get started today to get your skill ready for new and returning customers. And connect with us on <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/amazonalexa" target="_blank">Twitch</a> and <a href="https://alexa.design/teamtwitter" target="_blank">Twitter</a> to stay up to date on the latest Alexa news and events. <a href="https://build.amazonalexadev.com/Get_the_Latest_Alexa_Developer_News.html" target="_blank">Sign up for our newsletter</a> to get Alexa developer news delivered straight to your inbox. We can’t wait to see what you build.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/182ed4d1-139a-4780-b893-52e1e71faaa5/mama-papa-help-skills ママパパ応援スキルを開発してみよう! Yuka Gray 2018-07-11T07:25:22+00:00 2018-07-11T07:25:22+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/blogs/ask/VIG_blog._CB507756630_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>もうすぐ夏休みです。楽しみに待っている子どもたちとは対照的に、ママパパは普段と違う生活のルーティンに、旅行の計画に、と大忙しの季節がやってきます。そんなママパパのお助けスキルを開発してみませんか?Alexaスキルストアでも、ママパパ応援スキルの特集を8月に予定しています。みなさまに開発いただいたスキルも、特集掲載の対象として検討させていただきますので、みなさまの幅広いアイデアをお待ちしております。</p> <p style="text-align:left">もうすぐ夏休みです。楽しみに待っている子どもたちとは対照的に、ママパパは普段と違う生活のルーティンに、旅行の計画に、と大忙しの季節がやってきます。そんなママパパのお助けスキルを開発してみませんか?Alexaスキルストアでも、ママパパ応援スキルの特集を8月に予定しています。みなさまに開発いただいたスキルも、特集掲載の対象として検討させていただきますので、みなさまの幅広いアイデアをお待ちしております。</p> <p style="text-align:left"><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/blogs/ask/VIG_blog._CB507756630_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p style="text-align:left">開発のヒントに、Alexaスキルのアイデアをご紹介します。</p> <p style="text-align:left">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align:left"><strong>テーマ1:子ども向けスキル</strong><br /> 夏休みになり、子どもたちは家で過ごす時間が増えます。家の中で使える、楽しくためになるゲームや教育関連のスキルはいかがでしょうか?英語や算数など、音声を通してゲーム感覚で勉強することができると、子どもも喜び、ママパパも助かります。また、宿題を自主的にやりたくなる仕掛けや、計画的に宿題を進められるスケジュール管理のスキルも、夏休みに役立ちそうです。子ども向けスキルの開発については<a href="https://developer.amazon.com/ja/alexa-skills-kit/kids">こちら</a>をご覧ください。</p> <p><strong>テーマ2:育児サポート</strong><br /> 育児に、積極的に音声を取り入れてみませんか?赤ちゃんが好きな音で睡眠をサポートしたり、離乳食のレシピを検索したりすることも可能できす。育児は、赤ちゃんを抱っこしながら、家事をしながら、と何かと手がふさがっているシチュエーションが多くありますが、音声を使えば、手がふさがっていてもデバイスを操作できます。是非、普段の育児の中でAlexaを活用できる場面を探してみましょう。また、着替えや歯磨きなど、子どもの毎日のルーティンを楽しくしてくれるようなスキルがあると、ママパパの育児も楽になりそうです。</p> <p><strong>テーマ3:親子で考える</strong><br /> 子どもは柔軟な感覚を持っています。大人が思いつかないようなスキルのアイデアを持っているかもしれません。あなたのスキル開発に、子どものアイデアを取り入れてみませんか?Alexa Skills Kitでは<a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-fact/tree/ja-JP">ファクトスキル</a>や<a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-trivia/tree/ja-JP">トリビアスキル</a>、<a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-quiz-game/tree/ja-JP">クイズゲームスキル</a>のテンプレートを用意していますので、ぜひご活用ください。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Alexa</strong><strong>スキルコンテストでも子育て関連スキルを募集中!</strong></p> <p>Amazonでは、ユーザーを魅了するAlexaスキルの開発を応援することを目的に個人・法人の開発者を対象にした日本では初のAlexaスキル コンテストを開催中です。最優秀賞(個人・法人各1作品)のほか、テーマ賞5部門があり、子育て支援部門、キッズ部門が含まれます。コンテストにもぜひご応募ください。</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>作品募集期間:2018年6月13日(水)~8月27日(月)</p> <p>応募方法: <a href="http://alexaskillawards.jp/">Alexa スキルアワード 2018 公式Webページ</a>をご参照ください。</p> /blogs/alexa/post/35eb8ae8-2cd8-4de7-86c5-97a1abc239b9/testflow-simulate-conversations-with-your-alexa-skill-code-to-ease-debugging TestFlow: Simulate Conversations with Your Alexa Skill Code to Ease Debugging Jennifer King 2018-07-09T14:00:00+00:00 2018-07-09T14:41:36+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog(6)._CB487157168_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>The Alexa evangelist team built a simulation tool called TestFlow to streamline skill debugging and testing. Use the tool to test your skill code without needing to package or deploy your project.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog(6)._CB487157168_.png" /></p> <p>Voice is a fast-evolving user interface. Over the last few years, many developers started creating voice experiences by building a simple one-shot “fact skill” using the AWS console at a hackathon or workshop. Fast forward to today and two trends are clear: developers are building multi-turn conversational skills, and they like to write skill code from their laptop using an integrated development environment (IDE).</p> <p>Developing code on a laptop is great, but deploying your code to test it may cause unnecessary interruptions to your mental flow. It takes time to zip your project, deploy your code to AWS Lambda, fire up the skill, ask a series of questions, stop the skill, locate and refresh the log file in Amazon CloudWatch, and search for debug messages and errors.