Alexa Voice Shopping: What It Is and How to Use It

Purchase products with just your voice and an Echo

Online shopping has revolutionized the retail industry and has made our daily lives so much easier. With free two-day shipping and two-hour grocery deliveries, we can order virtually anything we want to be sent right to our doors. Thanks to voice shopping devices like Amazon’s Echo, Amazon Prime users can place orders using Alexa Voice Codes. Here's how to quickly and easily buy things with Amazon shopping and Alexa.

What Is Voice Shopping and How Does It Work?

Quite simply, voice shopping is making online purchases using nothing but your own voice. Anyone who owns a smart speaker system like the Amazon Echo knows they can adjust the lighting of their homes or ask about the weather. However, you can also use these devices to purchase everyday items, place takeout orders, and even book seats at the movies or other events.

3d rendering of Amazon Echo voice recognition system
Getty Images/Karneg

There is a two-part process that allows Amazon Echo users to set up voice shopping. You will need to enter your purchase info into the device, including your name, address, contact info, and billing details. If you are already a member of Amazon Prime, all you have to do is download the Alexa app, plug in your Echo, and connect the device to your Wi-Fi.

The second part of voice ordering is placing the order. One great Echo feature is the device’s ability to remember your past purchases and even remind you when you need to reorder items. Alexa can also recommend items based on customer reviews and automatically apply any coupons or discounts to your order. You can also decide whether you want to set up an Alexa Voice Code to prevent accidental orders.

How to Enable an Alexa/Echo Device’s Purchase by Voice Feature

To use your device to place voice orders, you will need to make sure that Purchase By Voice is activated. Purchase by voice should be enabled by default.

  1. Open the Alexa app.

  2. From the top-left corner of the app, select the menu button.

  3. Tap Settings > Account Settings.

  4. Tap Voice Purchasing.

  5. Tap the Purchase by Voice toggle to turn it On (the toggle button should change to filled blue).

How to Set Up an Alexa Voice Code to Prevent Unwanted Purchases

Setting up a four-digit code will help ensure that you only make necessary orders. Fortunately, this can be easily done via the Alexa app.

  1. Open the Alexa app.

  2. From the top-left corner of the app, select the menu button.

  3. Tap Setting > Account Settings.

  4. Tap Voice Purchasing.

  5. Toggle the Voice Code switch to on.

  6. Enter a four-digit code on the keypad that appears and select Save.

    If you need to change your four-digit code later, you can select Reset Voice Code and enter a new code.

How to Place a Voice Order Using an Alexa/Echo Device

Once you have your device connected and the app set up, you’re ready to start voice shopping. Just follow these simple steps.

  1. Say “Hey, Alexa” to wake up your device. Or if you're using a different wake word like "Amazon," "Computer," "Echo," or "Ziggy," say that instead.

  2. Say "Order” and the name of the item you want to order.

    If you have ordered an item from Amazon previously, Alexa will add matching items to your cart. You may also get an Amazon’s Choice product recommended if you order something new.

  3. Say “Checkout Item.”

    If you have Alexa Voice Code enabled, you will need to speak your four-digit code to confirm the order.

  4. The order will be placed, and you will receive an order confirmation and delivery date.

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