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Getting Started and Basics

1. What are Alexa Skills?

The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a software development framework that enables you to create content, called skills. Skills are like apps for Alexa. With an interactive voice interface, Alexa gives users a hands-free way to interact with your skill. Users can use their voice to perform everyday tasks like checking the news, listening to music, or playing a game. Users can also use their voice to control cloud-connected devices. For example, users can ask Alexa to turn on lights or change the thermostat. Skills are available on Alexa-enabled devices, such as Amazon Echo and Amazon Fire TV, and on Alexa-enabled devices built by other manufacturers. Learn more about Alexa Skills Kit and the Skill development process.

2. How can I enable shopping experience through Alexa skills?

With Alexa Shopping Kit, you can build a custom skill that recommends physical products with Alexa shopping. Customers can buy the recommended product or add it to their Amazon Shopping Cart or Wish List without leaving the skill. This provides skill developers with an additional revenue stream to monetize their Alexa skill.

3. How does Alexa Shopping Kit work?

With Alexa Shopping Actions, you can create a shopping experience within your custom skill by recommending items from the Amazon retail website. You determine what products to offer in your skill. If the customer expresses interest in the product, you use Skills Connections to hand over control to Alexa to complete the shopping experience. Alexa presents the product information, including product title, price, and delivery estimates, asks for confirmation, and then invokes the requested action.

4. What if I don’t have my own products to sell? 

We have you covered. With Amazon Associates integration you will have access to millions of products on Amazon. You can earn up to 10% in associate commissions from qualifying purchases as well! You will need to register for Amazon Associates, and be approved prior to adding this capability to Alexa Shopping Kit. To get started go here. Note, Alexa Shopping Kit restricted product categories also apply (more details here).

5. How do I get started?

To create an Amazon Associates account

  1. Open Amazon Associates , and then click Sign up.
  2. Sign in to your Amazon developer account.
  3. On Your Account Information, enter your developer or company information, and then click Next.
  4. On Your Websites and Mobile Apps, for Enter Mobile App or Alexa Skill URL(s), enter the URL to your mobile app or skill detail page in the Alexa Skills Store, and then click Add.
    Note: Don't add any other websites, mobile apps, or social media handles.
  5. To continue to create the account, click Next.
  6. For Are any of the traffic sources listed above directed primarily at children under 13?, select the appropriate option, and then click Confirm.
  7. For Profile, fill out the required fields. For Alexa skills, fill in the following details.
    7.a. For Tell us about the content you create?, enter a short skill description and information about how you intend to recommend products to customers.
    7.b. For Which of the following topics best describe your content?, select the topic that best describes your skill.
  8. To prevent fraud, type in the characters in the captcha image.
  9. For Operating Agreement, click the link to read the Associates Program Operating Agreement, and then select the check box to acknowledge that you read and agree to the terms.
  10. To create your account, click Finish.
  11. On the next screen, you will get your unique Associate ID. In a convenient place, such as Notepad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac, paste the Associates ID, and then save the file. You use the ID in the Alexa Shopping actions API to attribute purchases to your Associates account.
  12. Complete the Associates Program setup.

6. How do I link my Alexa Skill to my Associate ID and the tracking ID to earn commissions?

Follow the Alexa Shopping Actions documentation to use the AddToShoppingCart action, BuyShoppingProducts action or RecommendShoppingProducts action in your skill. Once you have a working experience, update the product object in the Skill Connections directive to add attribution information with the Associates ID and Tracking ID. Follow the documentation in Alexa Shopping Actions API reference

7. I already have an Associates account, should I create a new account for my Alexa Skills?

If your existing account is primarily for your website we suggest you create a new Associates account for your Alexa Skills to facilitate tracking and management. You can register for a new account with the same Amazon account credentials which simplifies your store ID management. However, it is still ok to use your existing Associates account for Alexa Skills if you do not want to use two separate accounts. It is strongly recommended to use different Tracking IDs for each of your Alexa skills.

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