</p> <p>The Alexa evangelist team built a simulation tool called TestFlow to streamline skill debugging and testing. You can use the tool to test your skill code without needing to package or deploy your project. <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-cookbook/tree/master/tools/TestFlow" target="_blank"><strong>TestFlow</strong></a><strong> </strong>is a lightweight, command-line dialog simulator. It displays and maintains the details of a mock skill session. Whenever you want to run a test, you just Alt-Tab to a command prompt, run TestFlow, review results, and then Alt-Tab right back to developing.</p> <p>A voice designer could define a happy-path flow of user requests to the skill. For example, imagine a file listing the launch request, then a help query, and then a stop command.</p> <p style="text-align:right">file: <em>dialogs/<strong>default.txt</strong></em></p> <div style="border:solid #d9d9d9 1.0pt; padding:11.0pt 0in 11.0pt 11.0pt"> <p>LaunchRequest</p> <p>AMAZON.HelpIntent</p> <p>AMAZON.StopIntent</p> </div> <p>Here’s another example showing how to define intents, slots, and a pause for user input.</p> <p style="text-align:right">file: <em>dialogs/<strong>page.txt</strong></em></p> <div style="border:solid #d9d9d9 1.0pt; padding:11.0pt 0in 11.0pt 11.0pt"> <p>LaunchRequest</p> <p>BookmarkGetIntent</p> <p>BookmarkSetIntent page=25</p> <p>? BookmarkSetIntent page=31</p> <p>BookmarkGetIntent</p> <p>ResetIntent</p> <p>AMAZON.YesIntent</p> </div> <p>As a developer, you can save dialog sequence files like this to a /dialogs folder in your project. You can use these files in two ways–as a document for specifying and sharing expected skill sequences and as an input to TestFlow.</p> <p><strong>TestFlow</strong> will open both this file and your source file and execute this series of unit tests for you.</p> <p>To run TestFlow, you just type :&nbsp; <strong>node testflow</strong></p> <p><strong><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/testflow/Picture1._TTH_.png" style="height:247px; width:874px" /></strong></p> <h2>How TestFlow Works</h2> <p>You can think of <strong>TestFlow</strong> as a lightweight skill simulator rather than a traditional testing tool. Both the inputs and outputs to and from TestFlow are reduced to the simplest possible format to remove any friction in the testing process. As TestFlow executes multiple events, it will maintain session state for you, like the real Alexa voice service.</p> <p>Developers can envision, define, run, and repeat “what if” scenarios quickly, having full control over which text and attributes to display, whether the test runs fully automated or with guided user input, and how slowly the test should run. For example, if you set a delay of 5 seconds between test events, users will have time to read and digest each request and response as it scrolls past. TestFlow is not network-dependent; it is a single file that runs alongside your code, and is perfect for developers who want to develop offline, like when traveling.&nbsp; Testflow is configurable; you can set display and runtime options directly in the testflow.js file, or hack the script for your own purposes.</p> <p>Here we see the test begins in automated fashion, then pauses to allow the user to type in a custom slot value of 33 rather than accept the default value.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/testflow/Picture2._TTH_.png" /></p> <p>Developers must understand how to set and get context, or session attributes, in order to remember things and provide intelligent responses to the user. An attribute could be used to remember the value of a user utterance slot, or for internal metadata such as a count of times the user launched the skill.</p> <p>However, session attributes are largely invisible, requiring the developer to imagine their state or log their state as a skill executes.</p> <p>Developers can configure TestFlow to show all the session attributes shaded in magenta; or just a single named attribute, similar to a “watch” variable in traditional debugging.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/testflow/Picture3._TTH_.png" style="float:right; margin-left:10px; margin-right:10px" />TestFlow prepares a mock request JSON for each execution, containing a User ID and timestamp.</p> <p>Developers can define unique User IDs for events to run as, as well as whether the event runs as of right now or at a past or future time. In this way, you can simulate skills with multiple users and persistent memory.</p> <p>You can also specify slot values in the dialog sequence using a single value, or by simulating various entity resolution events, such as testing both synonym with canonical values&nbsp; See the <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-cookbook/blob/master/tools/TestFlow/SPEC.md" target="_blank">dialog sequence spec</a> for the full details.