Alicia Keys’ Amazon Collab Brings Star Power to Voice Economy 

Alicia Keys on Amazon Alexa

As consumers increasingly transact using voice-controlled devices, Amazon is partnering with Alicia Keys, harnessing her celebrity to boost Alexa adoption.

The musical artist’s beauty brand, Keys Soulcare, created in collaboration with e.l.f.  Beauty, announced Wednesday (June 26) that it is working with Amazon Alexa on an offering for Echo Device users. When they enable the custom theme, consumers hear words and music from Keys’ voice, including beauty tips and product information.

“With our new Alexa experience, we’re bringing the philosophy of Keys Soulcare and infusing it into people’s daily lives, helping them to create empowering beauty rituals that nurture their whole selves,” Alicia Keys said in a statement. “There is so much power in a voice — and this experience puts time in your day to take care of you while having some fun — I am filled with gratitude to connect with Alexa users in this special way.”

Consumers using the theme are able to shop the skincare brand by voice command as well as enable various self-care-related functionality such as positive affirmations and other feel-good prompts.

The offering, available through the end of August, shows Amazon exploring the personal, conversational feeling that voice commerce can allow, harnessing the fame of a well-known figure to encourage consumers to welcome voice-assisted shopping into their homes.

In an interview with PYMNTS published in March, Christian Mentz, CRO at Cerence, explained that, with the contextual awareness and natural language processing (NLP) of the latest artificial intelligence (AI) models, voice capabilities have evolved from a “task master” service, simply surfacing information, to a more intuitive, human-like experience.

Consumers, for their part, are increasingly engaging with voice devices. PYMNTS Intelligence’s report last year, “How Consumers Want to Live in the Voice Economy,” drew from a survey of nearly 3,000 U.S. consumers to understand their views and attitudes toward voice-activated technology. The results revealed that 27% of consumers have used a voice-activated device, such as a speaker, while 39% have used voice technology built into their smartphones.

Plus, the study “How We Will Pay: How Connected Devices Enable Multitasking Among Digital-First Consumers” found that the average consumer has 5.1 connected devices in their home, though voice-controlled assistants do not make the top 5 most commonly-owned such devices.

Many consumers are using voice to shop and pay, per the 2024 edition of PYMNTS Intelligence’s “How the World Does Digital” report. The study looks at the digital engagement of 67,000 consumers across 11 countries accounting for roughly half of the world’s gross domestic product. The results reveal that 27% of consumers use voice technology to shop at least once a month, 18% do so weekly, and 7% do so daily. When it comes to using voice technology to pay, those shares dip to 25%, 16% and 6%, respectively.

Additionally, the study revealed that the average consumer uses voice technology to shop 4.5 days a month and to pay 4.0 days a month. High income consumers and Gen Z consumers used voice technology to shop and pay more than any other income bracket or generation.

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