Alexa Integration with Sitecore – Part 1 – Understanding Alexa Terminologies

This is a blog series to learn the Alexa Integration with Sitecore

To start with, As all of you know Voice is the future.


Statistics from Forrester:

Below are some of the Statistics from Forrester(American market research company)

  • Digital voice assistants are quickly growing
  • 50% of US households will have smart speakers by 2022, accounting for 68% of all smart home devices 
  • 10% of consumers use digital voice assistants to make a purchase, 60% are interested in doing so
  • Digital voice assistants will be the large commerce channel in the next few years

Impact of poor voice design :

  • Designing for voice is significantly different than designing for other channels like web, email or print.
  • Screens are a great fit for showing customers’ suggestions based on their interest and thereby optimizing conversion rates.
  • Voice only allows for responding to the customer questions, so there is much less room to cross-sell or up-sell.
  • There is also a significant risk of losing customers if the voice experience is not designed well.
  • Research shows voice assistants cause frustration more often than other intelligent devices.

How Alexa helps to overcome the challenges :

  • By following Alexa skill design best practices
  • By using Alexa Interaction Model
  • With the Power of Alexa AI Service

We can overcome the above said challenges.

Below are some of the Alexa Terminologies,

Alexa Skill :

  • Alexa is the voice service that powers Echo device
  • Skills are used to teach and train Alexa about our application
  • Alexa is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter

Alexa Skill Type :

Below are the list of different Alexa Skill, This blog series we are only going to target Custom skill,

  • Smart Home Skill (pre-built model)
  • Flash Briefing Skills (pre-built model)
  • Video Skills (pre-built model)
  • Music Skills (pre-built model)
  • Custom skill (custom interaction model)

Alexa Skill Kit :

  • It is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples
  • Which makes working with Alexa significantly easier
  • The SDK is available in Node.js, Java and Python

Alexa Skill Interaction Model :

There are 3 main entities in the interaction model:

  • Intents – Represent actions that users can do with your skill. These intents represent the core functionality of your skill.
  • Utterances – Specify the words and phrases users can say to invoke those intents. You map these utterances to your intents.
  • Slots – Slots are basically variables in utterances.

In the next blog on this series, I will explain the Need of Integration with Sitecore, Approaches and How it Works.

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