</p> <p>TestFlow supports both Node.JS and Python projects, any version of the Alexa Skills Kit Software Development Kit (SDK), and skills that call other APIs or AWS services. &nbsp;See the <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-cookbook/blob/master/tools/TestFlow/tutorial/SETUP.md" target="_blank">Setup Steps</a> for hints on configuring your local environment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/mobile-apps/dex/alexa/alexa-skills-kit/testflow/Picture4._TTH_.png" style="float:left; height:285px; margin-left:10px; margin-right:10px; width:593px" />The Testing Tools Landscape</h2> <p><strong>TestFlow</strong> is one of dozens of approaches to testing an Alexa skill.&nbsp; The <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console/ask">developer portal</a> Test console is the primary tool to use, especially for reviewing how utterances map to your language model. <a href="https://echosim.io/welcome" target="_blank">Echosim.io</a> from a browser or the Alexa app now features Alexa buttons, and can be used to interact with your skill verbally.</p> <p>The Alexa <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/smapi/skill-simulation-api.html">Skills Management API</a> (SMAPI) and Alexa Skills Kit <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/smapi/ask-cli-command-reference.html#simulate-command">Command Line Interface</a> (CLI) tools can simulate utterances to an Alexa skill. Also, Bespoken’s <a href="https://github.com/bespoken/bst" target="_blank">BST</a> command line utilities provide an integrated testing framework for skills.</p> <p>Formal QA testing frameworks can be used to verify the expected output of your skill code, and are often automated as part of a continuous integration workflow. <a href="https://mochajs.org/" target="_blank">MochaJS</a> and <a href="http://www.chaijs.com/">Chai</a> are popular open source Javascript test frameworks.&nbsp;</p> <p>TestFlow is unique in that it requires no device, browser, or network; it simplifies inputs and outputs to the minimum.</p> <p>Get started with the TestFlow <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-cookbook/tree/master/tools/TestFlow" target="_blank">here</a>, and follow <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-cookbook/blob/master/tools/TestFlow/tutorial/TUTORIAL.md" target="_blank">the tutorial</a> that covers the options and test formats.</p> <h2>More Resources</h2> <ul> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/e2f3d18c-13ca-4796-bc83-e8a196f20e57/building-engaging-alexa-skills-why-testing-and-automation-matter">Building Engaging Alexa Skills: Why Testing and Automation Matter</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/f71856e6-399b-46fd-a047-467a9bec7b66/now-it-s-easier-to-test-your-alexa-skill-for-a-great-customer-experience-on-echo-spot">Now It’s Easier to Test Your Alexa Skill for a Great Customer Experience on Echo Spot</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/be2f0734-c90b-44fd-a083-f6a09eba23db/certify-your-skills-faster-using-new-tools-in-the-alexa-developer-console">Certify Your Skills Faster Using New Tools in the Alexa Developer Console</a></li> </ul> <h1>Make Money by Creating Engaging Skills Customers Love</h1> <p>You can make money through Alexa skills using <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/in-skill-purchasing">in-skill purchasing</a> or <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/amazon-pay">Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills</a>. You can also make money for eligible skills that drive some of the highest customer engagement with <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/rewards">Alexa Developer Rewards</a>. <a href="http://dev.amazonappservices.com/Alexa_Skill_Monetization_Guide_LP.html" target="_blank">Download our guide</a> to learn which product best meets your needs.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/d69af9a4-14c8-4214-b265-78130da8fd59/things-every-alexa-skill-should-do-include-a-variety-of-responses Things Every Alexa Skill Should Do: Include a Variety of Responses Jennifer King 2018-07-06T14:00:00+00:00 2018-07-09T14:39:22+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog(10)._CB498456606_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>It’s easy to add variety to your responses. It keeps the conversation going between Alexa and your users, and it adds the attention-grabbing variety that every conversation needs to thrive.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/blog(10)._CB498456606_.png" /></p> <p><em>Editor's Note: This is an installment of our series called </em><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/tag/10+Things"><em>Things Every Alexa Skill Should Do</em></a><em>, which highlights the important features and lessons that every skill builder can use to make their skills more engaging for customers. Follow the series to learn, get inspired, and build engaging Alexa skills.