In-Skill Purchasing FAQ
What kind of in-skill products can I sell?
You may sell digital content or features that are used within the Alexa skill experience. This includes such things as game products, interactive stories, unlocked features, and more. There are three types of in-skill purchases you can add to your skill. The first is a one-time purchase, which is an entitlement to a product and does not expire. Examples include game expansion packs, unlocked features, extra characters, and more. The second is a subscription, which provides ongoing access to content or a service, and charges the customer on a recurring basis unless they decide to cancel. The third is a consumable, which provides content or features that can be purchased, depleted, and purchased again. Examples include hints for a game, in-game currency, extra lives, or "day passes" for premium content.
I would like to charge customers to enable my Alexa skill. How can I do that?
You may not charge customers to enable your skill. You may only charge for additional content that further enhances the skill experience. This will allow customers to enjoy your skill and assess its value before investing.
Can I sell a consumable product?
Yes. A consumable is a type of content or feature that can be purchased, depleted, and purchased again. Examples include an in-game currency or extra lives. Offering consumables in your skill requires you to save and manage the user's inventory. See Add Intents and Code for In-skill Purchases to Your Skill.
How do I keep track of the consumable products a user has purchased and used?
Your skill needs to manage the user's inventory and store it in persistent storage. Alexa keeps track of the total number times the user purchased a particular product, but this does not reflect the user's use of the product. Your skill needs to track this by mapping the inventory to the user's
userId. You can use any persistent storage mechanism you want for this.
What happens if the user disables my skill after purchasing a consumable product?
If the user disables and later re-enables a skill offering consumable products, the user retains the same
userId. You can therefore continue to access the user's inventory in your persistent storage. If you use the
AlexaSkillEvent.SkillDisabled event to perform any cleanup after a user disables your skill, be sure to retain the user's consumable purchase inventory.
Can I sell "packs" of multiple items, such as a set of 5 clues?
Yes. Note that Alexa only tracks the total number of purchases the user has made and does not know about multi-pack sets. So if a user buys three 5-hint packs, Alexa reports just three purchases. Your code needs to manage converting those purchases to the correct number of items.
How much can I charge for an in-skill purchase?
For entitlements and subscriptions, you can select any list price between $0.99 and $99.99. For consumables, you can charge between $0.99 and $9.99.
Your revenue share is calculated based on the list price you set for your products. If you decide to change the list price after your skill has been published, the skill will require recertification.
With what frequency may I charge recurring payments for my subscription?
In-skill subscriptions can be renewed automatically on a monthly or annual basis.
Can I offer a trial subscription?
Yes. You can use set a trial subscription period from 0 to 31 days long. Setting the trial subscription to zero will result in no trial subscription being offered.
What is my revenue share?
Developers earn 70 percent of list price. Any discount offered by Amazon is provided to customers at no cost to the developer, and does not impact the developer's revenue share.
Can I earn revenue and Alexa Developer Rewards for the same skill?
Yes, your Alexa skill can earn revenue from in-skill purchases as well as earn rewards for driving customer engagement, assuming it meets the Alexa Developer Rewards eligibility criteria. Learn more.
How do I add an in-skill product to my custom skill?
You can create and manage your in-skill products in the developer console. See Create and Manage In-Skill Products for details.
If you prefer to manage your skills with the Alexa Skills Kit Command Line Interface (ASK CLI), make sure you install the latest version. The ASK CLI provides templates for all three product types (entitlements, consumables, and subscriptions) to help you create in-skill products easily. Then, you will add the in-skill product to your Alexa skill, and proceed with getting it tested and certified. Create and Edit In-Skill Products with the the ASK CLI.
Can I add an in-skill purchase to a child-directed skill?
In-skill purchases cannot be included in skills intended for children under 13 years of age.
Can I create, test, and publish an in-skill purchase directly in the Alexa Developer Console, without using the command-line interface (ASK CLI)?
Yes. See Create and Manage In-Skill Products for details.
I am not a coder. Do I have any alternative mechanisms to build skills with ISP?
