Choosing an Appropriate In-Skill Product for your Alexa Skill

Seema Ramdev Dec 23, 2021
Alexa Skills Tips Alexa Skills

Thinking about monetizing your custom Alexa skill, and want to select a suitable ‘In-Skill Product’ specific to your skill category? You are at the right blog! We’ll share available In-Skill Products across different skill categories below.

First and foremost, be creative & innovative with your skill design, and it’s free and premium offerings. For instance, free experiences should feel worthwhile to the users without the need to pay for content, whereas paid experiences should extend or enhance the skill experience with more useful features or tools. You can refer to this excellent document on Offer the Right Premium Content for more details. Once you have determined free and premium content or features for your Alexa skill, it’s time to select a suitable product.

Let’s explore popular ISP products across different skill categories:

1. Games, Trivia & Accessories Skills – In this skill category, you can design a wide variety of premium digital products or features such as extra hints, lifelines, monthly challenges, leader-boards, game levels, or expansion packs. You can offer these as consumable (a product that can be purchased, depleted, and purchased again), subscription-based (monthly, or annually), or as a one-time purchase (premium content or feature that, once purchased, does not expire) depending upon the nature of your skill.

2. Music & Audio Skills – These skills often provide music or white noise, which is preferred by users in order to remain focused on the task at hand, have a sound sleep, or meditate. Therefore, most preferred ISP offering for the music and audio category is high definition sounds along with an option to loop continuously as a subscription-based purchase. For instance – the skill ‘Healing Sounds for Sleep, Relaxation, and Focus’ helps their users to boost their focus at work, sleep better at night, or just help improve your mindfulness altogether. Please note that currently there are no other ways to monetize a music skill other than the suggestions made.

3. Novelty & Humor – Skills in this category are entertaining, stress buster, or a mood-changer and users want to hear fresh and new content which increases both skill engagement and user retention. Therefore, as premium products you can offer expansion packs that unlock ‘extra jokes’ or ‘even funnier sounds’.

For example, a joke skill can offer five free jokes a day and additional 10 or 20 jokes as premium content. You can also classify humor content like observational, anecdotal, situational, one-liner or ironic jokes.

4. Health & Fitness – This category is particularly preferred by users to build healthy habits, be disciplined, and prioritize their fitness among other mundane activities. Users usually prefer to purchase a monthly, or annual subscription, with offerings ranging from premium workouts, leaderboards for running/jogging, daily stretches, full body strengthen exercises, or any other exercises. You can also offer guided meditation tracks.

Additionally, you can also integrate tracking features which can help users to track their food intake and calories eaten, calories burned, and weight. This way, users are able to understand patterns and monitor their day-to-day activities to achieve their goals. You can also offer a health or food tip for the category for the day, for instance, “Dance away your stress. Try doing Zumba for 25 minutes today.”

5. Business & Finance – A lot of users are interested in learning about business and finance everyday on the go. You can offer stock news and finance alerts and more. For example, offering a ‘Pro-Membership’ that enables users to add unlimited number of stocks to their portfolio, modify the list through voice commands, request for detailed analysis along with more premium features such as ability to create a watchlist, get market news, top gainers and most active stocks.

6. Education & Reference – The category is particularly popular among users who intend to build a new skillset or want practice their current skillset in order to improve or level up. For example, users may want to learn a new language or practice a musical instrument. Here, you have opportunity to build an interactive and immersive skill experience which brings value in terms of learning, ease of interactions, follow-ups and entertainment.

  • Example #1: When learning a new language, a user expects to be able to read, write, hear and comprehend it. Here, premium digital content can be a self-paced course with activities, tests, and handouts. For more information, you can refer to the skill ‘Everyday Spanish’.
  • Example #2: When teaching a new skill like beatboxing, guitar, piano or any other musical instruments, you can offer different levels for learners as premium content.
  • Example #3: In a memory- or math-related skill, you can offer new levels, leaderboard or hints as In-Skill Products.

7. Food & Drink – Users like to explore different kinds of cuisines and it gets easier and doable with your Alexa skill guiding them on what and how to cook for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is particularly useful in these times offering a wide range of premium content such as:

  • More recipes: Soups, veggie starters, shakes, mocktails, salads, seafood, fast-food, a variety of pizzas, vegan recipes, smoothies, rice bowls, etc.
  • List of different cuisines: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Greek, Spanish, Lebanese, Turkish, Thai, Mexican, American – the list is endless.
  • Type of Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Vegetarian, Non-Vegetarian, Keto diet, Vegan, Low Carbs, the list is endless.

8. Lifestyle – Building a healthy lifestyle is important and our users can rely on Alexa to help them practice healthy habits for physical and mental wellbeing. Skills in these categories offer meditation, exercise regimes, and yoga separately or woven all together into one skill. For premium content, you can choose from high definition sounds and extra exercises or yoga asanas.

It is important to ensure that your free content serves a base model and ISP is an upgradation, which is likely to be opted into by users for specific goals. For instance, you can prompt users about their goal and their expectations and review it on monthly/annually basis and track their progress.

Lastly, don’t forget to refer to these tips, which may lead to recurring ISP purchases:

  • Tip #1: Always keep in mind what additional value or experience a product brings to the user (i.e. how it enhances user experience)
  • Tip #2: Be innovative and creative with the products (i.e. hints or extra lives as consumables, HD sounds as a one-time or subscription-based purchase)
  • Tip #3: Fresh new content with immersive experience everyday may increase your skill’s engagement and user retention in the long rung.

Note: If a skill or the in-skill product(s) only work on a device with a screen, the skill must include the following disclaimer: "This [insert premium content description here] can only be accessed on a device with a screen. For entitlements and consumables, the disclaimer must be included in the purchasepromptdescription; for subscriptions, the disclaimer must be included in the upsell message (which means the developer must implement an upsell message).

To learn more about how to build an ISP skill, you can refer to our technical document ‘Add ISP Support to Your Skill Code’ or for any additional support reach out to us via our Contact Us page.

More Resources to Enhance Your Alexa Skills

We recommend you continue your learning by checking out these additional training materials:

Related Links

How to Test Your In-Skill Products for a Great Customer Experience: 10 Test Cases
Designing Skills for ISP, Part 5: Providing Access to Purchases