Holiday Cause Effort Gets Alexa Users Comfortable with Voice Shopping

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Holiday Cause Effort Gets Alexa Users Comfortable with Voice Shopping

By Patrycja Malinowska - 12/14/2018

Amazon observed Giving Tuesday by enabling and matching voice-powered donations to Toys for Tots via Alexa.

Alexa users that announce their intent to donate by saying, "Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots," hear (or see, on video devices) a suggested toy from the nonprofit's list. Items include Mickey and Minnie plush toys licensed from Walt Disney Co. as well as Hasbro's Nerf footballs and Monopoly games.

Once confirmed, Amazon ships the order directly to Toys for Tots. The effort encourages participants to sign up for Alexa Shopping notifications for tracking and delivery updates. They can also ask Alexa, "Where's my stuff?"

A supporting amazon.com web page houses a promotional video. (See below.) Amazon is spreading the word by partnering with influencers for sponsored blog posts and social media updates. A display ad in a Dec. 3 email sent to "Prime Insider" subscribers also supported.

While Amazon already allowed monetary donations via Alexa, this marks the first time the company is leveraging the voice assistant for direct item donations. The effort continues through the end of the year, with Amazon matching donations up to $100,000.

"Alexa provides an easy way to give back this holiday season enabling customers to donate an item to Toys for Tots in less than 60 seconds," said Chuck Moore, vice president of Alexa Shopping in a media release. "With Alexa Shopping, we want to make all kinds of shopping more convenient, whether you are shopping for yourself or for the wider community."

In time for the 2018 holiday season, Amazon also introduced a new function that lets nonprofits curate their own "charity lists" with items they wish to receive for donation. Lists from hundreds of charities are accessible via AmazonSmile, an alternate URL (smile.amazon.com) available to shoppers who wish to donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible items to the charity of their choice. 

Path to Purchase Institute members can view more Amazon activity at p2pi.org. Members have access to additional articles and images, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the company's operations and strategies.