ArcTouch, San Francisco App Designers and Developers ArcTouch, San Francisco App Designers and Developers

Engage your customers with an Alexa skill

ArcTouch’s team of Alexa developers can help your company extend your digital reach through a custom skill on millions of Amazon Echo devices.

Voice is quickly becoming an important interface for how consumers engage with the digital world. And leading this trend is Amazon’s Alexa platform and Echo line of smart home speaker products. Amazon has licensed its voice assistant technology to dozens of hardware manufacturers, extending the reach of Alexa far beyond the living room.

Companies large and small are building Alexa skills to capitalize on this growing opportunity — there are now more than 30,000 skills published in Amazon’s catalog.

ArcTouch’s Alexa skill development process

ArcTouch’s Alexa skill development services vary depending on the needs of your business. The process of building a great voice application starts with voice strategy. That strategy culminates during a discovery session, where our team will take you through a series of exercises to identify the user problem and your business opportunity. From there, we define the feature set of your Alexa skill’s minimum “lovable” product.

During voice design, we’ll carefully craft the desired user experience flow — creating a rich and natural voice user interface (VUI). Meanwhile, our engineers will begin their technical work by identifying the key technologies to ensure your Alexa skill is not only smart, but works as advertised. A few weeks later — after Alexa skill development is complete and thoroughly tested, we can help you publish and market your Alexa skill.

Want some help or feedback about your Alexa skill idea? Let’s talk.

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Insights from ArcTouch’s Alexa Developers

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose ArcTouch's Alexa developers?

Since the dawn of the app store 10 years ago, ArcTouch has been building engaging applications for Fortune 500 companies. And our user experience design and engineering teams have been on the leading edge of the conversational and voice assistant explosion.

What are the trends in home assistants and voice apps?

Here are a few recent statistics:
– Spending on artificial intelligence and machine learning will grow from $12B in 2017 to $57.6B by 202 (International Data Corporation (IDC)
– Purchases made through home assistant devices (e.g. Google Home, Amazon’s Echo) are projected to increase from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022 (USA Today)
– 20% of all mobile search queries in 2016 were voice based
(Mary Meeker 2017 Internet Trends)

What industries are best suited for Alexa skills?

There are great use cases for Alexa skills in virtually any industry, both for consumer applications and enterprise applications for employees. Here are a few of our favorite categories of skills by industry:
– Restaurants: Place orders, book reservations, search for menu options and prices.
Transportation & logistics: Ridesharing services, navigation and traffic alerts, audio entertainment.
Healthcare: Scheduling applications for consumers, symptom checker and advice, prescription ordering.
Entertainment: Movies and concert information, schedule updates, trailers, etc.
Travel: Ticket booking, hotel reservations, and travel tips for consumers.
Enterprise: Logistics and supply chain applications, calendar management, etc.
Smart home: Home automation of IoT devices, music and entertainment.
Finance: Investment advice, stocks updates.

What tools do we use to build Alexa skills?

Like any software application, there are many different ways to build an Alexa skill. The best way depends on your existing technology stack and how a skill might tie into different data sources. A good place to start learning the options is by reading what’s available in Amazon’s skills Kit.

Probably the simplest and fastest way to create a new Alexa skill is to host it on Amazon’s AWS, use AWS Lamba (a serverless computing platform), and then create the Lambda function in C#, Java, Javascript (Node.JS) or Python.

How is a “voice design” created?

We usually start by mapping the user journey — where we define the skill’s purpose and the goals the user wants to accomplish. Then we create the conversational UX flow, where we carefully script the various questions and answers between the skill and the user. During this process, we also include user testing at different points to make sure the skill delivers a great user experience, and that the voice interaction is natural.

How hard is it to publish an Alexa skill?

The process of publishing an Alexa skill is very straightforward, and not unlike publishing an app to the Apple iTunes or Google Play store. And we’ll take care of every step for you.

Are analytics available to measure skill usage?

Amazon includes the “skills metrics dashboard” as part of the Alexa skills Kit. From that dashboard, you can see data from your skill about customers, sessions, utterances, and intents. There are also some new third-party analytics tools (including Smartly.ai and Voice Insights) that offer different types of insights.