In-Skill Purchasing Overview

The in-skill purchasing feature enables you to sell premium content such as game features and interactive stories for use in skills with a custom interaction model.

Buying these products in a skill is seamless to a user. They may ask to shop products, buy products by name, or agree to purchase suggestions you make while they interact with a skill. Customers pay for products using the payment options associated with their Amazon account.

This topic provides an introduction to the in-skill purchasing feature and additional documentation on how to create and publish in-skill products in a custom skill .

Get started with the basics

To add in-skill purchases to a skill, you first create a custom skill. To get started with custom skills, see Understanding Custom Skills and Steps to Build a Custom Skill.

Then, you should understand the three types of in-skill products that you can offer in your skill:

  • One-time purchases: Entitlements that unlock access to features or content within a skill. One-time purchases do not expire.
  • Consumables: Content or features that can be purchased, depleted, and purchased again. For example, hints for a game, in-game currency or extra lives.
  • Subscriptions: Offers access to premium content or features for a period of time. Users are charged on a recurring basis until they cancel their subscription.

Also note that when your skills with in-skill purchases are published to the Alexa skill store, you will get paid for in-skill purchases according to the terms and policies established by the Amazon Developer Services Agreement.

Setup and configuration

Get the latest version of the ASK CLI to manage in-skill products. Once you have installed the ASK CLI, see the following:

Add in-skill purchases to your skill

When you are ready to add support for in-skill products to your skill, you add custom intents to your skill to support a user request to buy or shop products. Your handlers for these intents need to call the in-skill products service to get a list of products that the user is eligible to purchase. Your code then passes the purchase request to Amazon's purchase flow.

In addition to supporting a direct buy request, you can make product suggestions to a user while they are interacting with your skill. You should also support if a user asks for a refund or to cancel a subscription.

Finally, make sure you resume the skill correctly after the purchase flow completes. For consumables, you need to update the user's inventory of purchased items and keep track of those items as they are used up.

For additional guidance on the in-skill experience, see Design a Good Customer Experience.

Test your skill

If you haven't built a skill in the past, make sure you review the guidance for testing and debugging a custom skill. Then, review the In-Skill Purchase Testing Guide for tips to test your in-skill purchase experience.

Get your skill certified

When you are ready to submit your skill for certification, make sure you have completed the Royalty Tax Identity Interview and Payment Information for your developer account. See Set Up Tax Forms for Your Account to learn more. Then, review the Certification Requirements for Custom Skills and the In-Skill Purchase Certification Guide for test cases that your skill should pass before skill submission.

View reports

After your skill is live, you can view purchase metrics as well as earning and payments reports for your products. View Earnings and Payments for more information.

Reference and other resources