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Amazon lets every Alexa developer offer in-skill purchases

Now your Echo can get microtransactions, too!
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
May 3, 2018
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Cherlynn Low / Engadget

Now that it's easier to ask Amazon's Alexa follow-up questions, it's only natural that its shopping options are getting a boost. Soon you'll be able to ask Alexa to buy even more things, as Amazon opened up in-skill purchasing to all developers today. While some microtransaction applications are obvious -- buying items in games, for example -- others could be upgrading from a free to a paid tier or, heck, simply browsing goods.

In-skill purchasing was first announced back in November but only available for a few game publishers like Jeopardy! and The Ellen's Show's Heads Up, along with limited options in Best Buy's application. Once developers set it up within their skill, they select what products and prices for customers to sift through -- and if they see something they like, pay for it using their Amazon account's payment information. Then Amazon handles the buying process.

Amazon is also requiring that developers' in-skill purchases have bonuses for Prime members like discounts, exclusive content or early access, according to TechCrunch. Developers get 70 percent of the list price before discounts are considered.

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