</em></p> <p>You’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth 1,000 words?” This is absolutely true when dealing with web and mobile design. There are consistent design elements on web and mobile apps because they are using design patterns that communicate large amounts of information with very little explanation.</p> <p>However, unlike web and mobile apps, voice doesn’t have a visual language. When designing for voice, you have to fall back to the consistent design elements of a conversation between two humans.</p> <p>Imagine walking into your office every morning, and consistently saying “good morning” to one of your colleagues. Aside from a generic “good morning” in response, you can’t predict exactly how that colleague would respond.</p> <p>Now imagine your colleague, every morning, responds with “Hi. Good morning. It’s going to be a great day today.” After receiving the same response every day, you might eventually stop your interactions with them over time. It’s unnatural for someone say the same thing every time you talk to them. The same holds true when speaking to Alexa.</p> <p>Hearing something unexpected in a response makes us pay closer attention. This means that every time a user interacts with your skill, you are determining exactly how engaged they are going to be.</p> <p>Here are some common anti-patterns that we see in many skills:</p> <ul> <li>Starting the skill with the same response every time: <em>“Welcome to {myskill}. What can I do for you?”</em></li> <li>Reprompting a user with the same words after each interaction: <em>“What else can I help you with?”</em></li> <li>Communicating the same information the same way each time: <em>“The weather in {city} will be {condition} on {day}. The high will be {temp}.”</em></li> </ul> <p>It’s easy to add variety to your responses. It keeps the conversation going between Alexa and your users, and it adds the attention-grabbing variety that every conversation needs to thrive.</p> <p>Build variety into your skill’s responses to keep customers engaged over time. For example, think of all the ways that you can say, “OK.” You might say, “Got it,” “Great,” “Sounds good,” and so on.</p> <p>You can vary your responses by creating a list of phrases and using a random number generator to pick something from that list. This approach will add variety to your skill’s interactions and make your responses less robotic. To get started, check out these <a href="https://github.com/alexa/alexa-cookbook/blob/master/ingredients/dynamic-welcome-messages.md" target="_blank">code samples in the Alexa Skill-Building Cookbook</a>.</p> <h2>Get the Guide: 10 Things Every Alexa Skill Should Do</h2> <p>With more than 40,000 skills in the Alexa Skills Store, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a skill great and what you can do to create incredible voice experiences for your customers. Download the complete guide about <a href="http://dev.amazonappservices.com/10ThingsEveryAlexaSkillShouldDoGuide.html?sc_campaign=10ThingsGuide&amp;sc_channel=SM&amp;sc_details=Blog1" target="_blank">10 Things Every Alexa Skill Should Do</a> for more tips, code samples, and best practices to build engaging skills.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/9326d3bd-4295-4ecd-b17f-5f275b8e370c/twitch-prime-day-alexa-skills Live Twitch Stream: Prime Your Skill for Prime Day Jennifer King 2018-07-03T19:00:00+00:00 2018-07-03T23:07:15+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/twitch_blog._CB476201729_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p>Prime Day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. That means you'll soon be able to reach and delight even more customers via voice. To get your skill ready for prime time, join us for a live Twitch stream on Thursday, July 12 at 10 a.m. PST.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/twitch_blog._CB476201729_.png" style="height:480px; width:1908px" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Prime-Day/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=13887280011&amp;tag=googhydr-20&amp;hvadid=279618622052&amp;hvpos=1t1&amp;hvexid=&amp;hvnetw=g&amp;hvrand=15329579168646498817&amp;hvpone=&amp;hvptwo=&amp;hvqmt=e&amp;hvdev=c&amp;ref=pd_sl_mdpvw3y7d_e&amp;hvtargid=kwd-297861118695" target="_blank">Amazon Prime Day</a> is back on July 16, bringing customers awesome deals on one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. More devices coming online means you'll be able to reach even more customers with your Alexa skills. This is the perfect opportunity to engage new customers via voice.