Understand In-Skill Purchasing

In-skill purchasing lets you sell premium content, such as game features and interactive stories in custom skills. Buying these products in a skill is seamless to a user. They might ask to shop products, buy products by name, or agree to purchase suggestions that you make during their skill session. Customers pay for products by using the payment options associated with their Amazon account.

If you want to build a custom skill that requires an up-front purchase to access the skill, see Understand Paid Skills.

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 requests to purchase and use your in-skill products.
  4. Test your skill, then submit it for certification.

When you publish your skill with in-skill products to the Alexa Skills Store, you 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.

You can offer in-skill products with the following payment models:

  • One-time purchases: Entitlements that unlock access to features or content within a skill. One-time purchases don't expire. Examples include game expansion packs, unlocked features, extra characters, and more.
  • Consumables: Content or features that a user can purchase, deplete, and purchase again. For example, hints for a game, in-game currency, extra lives, or "day passes" for premium content.
  • Subscriptions: Offers access to premium content or features for a period of time, charged on a recurring basis until the user cancels the subscription.

For details, see Create and Manage In-Skill Products.

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. For details, see Complete the tax identity interview and Enter payment information. 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: