How to Shop With Amazon Alexa

Use your voice to shop and let Alexa do the heavy lifting

Shopping with Alexa on Amazon Echo
Amazon

Is Alexa your personal digital assistant? Put her to work placing orders for you in your Amazon shopping cart.

You tell Alexa what you want to buy, and she listens and responds. Once you've come to an agreement regarding what you'd like to purchase, she'll do the ordering.

In order to shop with Alexa you’ll need these things:

  • A device that works with Alexa
  • An Amazon Prime membership
  • A United States shipping address
  • A United States payment method
  • Amazon 1-Click ordering
01
of 06

Choose a Compatible Echo Device

A picture of the Echo Show
The Echo Show. Amazon

Many of the devices Amazon offers work with voice ordering. These include the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Dash Wand, Amazon Fire TV, and compatible Fire Tablet devices.

You can also use the Amazon app (not the Amazon Alexa app) on any compatible device to search for and add an item to your Amazon shopping cart with your voice. These devices include Apple and Android phones, among others.

02
of 06

Set Up Amazon for Alexa

set up amazon for alexa

If you have a United States shipping address and already get orders delivered to your home, you’re halfway to ordering with your voice through your Alexa device. All you need to do now is to verify that 1-Click ordering is enabled and that you have a Prime membership.

To verify you have a Prime Membership:

  1. Use a web browser to navigate to www.amazon.com and log in.
  2. Click Accounts and Lists > My Account.
  3. Click Prime.
  4. If you are a Prime member you’ll see your membership information. If not, you can join here.

To verify you have 1-Click ordering enabled:

  1. Use a web browser to navigate to www.amazon.com and log in.
  2. Click Payment Options.
  3. Click 1-Click Settings.
  4. If 1-Click is not enabled, enable it. 
03
of 06

Set Up Alexa for Shopping

Setting up voice purchasing

Before you can shop with Alexa you have to set up your device. To do this you’ll need to install the Amazon Alexa app from either the App Store or Google Play. You can also access the app features on a computer from https://alexa.amazon.com.

The Alexa app downloads automatically to Alexa-enabled Fire tablets. This app is where you configure the settings for Alexa.

Making purchases using your voice is enabled by default, but it’s always good to check and verify this.

To enable the Purchase By Voice option for Alexa:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Click the three horizontal lines and then click Settings.
  3. Scroll down and tap Voice Purchasing.
  4. Under Purchase by Voice, use the slider to enable the option.

If you want to prevent unauthorized purchases by children or other family members, you should also create a code (PIN). Although all users can talk to Alexa, they won’t be able to make purchases if they can’t also recite the code. To create a code, continuing from the previous steps:

  1. Under Voice Code, use the slider to enable the option.
  2. Click the box beside Voice Code to assign a PIN and click Save.
04
of 06

Create Your Alexa Shopping List

A screen shot of previously purchased items.
Amazon remembers what you've purchased before. Joli Ballew

When you’re ready to make a purchase using your Amazon device, say something like “Alexa, order paper towels.” If you’re using an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus, or some other device that doesn’t have a screen, you’ll need to listen to Alexa to see what she offers. If you have an Echo Show as is shown here, she’ll show a picture of the item on the screen. You can then tap “Buy This” or order it.

 If you’ve previously ordered that particular product, she’ll suggest you reorder it. As you can see here, Amazon keeps track of past orders and makes it easy to buy items again. If you haven’t previously purchased an item, she’ll likely tell you about current Alexa deals or the items deemed “Amazon’s Choice”.

The latter are items that Amazon has specifically chosen and marked as a good product for a good price. Likewise, you can ask “Alexa, what’s Amazon’s choice for paper towels?” Whatever the case, you aren’t happy with what she offers, you’ll be given the option to have her list more items.

When Alexa asks if you’re ready to make the purchase, simply say “Yes.” The item will be placed in your Amazon cart. If you’ve set up a PIN you’ll be asked to state that before the order will be placed and processed through Amazon checkout.

05
of 06

Use Alexa on Your Phone

Using Alexa on your phone

There’s not yet an Amazon Alexa app that you can use to order from your phone with your voice. However, there is a workaround. First, you’ll need to acquire the Amazon app. You can get the Amazon app from the App store and Google Play store.

Once the app is installed:

  1. Open the Amazon app.
  2. Click the Alexa circle in the top right corner of the app window.
  3. Ask Alexa for something like “Alexa, order dog food.”
  4. From the list provided, make a choice. You’ll see any items you’ve previously ordered at the top of the list.
  5. Proceed to the checkout when ready.

 

06
of 06

More about Alexa and Shopping

Here are a few answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding shopping with Alexa:

  • If you order something by mistake you have 30 minutes to cancel the order.
  • You can order multiple items, provided those items are the same. For instance, “Alexa, order two Echo Dots.”
  • You cannot order multiple items that are not the same time, such as two Echo dots and some paper towels. You’ll need to tell Alexa about each order separately.
  • You can track your orders by asking Alexa about their status. Just say “Alexa, when is my next order being delivered.
  • The Amazon Alexa app can be used to configure more settings including reorder notifications. You can also configure notifications so that Alexa can’t be used to ruin a delivery surprise by stating product names when you ask about tracking your packages!
  • The Amazon Alexa app can be used to keep a shopping list. Just say “Alexa, add carrots to my shopping list.” (You can access that list from the app while in a store.)

Here are a few other things to try while you explore options to voice shop:

  • Alexa, show me today’s good deals.
  • Alexa, order carrots.
  • Alexa, tell me about Amazon Fresh.
  • Alexa, reorder toilet paper.
  • Alexa, I want to buy a giraffe.  
  • Alexa, I need to buy a present for a baby shower.
  • Alexa, I need to buy my mother-in-law a gift.