</p> <h2>Learn How to Make the Most of Prime Day</h2> <p>It's important you make sure your skill is in tip-top shape to make the most of Prime Day. To get your skill ready for prime time, <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/events/LOjqXbndTxC-198V0nhYAw" target="_blank">join us on Twitch on July 12 at 10 a.m. PST</a> for a live stream to learn how to design, build, and launch conversational skills that deliver customer value and drive habitual use.</p> <p>Since great skills combine good design with solid code, we will talk about both during the Twitch stream. In addition to skill-building tips, we’ll share exclusive insights from best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk to help you get inspired. You’ll learn why Vaynerchuck is excited about the future of voice, what customers love in an engaging voice experience, and our vision for the future of voice UIs. We’ll also share stories about how some of the most successful skill developers in the world are building their businesses with Alexa. <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/events/LOjqXbndTxC-198V0nhYAw" target="_blank">Learn more and save the date</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="http://twitch.tv/amazonalexa" target="_blank">Amazon Alexa Twitch channel</a> is a great place to interact with experts from the Alexa team. This two-hour stream will present plenty of opportunities to chat and ask questions. We’re always thinking about delivering great customer experiences, and we would love to hear your thoughts too. Make sure you click the &quot;Remind Me&quot; button on the <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/events/LOjqXbndTxC-198V0nhYAw" target="_blank">Twitch event page</a>, and we'll ping you when the stream starts.</p> <h2>Join Us Every Week on Twitch</h2> <p>You can find the Alexa team on Twitch every week at <a href="http://twitch.tv/amazonalexa" target="_blank">twitch.tv/amazonalexa</a>. If you would like to get notifications every time we stream, make sure to follow our channel by clicking the purple heart icon. You can also tune into Twitch every Tuesday at 1 p.m. PST for Alexa Office Hours. During these weekly one-hour sessions, a rotating cast of Alexa evangelists are available to answer your skill-building questions.</p> /blogs/alexa/post/53c2319a-4cc9-4067-8274-1472a0463d6e/understanding-the-in-skill-purchasing-experience Understanding the In-Skill Purchasing Experience Jennifer King 2018-07-03T14:00:00+00:00 2018-07-03T14:00:00+00:00 <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/ISP_Tech_Blog_Header._CB496589928_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>Learn about the possible pathways a customer can take to make (or decline) a purchase in an Alexa skill and some best practices to create a seamless in-skill purchasing experience.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/ISP_Tech_Blog_Header._CB496589928_.png" style="height:240px; width:954px" /></p> <p>When we <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/5d852c9c-8cdf-45c1-9b68-e2f02af26c89/make-money-with-alexa-skills">released in-skill purchasing (ISP)</a>, I was excited to start building premium content that customers would be able to purchase with just a voice conversation. In the time I’ve spent building skills with ISP, I’ve been able to identify the common pathways a customer can travel during the purchase process. It starts with two core ideas:</p> <ul> <li>You recommend a product to your customer, which we call an upsell.</li> <li>Your customer asks to purchase a product, which we call a buy.</li> </ul> <p>If a customer likes your upsell, they proceed to a buy offer. If they accept the offer or decline at any point, Alexa returns to your skill with a response and purchase result that reflects their choice.</p> <p><img alt="" src="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/G/01/DeveloperBlogs/AlexaBlogs/default/monetization_user-flowv2._CB474508433_.png" /></p> <p>In this post, we are going to cover each of the possible pathways a customer can take to make (or decline) a purchase in an Alexa skill and share some best practices to create a seamless in-skill purchasing experience.</p> <h1>Offering Your Customer an Upsell</h1> <p>An upsell is something you present to your customer when you identify an opportunity to sell them one of your in-skill products. Examples of this might be offering another story in your storybook skill, or more questions from your trivia skill.