Voice 101

The guide below answers the most frequently asked questions about voice apps.

This 3-minute read will give you a quick overview of what voice apps are, what they do and, most importantly, how you can leverage them to drive sales, increase brand engagement and improve customer experience.

Simply put, voice apps are like mobile apps for your voice assistant.

If someone asked you to describe what you’d use a mobile app for, you’d probably struggle to answer, because the range of use cases is so broad.

Voice apps are no different. There are apps as diverse as ambient sounds, night lights, cigar pairing guides, random egg facts, virtual therapists… we’ve even seen an audio version of Skyrim (we can’t explain it either).

Some of the more popular voice apps right now are things like general knowledge quizzes and recipes, but the industry is still in its early days, and there’s a good chance that the apps we’ll all be using in 5 years haven’t even been created yet.

Part of the reason we exist is to help businesses like yours leave their mark on this rapidly changing landscape by creating their own voice apps. Interative, engaging and fun, it’s surprisingly easy to get started – so why not book a free no obligation call today to discover what you can build?

Voice apps offer a few distinct advantages over keyboards.

First and foremost, they’re quicker, easier and more natural to use. Human beings normally speak at a rate of about 150 words per minute. Unless you have ten fingers on each hand, you probably don’t type that fast. Voice assistants speed up the process of getting the information you need, when you need it.

The usefulness of voice apps extends beyond simple efficiency though.

There are a lot of situations in which using a phone might not be convenient. Maybe you need to access a recipe while you’re cooking, or maybe you want to browse relaxing soundscapes while you’re in the bath. Neither situation would be very conducive to using a mobile or a keyboard, and there are many more like them.

If you want to leverage the power of voice apps to drive sales for your own business, a good place to start is by using voice to solve problems like these, where traditional typed searches miss the mark.

A skill is simply a voice app for Amazon’s Alexa, which can be accessed through an Echo or other enabled device.

You might also have heard of Google Actions, which are voice apps for Google Assistant.

The reason we work primarily with skills is that Alexa is the most popular voice assistant, with about 70% market share as of December 2019. The bottom line is that skills cater to a wider user base, and therefore a wider pool of possible customers.

With that being said, we can and do build Google Actions and voice apps for other platforms, often including them as optional extras with an Alexa skills package. There’s no disadvantage to having your app available on more platforms – many clients just prefer to go for the biggest target.

You certainly can.

There are a couple of approaches you can take to monetising your Alexa skills.

Your first option is in-skill purchasing, which is a lot like the “freemium” model that most popular mobile apps use. This means charging users to unlock additional features. For example, if you have a quiz skill, you might offer users the option to purchase a certain number of extra quizzes per day.

As a rule of thumb though, the more lucrative option is to create a quality skill that people engage with, and then to promote your products through that skill. All that’s required is that your site accepts Amazon Pay, which is easy to set up if you don’t already have it configured.

This can be a powerful way to drive sales. Once Amazon Pay is set up, your users will be able to use their existing payment details to say “Alexa, order me one of these.” It’s that simple.

This is as broad a question as “how much does it cost to build a mobile app?”

Different skills have different functionalities. If you want to build a complex, multi-layered skill that integrates with and manipulates data from several APIs, it’s going to require a greater investment than putting together a simple quiz.

All of our quotes are no-obligation, and we don’t hard-sell, so why not drop us a line and tell us exactly what you’re looking for?

As with the price, it depends what you want the skill to do.

In our experience, 9 out of 10 skills can be built within a 4-week turnaround, but we’ve taken projects from design to completion in less than a week where the specifications were straightforward.