Amazon's Alexa now lets Prime members place shopping orders by voice

Amazon‘s Alexa has become more useful than ever. It lets you order millions of products from Amazon.com simply by uttering voice commands. And this is possible from now on, when shoppers are gearing up for Prime Day – the biggest online sale of the year.

In case you are not aware what Alexa is – it is Amazon’s voice-controlled digital assistant that has more than a 1,000 skills. And Amazon Prime is the company’s combo service that offers free shipping, music and video streaming, and a few more perks all year long for a one-time fee.

With the latest update, Alexa just got a whole lot better at online shopping and you can now buy things on the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Fire TV. Tens of millions of items are available for order through Alexa, but there are also some products that are off-limits.

Things such as shoes, apparel, watches, jewelry, add-on items or products part of Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry or Prime Now are not eligible for voice purchasing through Alexa.

For other items, it’s as easy as it gets. You can simply say “Alexa, order me some Colgate toothpaste” and then say “Yes” to confirm your purchase. If budget is not an issue, Alexa will instantly place your order, conveniently and hassle-free.

When you place an order through Alexa, the digital assistant orders the product using the default 1-Click payment method in Your Account at Amazon.com. The physical items you order are eligible for free returns.

Users can also change their shopping settings in the Alexa app. For instance, you can turn off voice purchasing if you don’t plan on using it, or set it to require a confirmation code before placing orders if you want to be more cautious with your money. An Amazon support page can tell you more about how to Manage Voice Purchasing Settings.

Before this update that widens its scope, Alexa could only re-order various items you had ordered before, Amazon’s Choice products, or the tiny Amazon Echo Dot. The update adds far more options, but it’s currently limited to Amazon Prime customers. This means that without a Prime subscription, you can’t take advantage of voice purchasing through Alexa. Get a 30-day FREE trial here!

Voice-activated virtual assistants seem to be gaining ground in the fast-paced technology scene, and Amazon does have some competition. In May, for instance, Google Home made its debut as a direct competitor to Amazon Echo. Apple is also spicing things up with its SiriKit for iOS and other companies could join the fun soon enough.

It remains to be seen how the race will pan out, but Amazon is definitely a tough competitor and the new Alexa functionality further boosts its appeal. Alexa will likely pay an increasingly more important part in the company’s plans and things are looking up.