</p> <p>To <strong>trigger an upsell</strong> to the customer, send the following JSON as your response to Alexa:</p> <pre> <code class="language-javascript">{ type: “Connections.SendRequest”, name: “Upsell”, payload: { InSkillProduct: { productId: “YOUR_PRODUCT_ID” }, upsellMessage: “YOUR_UPSELL_MESSAGE” }, token: 'correlationToken', }</code></pre> <p>If the <strong>customer declines your upsell offer</strong>, you will receive new JSON data of type “Connections.Response”.&nbsp; You should return your customer back to your skill’s free experience when you receive this message in your skill.</p> <p><code>&quot;request&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;type&quot;: &quot;<strong>Connections.Response</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;requestId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.echo-api...&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;timestamp&quot;: &quot;2018-06-20T00:51:42Z&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;locale&quot;: &quot;en-US&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;status&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;code&quot;: &quot;200&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;message&quot;: &quot;OK&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;name&quot;: &quot;<strong>Upsell</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;payload&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;purchaseResult&quot;: &quot;<strong>DECLINED</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;productId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.adg...&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;message&quot;: &quot;Skill Upsell was declined.&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;token&quot;: &quot;correlationToken&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</code></p> <p>Here’s an example of what the conversation might look like in a trivia skill:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer: </strong>Give me a science question.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>You don’t currently have access to the science category. Would you like to hear how to get it?</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer: </strong>No, thank you.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>OK.&nbsp; Can I offer you one of our free trivia questions instead?</em></p> <p>As you can see, when the customer declines the offer, you can handle this gracefully and move the customer back to the experience they were enjoying before the upsell.</p> <p>If the customer wants more information about the product that you offered an upsell on, they will automatically be moved into a <strong>buy</strong> <strong>experience</strong>. This is the part of the purchase process where Alexa will inform the customer about what they are purchasing, and how much it costs.&nbsp; Here’s what it looks like:</p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer: </strong>Give me a science question.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>You don’t currently have access to the science category. Would you like to hear how to get it?</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer:</strong> Yes, please.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>Purchasing the science category will give you questions about physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy. Prime members save 19 cents, without Prime the price is 99 cents plus tax. Would you like to buy it?” </em></p> <p>If they decline this offer, you will receive the same “DECLINED” message that we saw above. If they accept the offer and BUY your product, you will receive a similar response, but the purchaseResult value will be “ACCEPTED.”</p> <p><code>&quot;request&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;type&quot;: &quot;<strong>Connections.Response</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;requestId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.echo-api...&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;timestamp&quot;: &quot;2018-06-20T00:51:42Z&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;locale&quot;: &quot;en-US&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;status&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;code&quot;: &quot;200&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;message&quot;: &quot;OK&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;name&quot;: &quot;<strong>Upsell</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;payload&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;purchaseResult&quot;: &quot;<strong>ACCEPTED</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;productId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.adg...&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;message&quot;: &quot;Skill Upsell was accepted.