Amazon Expands Alexa's Ability To Make Custom Lists

Amazon is expanding the number of Alexa custom lists users can create, a move to enhance one of its voice-activated digital assistant's most frequently used features.

According to a report in TechCrunch, Amazon is expanding the Shopping List and To-Do List capabilities, enabling Alexa device users to create lists for just about anything. In the past, users could only create lists for things they needed to purchase or for their tasks for the day. Users can now name lists for whatever purpose, whether it's for holiday shopping, vacation packing or anything in between. Users can even create lists by store name to make shopping easier.

To use the feature, TechCrunch reported, users must say “Alexa, create a list,” and Alexa will ask the user to name the list. The list is then saved in the Alexa app, the report said. The change, according to the report, was prompted by feedback from users.

Lists aren’t the only enhanced skills Alexa is boasting in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Amazon announced Alexa now offers voice recognition that can differentiate between family members’ voices. Users can set up voice recognition using the Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show. Family members are then asked to read 10 phrases aloud, and Alexa will use that data to create a voice profile that works across other Echo devices and most third-party Alexa-enabled devices.

“Once you set up the feature, Alexa will learn your voice versus [that of your spouse, partner or roommate] and be able to deliver a more personalized experience,” an Amazon company spokesperson told The Verge in the earlier report. “Today, the feature is available for calling/messaging, flash briefing, shopping and the Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan, and it’ll be rolling out to additional Alexa features in the future.” 

The company noted that voice recognition will get smarter the more often it is used, and also revealed that touch-to-talk devices — such as the Amazon Fire TV remote and the Amazon Tap — do not yet support voice profiles.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.