How Companies Can Improve Online Sales through Alexa Skill Development?
With Alexa Amazon manages a cloud-based voice service for the company's intelligent distributed speaker, like Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show or Echo Spot.
A smart speaker is a speaker connected to the Internet with an integrated virtual assistant that receives commands from a voice interface and thus allows different interactions.
The intelligent speakers are for the use of Internet-based services on audio and let you control via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices connected within the home automation (smart home).
Already at the factory the voice assistant Alexa offers several basic functions.
Users can predispose by voice command that smart speakers play music, news, traffic alerts and give weather forecasts or even make calendar functions available.
In combination with smart home devices, Alexa skill Development offers a voice interface for controlling lamps, thermostats or smart sockets.
Later you can install other functions, the so-called skills. In the Alexa Skill Store, more than 50,000 external Alexa skill developer are available, which can be activated for free based on your needs.
In just a few steps you can program your Alexa Skills in just a few steps using the Alexa Skills Kit and AWS Lambda. We show you how it works.
What is an Alexa skill?
Alexa Skill Development
The Alexa Skills are programs that can be activated online and expand the range of functions of the Alexa voice service.
Technically an Alexa skill is composed of a user interface (called front end) and the logic of the program (the back end).
Any smart device that supports the Alexa voice assistant performs the front end function of the Alexa Skills, such as an intelligent Amazon Echo series speaker or a connected LG refrigerator.
The logic of the program in the back end works on its own server or on the basis of AWS Lambda, a data processing service made available by Amazon.
Prerequisites for the Development of Alexa Skills
The Alexa Skills are developed thanks to the Alexa Skills Kit and made available to users through the Alexa Skill Store. Get access to the Alexa Skills Kit through a free account on Amazon Developer.
Tutorial: create your own Alexa skill in five steps
The process of creating your first custom Alexa skill consists of 7 steps that lead you to the release of the application:
- In steps 1 and 2 create a new skill in the Amazon Developer console and configure the interaction model for the voice interface.
- Based on this interaction model, set up an AWS Lambda function in step 3, which includes the program logic of your skill and is performed in Amazon's cloud computing platform, AWS.
- In step 4, link the AWS Lambda function with the Amazon Developer console to make your Amazon device skill available.
- Finally, they follow a test phase in step 5, validating and releasing the skill in steps 6 and 7.
We clarify the development of a skill for Alexa with a simple example.
Jess is the owner of a sandwich kiosk in Bend, Oregon, called Flour Pot Sandwiches. The activity is well known among customers looking for healthy and fast food.
The kiosk is located in the centre of Bend and Jess would like to meet the needs of its customers and have an online site, where the products and services offered are listed.
Thus, in addition to a web page, it will also create a skill for the voice assistant Alexa.
First, it starts with the development of a skill, using Alexa's voice interface, thanks to which its customers can learn about the opening and closing times of Flour Pot Sandwiches.