Amazon is making it even easier to buy stuff on Prime with just your voice

Diagram showing Amazon "Alexa" technology on an Echo device
Source: Amazon
Diagram showing Amazon "Alexa" technology on an Echo device

Amazon is moving closer to a world where shopping online is as simple as uttering a word.

Today, the company announced that members of its Prime service can now order "tens of millions" of items with Alexa, Amazon's voice-controlled assistant. Previously, Prime members who own one of four devices with Alexa could do this with things they've purchased in the past or through "Amazon's Choice," a service where the company picks products.

Running out of the house but just remembered you're out of coffee? "Alexa, order Starbucks coffee," Amazon offers as an example. Another: "Alexa, order Charmin toilet paper."

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The feature will test the strength of Amazon's artificial intelligence, particularly as competitors, chiefly Google, are bringing their own voice-search products to the home. To see this feature take off, Amazon will also need to keep Prime membership growing.

Both of those issues are among the big threats to Amazon's sterling growth.

By Mark Bergen,

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