&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;token&quot;: &quot;correlationToken&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; }</code></p> <p>At this point, you should thank the customer for their purchase, and immediately take them to an experience that uses their purchase.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em>…</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>Would you like to buy it?</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer: </strong>Yes!</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa:</strong> Great. You have successfully unlocked the Science category. You can now say things like ‘Ask me a science question.’ Would you like a science question now?</em></p> <h1>Making It Easy for a Customer to Buy Directly</h1> <p>Many times, a customer won’t buy something the first time they hear about it. As they are using your skill, however, it may occur to them that purchasing a specific product would be worthwhile. In this case, you should be prepared for them to ask to purchase a product by name. To do this, I recommend building a BuyIntent in your interaction model that has a slot value for each of the products you have to offer. Here’s an example:</p> <pre> <code class="language-javascript">{ &quot;name&quot;: &quot;BuyCategoryIntent&quot;, &quot;slots&quot;: [ { &quot;name&quot;: &quot;category&quot;, &quot;type&quot;: &quot;Category&quot; } ], &quot;samples&quot;: [ &quot;I want to buy the {category} category&quot;, &quot;purchase {category}&quot;, &quot;buy {category}&quot;, &quot;I want to unlock {category}&quot;, &quot;unlock {category}&quot; ] }</code></pre> <p>Once the customer has indicated that they want to buy a product, you can skip past the <strong>upsell</strong> experience, and take them directly to a <strong>buy</strong> offer. To do this, we use a slightly different “Connections.SendRequest” JSON request (shown below). Notice that this one does not include an UpsellMessage, as the buy experience is a pre-set script that uses your purchasePromptDescription from your ISP, followed by the specific pricing offer for your customer.</p> <pre> <code class="language-javascript">{ 'type': 'Connections.SendRequest', 'name': 'Buy', 'payload': { 'InSkillProduct': { 'productId': “YOUR_PRODUCT_ID” } }, 'token': 'correlationToken' }</code></pre> <p>Once you submit your <strong>buy</strong> request, the experience is identical to the experience we saw when a user accepted our <strong>upsell.</strong></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer: </strong>Buy the science category.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>Purchasing the Science category will give you questions about physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy. Prime members save 19 cents, without Prime the price is 99 cents plus tax. Would you like to buy it?” </em></p> <p>If the customer decides not to purchase your product, your skill should function identically to the Upsell Declined exerience we discussed earlier. Return the customer to their current experience, and move past a purchase conversation.&nbsp;</p> <p><code>&quot;request&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;type&quot;: &quot;<strong>Connections.Response</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;requestId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.echo-api.request.05d4c3bf-d913-4241-ab64-47e65326ef7d&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;timestamp&quot;: &quot;2018-06-20T01:43:37Z&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;locale&quot;: &quot;en-US&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;status&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;code&quot;: &quot;200&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;message&quot;: &quot;OK&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;name&quot;: &quot;<strong>Buy</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;payload&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;purchaseResult&quot;: &quot;<strong>DECLINED</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;productId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.adg.product.034a3d20-026a-4c86-9879-815f57266ddb&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;token&quot;: &quot;correlationToken&quot;</code></p> <p><code>}</code></p> <p>Because the customer initiated this purchase conversation, I like to remind them that they can buy these products at any time by just asking for them.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em>…</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>Would you like to buy it?</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer:</strong> Nope.