Understand In-Skill Purchasing

In-skill purchasing lets you sell premium content such as game features and interactive stories 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 overview of how you create and publish in-skill products in a custom skill.

Get started with in-skill purchases

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

To implement in-skill purchases in your skill:

  1. Create one or more in-skill products.
  2. Add support for purchasing to your skill's voice model.
  3. Add code to your skill to handle the user's requests to purchase and use your in-skill products.
  4. Test your skill, then submit it for certification.

When your skills with in-skill purchases are published to the Alexa Skills Store, you will get paid for in-skill purchases according to the terms and policies established by the Amazon Developer Services Agreement.

Create in-skill products

An in-skill product defines the type of purchase and details such as its name, list price, and prompts Alexa uses during the purchase flow. Each product also has a name you use when you reference the product in your code.

There are 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.

See Create and Manage In-Skill Products for details.

Add ISP support to your skill code

When you are ready to add support for in-skill products to your skill, you update your interaction model to include custom intents to support user requests to:

In your skill code, 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.

You can also add code to make product suggestions to a user while they are interacting with your skill.

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 Test In-Skill Purchasing Skills 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 Certify In-Skill Purchasing Skills for test cases that your skill should pass before skill submission.

View reports and metrics

After your skill is live, you can view purchase metrics as well as earning and payments reports for your products. See:

Implement in-skill purchasing: