What You Need To Build A Custom Alexa Skill For Your Website

Do you know how many people are asking Alexa about your website/business?

If you had a custom Alexa skill to provide answers to them, it would be a great benefit your visitors/customers, and eventually your business.

In case of Alexa Skill for website the best use case is providing FAQ, we found it while working on many Alexa skill for websites, It will not need any database. In other case, If you need to change the answers frequently and quickly, and if you have many number of questions or data, it is better to use database. 

Why you should have Alexa Skill for your website today 

Alexa has grown rapidly over last few years. There are millions of users today using Alexa devices in the United States (and rest of the world) and they might ask Alexa about products or services that you provide or directly about your brand, at that time if you have your own Alexa skill, it will be a great benefit for your potential users and will result in business growth.

One of the main fundamental of brand awareness is being available where your customers are, and Alexa is no other case.

How

First we will need to think about how our Alexa skill should work? What are the functions that we need to perform using Alexa skill? Do we need to save some data. Or we only need to provide FAQs to user?

Resources: Alexa Developer Console, Working with Alexa skill developer. We will need to create account on Alexa developer console, and find a reliable Alexa skill developer. We may also need some sound effects that we want to play within your Alexa skill.

Requirements: Website details, FAQ etc. For the content of Alexa skill, we will need name of website, some details about website, all the questions and answers which we want Alexa skill to answer and an icon/logo of website.

Publishing skill: After completing and testing, using Alexa development console, developer can easily help in publishing skill. For publishing, we will need to upload logo of skill, details about skill, how user will use it, and other required details.

Here is Complete Guide on things to keep in mind while developing custom Alexa Skill.

Required Technology

In case of fixed FAQs skill:

Best way is to use standard way of developing Alexa skill which is provided by Amazon: Alexa Developer Console for main setup of skill along with VUI. For Backend code: can use Alexa hosted code/AWS/own server. Alexa skill code can be done in Python, which is one of most popular programming language.

In case if we want to change answers and information frequently:

Use of main technology and in addition we will need to use Firebase

Firebase Firestore : This is the cloud database, where all the data will be stored. And you will be able to change the data/answers from here.

Firebase Cloud Functions : This we use as an API to get data from database.

If you want to know more about Firebase, you can read more about it here. We have been using Firebase for Mobile app development as well from few years and it is one of the best available cloud service.

In this case along with basic resources we will need a Google Account on which firebase will be setup.

How it will work for users

For any user who asks to Alexa about your website or opens your Alexa skill, below is how it will work :

For example your website name is “MyWebsite” and you created Alexa Skill with same name.

User : Open MyWebsite

Alexa : Welcome to MyWebsite, We provide Products and services related to {Any Products or services that you provide}. You can ask any questions about our services.

User : Do you provide service in My City ?

Alexa : Yes, We provide service in your City. You can ask any questions about us.

User : What are the charges of your main products?

Alexa : We have 3 main products, Product 1 costs $$, Product 2 costs $$, Product 3 costs $$$. You can ask any questions about our product too?

User : Where are you located ?

Alexa : We have offices in this, this cities. You can ask any questions about us.

User : Ok, Thanks

Alexa : Thanks for talking with MyWebsite.

Above is just an example flow of Alexa skill.

Conclusion

It is 2020 and any company/brand should be in front of users on all available platforms, Alexa is one and most important of them. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, like how to start, and how will be the whole process, Please feel free to send me an email ([email protected]) or comment here!

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I am Swapnil, Founder and CEO of Optimum Technical Labs LLP. We provide Alexa Skills and Android apps development services. We focus to develop high quality Apps and Skills while using latest technologies. Get in touch with me to know more!

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