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>OK. You can always buy any of our trivia categories by simply asking for them.&nbsp; What would you like to do instead?</em></p> <p>If the customer decides to make the purchase, the “purchaseResult” becomes ACCEPTED, but all of the other values remain unchanged.</p> <p><code>&quot;request&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;type&quot;: &quot;<strong>Connections.Response</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;requestId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.echo-api...&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;timestamp&quot;: &quot;2018-06-20T01:44:15Z&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;locale&quot;: &quot;en-US&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;status&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;code&quot;: &quot;200&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;message&quot;: &quot;OK&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;name&quot;: &quot;<strong>Buy</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;payload&quot;: {</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;purchaseResult&quot;: &quot;<strong>ACCEPTED</strong>&quot;,</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;productId&quot;: &quot;amzn1.adg...&quot;</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; },</code></p> <p><code>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &quot;token&quot;: &quot;correlationToken&quot;</code></p> <p><code>}</code></p> <p>Like the upsell, this is your opportunity to quickly thank the customer for their purchase (or congratulate their wise choice), and immediately take them to the experience that uses the purchased product.</p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em>…</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>Would you like to buy it?</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Customer:</strong> Yes.</em></p> <p style="margin-left:40px"><em><strong>Alexa: </strong>Great! You can now ask me for science questions. Would you like a science question now?</em></p> <p>By understanding the different upsell and purchasing scenarios that are available to customers, you can easily add in-skill purchasing to your skill with the customer experience in mind. Check out our <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/in-skill-purchase/add-isps-to-a-skill.html">technical documentation</a> for more details about adding in-skill purchasing to your voice experience.</p> <p>How are you using in-skill purchasing to deepen engagement with your customers? Reach out to me on Twitter at <a href="http://twitter.com/jeffblankenburg" target="_blank">@jeffblankenburg</a> to let me know.</p> <h1>More Resources</h1> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.twitch.tv/videos/264614234?t=00h00m02s" target="_blank">Twitch: How to Add In-Skill Purchasing</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/docs/in-skill-purchase/isp-overview.html">In-Skill Purchasing Technical Documentation</a></li> <li><a href="https://github.com/alexa/skill-sample-nodejs-fact-in-skill-purchases" target="_blank">In-Skill Purchasing Code Samples</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/cb68e420-8097-4c85-97bc-016f3a0321f2/new-alexa-skill-sample-add-in-skill-products-with-one-time-purchases-and-subscriptions" target="_blank">Skill Sample: Add In-Skill Products with One-Time Purchases and Subscriptions</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/d4d90d82-e0e2-4de0-abdc-c2e71b92981f/8-best-practices-for-designing-premium-experiences-for-alexa-skills">8 Best Practices for Designing Premium Experiences for Alexa Skills</a></li> <li><a href="https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/156b211e-355f-4bc8-b1dc-fde19d9acaad/in-skill-purchasing-takes-volley-s-thriving-voice-business-to-the-next-level">Developer Spotlight: In-Skill Purchasing Takes Volley’s Thriving Voice Business to the Next Level</a></li> </ul> <h1>Make Money by Creating Engaging Skills Customers Love</h1> <p>You can make money through Alexa skills using <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/in-skill-purchasing">in-skill purchasing</a> or <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/make-money/amazon-pay">Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills</a>. You can also make money for eligible skills that drive some of the highest customer engagement with <a href="https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit/rewards">Alexa Developer Rewards</a>. <a href="http://dev.amazonappservices.com/Alexa_Skill_Monetization_Guide_LP.html" target="_blank">Download our guide</a> to learn which product best meets your needs.</p>