Shoppers wanting to find out where specific businesses are located and how long they are open can now just ask Alexa.
The capability comes via a deal between Amazon and Yext, a company that deals in location data and associated services. “With this new relationship, consumers using Alexa for voice search can receive the most up-to-date facts about businesses — locations, contact information, hours of operation, and more — straight from the source: the business itself,” Yext said in a press release.
Yext customers will find Alexa in the Yext Knowledge Network (formerly the Yext PowerListings Network) and their digital knowledge will sync automatically. For now, the feature works in the United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. “Now, the tens of millions of consumers who ask Alexa questions can get authoritative answers from the business itself with the Yext Knowledge Engine” said Yext CEO and founder, Howard Lerman.
The Yext-Amazon deal expands the scope of the voice activated assistant. Alexa now has a presence that spans washing machines and thermostats, to name some examples, helping to regulate temperatures and help homeowners make the homestead run a little more smoothly.
That’s not all: The Alexa Fund recently announced that it has chosen nine companies for this year’s Alexa Accelerator. The Accelerator, a program designed to support early-stage startups that plan to use voice to deliver transformative customer and business experiences, will be hosted in Seattle this summer.
According to a new PYMNTS overview about voice commerce, voice as interactive method has made inroads into any number of verticals, such as hospitality, and the skills lists have topped 25,000, according to recent data tied to Alexa.
Voice commerce ecosystems are likely to develop to the point where personalization dominates. A recent interview with Katie McMahon, VP and GM of SoundHound, underscored the intuitive nature of interacting with speech, text and hardware fluidly. That fluidity will translate into white-labeled technologies that will have their own identities and functions, said McMahon.