Today we are excited to announce that you can build a monetized skill directly within the Alexa Developer Console for Alexa skills in the US. Previously, you were required to use the Command-Line Interface (CLI) to build a skill with in-skill purchasing (ISP) and publish via the developer console. Now, you can monetize and publish your skills all in one place, further simplifying the process to build a skill with ISP and empowering you to create delightful, premium experiences for Alexa customers to enjoy.
This new feature gives you the flexibility to build a monetized skill using whichever way suits your needs: if you prefer writing code from scratch, you can continue to use the CLI. Otherwise, you can build in-skill products in the developer console by clicking through a series of step-by-step instructions. You can also use the developer console to update your in-skill products and monitor customer usage using enhanced reporting, making it an even more powerful way to build and track your Alexa skills.
Developers Are Using ISP to Drive Customer Engagement and Revenue
Developers are already using ISP to delight customers with their engaging, premium skills and grow their voice business. Customers have responded positively to monetized skills, showing a willingness to pay for premium content with compelling experiences.
Steven Arkonovich of Philosophical Creations found that offering in-skill products enhanced the customer experience of his hit skill, Big Sky. “Unlocking even more personalized content via the premium purchase adds substantial value to the skill, and customers are more than happy to buy it,” he said.
Gal Shenar of Stoked Skills had a similar experience. He added ISP to his popular skill, Escape the Airplane, and found that the optional “hint” packs were well received by customers who already loved the skill’s content and wanted to extend gameplay. He is seeing conversion rates as high as 34%, which he points out is “much higher than what you’d expect on mobile.” He adds, “It’s great to have in-skill purchasing because I’m able to have complete control over my skills, my business and how my investment brings in money.”
Now, with the new ISP feature in the developer console, you can spend less time setting up your in-skill products and more time designing a thoughtful experience for customers, allowing you to tap into the growing voice economy and build a revenue generating, sustainable business on Alexa.
How to Build a Monetized Skill in the Developer Console
To create a new skill with ISP using the developer console monetization tool, log in to your developer account and click “Create skill.”
This will lead you to the “Create a new skill” page, where you are required to enter your skill name and pick a model to add to your skill.
Once you are on the Build homepage, click on “In-Skill Products” in your left hand toolbar or on the right side under the skill builder checklist. Either will lead you to the monetization landing page.
From there, the feature will take you through the steps required to add monetization to your skill, from choosing what type of in-skill product to add (one-time purchase for entitlements, subscriptions, and consumables) to naming your product and building your offer prompts.
Once you have completed an in-skill product, you can choose to add or remove it at any time by linking or unlinking it to your skill. Keep in mind however that any changes to your product will require your skill to pass the certification process for your skill to be published.
Testing and Monitoring Your Monetized Skill in the Developer Console
When you are done building your in-skill products, reference this testing guide and use the developer console simulator to test the user experience of your premium content. We also encourage you to leverage the Beta Testing Tool, which allows you to invite friends and family to test your Alexa skill before submitting for publication. You can add and remove testers at any time, and can see tester feedback in the developer portal.
Once your monetized skill is live, you can use reporting tools in the developer console to track performance. We recently added two new upsell metrics to help you optimize your strategy: Upsell to Offer Conversion, which measures the percentage of customers who heard your upsell agreed to hear the offer, and Upsell to Purchase Conversion, which measures the percentage of customers who heard your upsell agreed to make a purchase. You can use these metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your upsell strategy and make enhancements. Learn more about how to use these metrics here.
Build a Monetized Skill, Generate Revenue, Earn Perks
For developers in the US, we invite you to participate in our latest developer incentive for skills with ISP. Add ISP to a new or existing skill that previously did not have ISP between January 22 and March 31, 2019, and generate at least $100 in sales in the first 30 days the in-skill product is live to earn the new Echo Sub. Restrictions apply, see full terms and conditions here.
Bonus Offer: The developer whose skill drives the highest customer engagement, which is measured by a variety of factors including minutes of usage, number of sessions and more, in the first 30 days the in-skill product is live will also earn a free pass to AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas (December 2-6, 2019) and a four-night stay at a nearby hotel.
Go here to learn more about this exciting new developer incentive. You must be located in the US to participate in this incentive.
Register for Our Webinar
Join us for a webinar on February 5, 10-11 am PT, for a walkthrough of how to build a monetized skill in the developer console. There will be a Q&A immediately following, from 11-12 pm PT. Register now.
If you have questions in the meantime, join us for Office Hours (no sign up required) or chime in on our developer forums. See below our related blog posts below for best practices to consider when building a monetized skill:
We can’t wait to see what incredible monetized skills you build!