For most Amazon Echo users, the device is just a convenient tool to play music or turn the lights on and off. But as the Echo becomes more popular, many consumers will likely use it for shopping – fundamentally transforming brand visibility on Amazon.

When you ask Alexa to buy an item, the device responds with just two suggestions, rather than providing the lengthy list of search results you would see on desktop or mobile search. In other words, Alexa essentially makes your choice for you (unless you ask the device to list more options, which may be unlikely if you’re ordering by voice assistant in the first place). Surprisingly, being top-ranked in conventional search doesn’t guarantee showing up in Alexa results. Rather, Alexa primarily suggests Amazon’s Choice products, according to L2’s Amazon Intelligence: Voice report – meaning that brands need to earn the Choice distinction in order to show up to voice-based shoppers.

Voice product distinctions

Over the course of a month, L2 researchers asked Alexa to buy a few hundred products from the Health Care, Beauty, Household Cleaning, Electronics, and Grocery categories. According to the study, 60% of suggested products were the Amazon’s Choice items for those categories – a status awarded based on several factors, from Prime eligibility and sales performance to customer reviews and ratings. By improving these metrics, they found, brands could significantly boost their visibility in voice search.

While earning Choice status could prove challenging, the study also provides a bit of encouragement. Once a brand shows up as one of Alexa’s suggested products, it rarely loses that position.

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