Artificial intelligence and voice assistants have taken the world by storm, and they’re certainly changing the way we interact with technology and do things in our smart homes.

Image result for Alexa Skill in 2019

Commanding around 70% of the market, Alexa is the undisputed champion of the world of voice-activated virtual assistants. In fact, recent stats show that more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices are already in use today.

With that said, Alexa skill development has become indispensable. By creating an Alexa skill, a business can get found easily through voice search, spruce up its customer experience, and stand out from competitors. But that isn’t all. Here are 7 reasons why building an Alexa skill is a no-brainer for every modern business in 2019.

(1) Stay Ahead of the Curve

In the digital age, the competition is fiercer than ever before across all industries and niches. The chances are that your arch rival has already built an Alexa skill. Even if they have not built one, wouldn’t you want to be the first in your niche?

Given that Alexa skill development is a relatively new idea, you can leverage it to give your business an added edge over the rest. Your business, services, products, and website will be found much faster and conveniently. After all, it is forecast that more than half (50%) of all searches will come from voice assistants like Alexa by the year 2020. The popularity of voice search shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

The bottom line is that your business should be a pioneer in Alexa skill development so that you can capture the attention of Alexa before your competitors do.

(2) Alexa is Changing Consumer Behavior

Alexa, alongside other voice assistants, is changing consumer behavior in more than one way. For starters, Alexa continues to become part of consumers’ daily routine. From creating daily task lists to checking commute times, Alexa is making life easier, and consumers love it. What that means is that consumers will start ditching traditional devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets for Alexa when shopping, planning their days, and whatnot.

Another reason why Alexa continues to gain traction with consumers is that it allows them to multitask. For instance, you can use Alexa to schedule a flight while cleaning your home. You can buy your next phone while showering … do you catch my drift?

Alexa is also changing consumer buying patterns. Consumers can now get recommendations, do research, and make a purchase in a snap with the help of voice assistants. An Alexa Skill, therefore, provides your business with a chance to influence the buying decisions and patterns of your target customers. Of course, if you don’t influence your target audience, someone else will (and pray it’s not your competitor!)

(3) Interact Better with your Customers

No matter what your business does, an Alexa skill provides you with an opportunity to interact and begin a conversation with your target audience. Once you are in communication, you can turn in into a purchase or build a more tangible relationship. If you offer pay services, for instance, your Alexa Skill can be a lighter version of your full offerings. You can also use the Skill to promote your full range of services.

An Alexa Skill can also become a great avenue for customer service. You can use it to get feedback quickly from your customers so that you can provide timely responses. If used properly, the Alexa skill can help take your customer service and experience to a whole new and exciting level.

(4) Make More Money through In-Skill Purchasing

Alexa Skill is an Amazon Echo’s equivalent for iOS, Amazon Kindle or Android apps. And just like their smartphone counterparts, Alexa Skills offer in-purchase functionality. It’s an amazing way to tap into millions of Alexa users who are willing to buy your products or services directly in your Skill.

The good news is that some companies like Freemantle, The Ellen Show, TuneIn, and Sony have already tried and tested the Alexa in-Skill purchase feature. And there are thousands of others who are following suit and incorporating premium content in their Alexa Skills. The crucial thing is that you should let a professional developer undertake your Alexa Skill development to get everything right from the word “go”.

(5) Add More Value for Your Target Consumer

You shouldn’t take your Alexa Skill development lightly. Don’t just create a skill without a goal and strategy. More crucially, you should focus on promoting goodwill with your brand and adding more value to your target consumer. When you build an Alexa Skill, your potential customers will know that you value them, and willing to go above and beyond to offer a holistic experience. And consumers LOVE voice search technologies. According to Digital Authority Partners, 50% of consumers use voice to get information about local businesses.

A great tangible example is the collaboration between Orbita and Mayo Clinic. According to an article on Healthcare Weekly, the duo built an Alexa Skill to improve patient education, engagement and quality of care.

(6) Leverage Artificial Intelligence Marketing to Boost your Business

AI is already changing the way we do business, and voice search is just but the tip of the iceberg. Nonetheless, creating your own Alexa Skill allows your business to take advantage of the power of Artificial Intelligence like never before. As an offshoot of Machine Learning, AI is what makes Alexa tick. As such, you can use your Alexa Skill to gather and analyze customer data so that you can anticipate their purchases, predict their demographic compatibility, and offer best-in-class customer service. In other words, Alexa Skill can help you deliver unmatched artificial intelligence marketing.

(7) SEO for Search: Get in On the Ground Floor

The relative newness of Alexa Skill development is a blessing in disguise for any discerning business. Remember it’s still free to hop onto the bandwagon. As voice searches continue to grow, however, you may have to pay a pretty penny to get ranked higher in the voice search engine results pages (SERPs). And who knows; Amazon might one day start offering paid search over their Alexa network

If you build your Alexa Skill right now, you will start your voice search optimization (SEO) on the right foot. More importantly, you will not have to spend oodles of money when the number of Skills continues to balloon. Not only that but as the pioneers of Alexa Skill development in your niche, you will appear more authoritative to your target audience.

Conclusion

Building an Alexa Skill is all about staying on the cutting edge of new tech, especially one that’ll most likely dictate the future of customer engagement and search. When all’s said and done, however, having an Alexa Skill is another tool in your business toolkit, and a great way to engage better with your customers.

This article is written by Codrin Arsene, CEO at Digital Authority Partners, a Chicago digital agency