We are excited to announce Quick Links for Alexa (beta), a new capability available in the U.S. that lets you add a link from your mobile app, website, or online ads that customers can click to launch your skill. This makes it easy for customers to access your skill, and easy for you to track conversion from online ads. Learn more in our technical documentation.
Additionally, we are excited to announce new in-skill purchasing (ISP) detail pages and the ability for customers to make in-skill purchases directly on Echo devices with screens. Customers can now more easily discover and buy your premium experiences.
Quick Links can help you improve discovery and acquire customers for your skills. With Quick Links for Alexa, your customers can launch and use your skill immediately on an Alexa device with a single click and not worry about remembering the right invocation phrase to say to Alexa. You can surface your links to customers anywhere on the web - your own website or mobile app, emails that you send customers, social media, online ads and more - driving contextual discovery and instant engagement with your skill. For example, a trivia skill could share a link on social media to the new 80s movies trivia category you just introduced, allowing followers to directly launch that category on their Echo device. Similarly, a food ordering app can surface a link that lets customers launch a skill and start tracking a new order.
A Quick Link leads customers to a web page in a browser, on a computer or mobile device. After signing in, customers can choose to launch your skill from the web or via an Alexa notification. Skills can be launched on Echo (all versions), Echo Tap, Echo Dot (all versions), Echo Show (all versions), and Echo Spot.
Starting today, you can create two types of Quick Links for Alexa to 1) launch a skill and 2) deep-link to a custom task within a skill. Customers who click on a link to launch a skill will be able to open the skill on their Alexa device and begin interacting with the voice experience normally. These URLs perform the same function as a customer saying, “Alexa, open <skill name>” to an Alexa device. They are ideal for sharing links to your skills online rather than the links to your skill detail page on Amazon.com because they allow your customers to immediately begin interacting with the voice experience on a device. You can get started here. Secondly, deep-linking to a custom task within your skill allows your customers to do a particular task such as playing specific content, tracking an order, or even setting a specific reminder. You can get started here.
A custom task (beta) is an element of the user experience that is implemented in an Alexa skill, such as an operation that a skill performs. When a skill receives a task request, it fulfills the request by performing the task. The task request can come from different sources such as from another skill through a direct connection (preview). Starting today, a task request can also come from a URL built with Quick Links for Alexa.
Any developer building skills for en_US and es_US can get started with using Quick Links today.
We are also providing new ways for customers to discover your premium experiences, helping them to get more value from their Alexa devices. Customers can go to Amazon.com or tap a button on an Echo Show device to find and purchase premium skill content or features. Previously, customers could only learn about premium content by engaging with a specific Alexa skill using voice or from the description section on the skill detail page. With this launch, we’re making it easier and more intuitive to discover and purchase premium content through new In-Skill Purchasing (ISP) detail pages on Amazon.com and a tappable buy button on Echo screen devices. Alexa customers can purchase premium ISP content via Amazon.com and Echo devices in the U.S., and coming later this year to the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan. For skills that offer more than one ISP, you will need to select which ISP to sell through these new Amazon channels, which can be done through an additional ISP setting in the developer console (coming soon).
As always, you can ask questions via our ASK developer forums here. Get started with Quick Links for Alexa today and check out our sample code here.