Amazon has added 'Voice' to its shopping app in India in a bid to find "new ways to engage" with its customers. The American tech giant on Thursday announced that through the new voice command feature, customers using Amazon Shopping app will able browse products and add selected items to the cart. The update, however, is initially exclusive to Android users in India and no word on its global rollout. Also, users on the Amazon Shopping app on iOS-run devices are yet to get this update.
According to the company, the 'Speak to Shop' feature enables customers on the Amazon Shopping app to interact with voice commands. The new feature is available for both Prime and non-Prime customers and can be used on devices that run on Android OS 5.1 or above. To enable the experience, Android users will need to update the shopping app and further, need to give permission to the app for using the phone's microphone. The Play Store listing shows that the latest update for the Amazon Shopping app was rolled out on March 6, the same date Amazon India confirmed to us as the rollout date for the feature.
The voice command on the Amazon Shopping app is powered by Alexa, though users aren't required to say "Alexa" while interacting with it. The users, instead, need to activate Alexa by tapping on the Voice button available near the search bar. This works just like you can use voice search on the Google app. Amazon has also added that the Alexa integration within the Amazon Shopping App can't be used to place orders, and the final payment option needs to be done by the customer manually.
Speaking to Gadgets 360 over a phone call, Amazon India's Director of Customer Experience and Marketing, Kishore Thota, said that the Seattle-based company has been working on this since the launch of Amazon Hindi on mobile Web and the app. He indicated that the company is looking at new avenues bring Alexa to more Amazon apps.
At the moment, app users will need to give commands in English to use the 'Speak to Shop' feature. Thota also added that the company is working on to bring this feature in vernacular languages.
Apart from the shopping experience, users can also leverage the new voice-based experience to play music or podcast by tapping the microphone button on the Amazon Shopping app. However, to enjoy the full experience, users need to download the respective apps such as Amazon Music, and be on a Prime subscription, as per Amazon.
Previously, Amazon provided the voice-based shopping experience to its Alexa app. That required users to install the Alexa app on their smartphones to shop for products using their voice.