Shopping for an Alexa skill on Amazon just got as easy as, well, shopping on Amazon. A recent update to the online marketplace has given the skills marketplace a much-needed makeover, organizing them in a novel (but intuitive) way. For the first time, Echo and Tap owners, and other Alexa-enabled device owners can find, enable, and disable skills by way of the Alexa Skills marketplace, or alternatively, Skills’ dedicated URLs.
The move underscores Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ previous suggestion that Alexa is the fourth pillar of the Amazon business model. And now that you’re immediately confronted by Alexa skills upon opening the drop-down search bar menu on Amazon.com, it looks like Alexa is also one of the most important pillars. Thus far, more than 3,200 Alexa skills exist in the universe, capable of doing anything of locking your front door, getting social media notifications, and everything in between.
“This is the first time that we are offering a pre-login discovery experience for Alexa skills. Before now, customers would need to log in to the Alexa app on their mobile device or browser,” said Alexa chief evangelist David Isbitski in a blog post. “Developers can also improve organic discovery by search engines by optimizing skill detail pages.”
On the dedicated Alexa website (and the companion app), users can find 21 categories that include things like smart home, food and drink, and communication, for easy filtering. Alternatively, on the website, you can browse by customer favorites, trending skills, or even current events (like the election).
“On-Amazon detail pages improves discovery so that a customer can quickly find skills on Amazon, and enables developers to link customers directly to their skill with a single click,” Isbitski noted. “For the first time, you can drive customers directly to your skill detail page to increase discovery and engagement for your own skill.” So whether you’re a developer or just looking to add to Alexa’s arsenal, you probably want to check out the new Amazon Alexa page.