In addition to using the developer console or the ASK CLI, you can use tools provided by Storyline and Voice Apps to build skills with in-skill purchasing. Storyline and Voice Apps offer a visual-design-based approach to skill building that makes it easy for everyone to build skills, from people with zero coding experience to advanced developers.
Can I beta test my skill with in-skill purchases?
Yes. Note that beta testers are not charged for in-skill purchases. When the beta tests ends, the purchased products are automatically reset. When the skill is live, the user will be charged for in-skill purchases.
For consumable products, keep the user's beta inventory separate from their live skill inventory. The
purchaseMode property returned for an in-skill product indicates whether the purchase was made in a beta test (
TEST) or live skill (
LIVE). See Optionally beta test your skill with in-skill products.
Do certification requirements differ for skills that include in-skill purchases?
Yes. Monetized skills will be reviewed and certified based on specific requirements designed to ensure a high quality experience for paying customers. Any update made via the Amazon Developer Console or Alexa Skill Management API (SMAPI) to a skill offering in-skill products will require the skill to be re-certified. Learn more.
How can I monitor the performance of my in-skill purchases?
You can view sales reporting and analytics in the Amazon Developer Console, which include detailed information about offer impressions, conversions, purchases, earnings, refunds, cancellations, and more. Learn more.
What happens if I add or delete products from a skill?
You must submit your skill for recertification when you add, delete, or update products.
You can completely delete a product from a skill in the development stage, as long as the product has never been available in a live version of the skill. See Delete a product.
For a product available in a live skill, you can discontinue the product by deactivating it. Existing customers who previously purchased the product still have access, as described in Discontinue a product in a live skill.
In which countries may I publish skills that offer in-skill purchases?
At this time, only skills published in the US Alexa Skill Store may offer in-skill purchases. We plan to expand in-skill purchase capabilities to additional countries soon.
Must I be based in the United States to publish skills that offer in-skill products?
No. Both US and non-US developers can create and publish skills with in-skill products. However, you must publish the skill in a supported skill store. At this time, you can publish skills with in-skill purchases only in the US Alexa Skill Store.
I would like to sell physical goods and services from my skill.. How can I do that?
There are two ways to sell physical goods and services that customers would use outside of the Alexa skill experience, such as event tickets, transportation, delivery services, and more. The first way is to use Amazon Pay to simplify the payment process and enable customers to use payment information already in their Amazon account. Learn more about Amazon Pay for Alexa skills. The second is to require customers to follow steps to link the skill to a separate account which stores their payment information. Learn more about account linking.
Payment and Tax FAQs
How and when will I get paid?
You will receive payment at the end of the following month in which the revenue was generated (for example you are paid at the end of May for revenue generated in April). Payments are issued to the bank account provided in the Amazon Developer Console. Learn more.
How are taxes on my earnings handled?
Amazon will withhold taxes on your earnings based on the tax withholding requirements of your applicable tax authority. Learn More
Customer Experience FAQs
How will customers discover skills with in-skill purchases?
Skills offering in-skill purchases are marked with "In-Skill Purchases Available" in search results and on their skill description page in the Alexa App. Amazon will feature skills offering in-skill products in the Alexa Skills Store and other channels as appropriate.
What is the customer's purchase experience?
Customers buy content by saying "yes" to a product offer message, which can be generated directly from a customer's request for the product or by the customer responding positively to a proactive suggestion within your skill. The default payment method in their Amazon account will be charged, and they'll receive an order confirmation email. Upon completing the purchase, customers will be returned to the skill to immediately enjoy their premium content. Customers can access their in-skill purchases on all Echo devices and most Alexa-enabled products.
Can customers purchase in-skill products via the Alexa App or Amazon.com?
Customers may only make in-skill purchases via voice at this time.
How are returns handled?
Digital purchases from Amazon (including mobile apps, video, and music) are not eligible for refunds. In the case of accidental purchases, customers may contact Amazon Customer Service to request a refund. Refunds are shown in monthly Earning reports and are deducted from monthly payments made to developers.
How can customers cancel their subscription?
Customers can ask Alexa to cancel a subscription or navigate to the Alexa App to turn off auto-renew for a subscription.