Alexa’s getting brain augmentation
Amazon is making a move that could strengthen your firm’s presence inside millions of kitchens and living rooms. Today the company announced a relationship with Yext, Inc. that will change the way Amazon’s popular digital assistant, Alexa, receives and delivers information about local businesses.
Until now, Alexa has drawn on information gathered from Yelp to answer questions about nearby stores and services. That offered users some answers but didn’t serve many businesses well, if at all. Amazon’s new alignment with Yext means that voice commands can access the phone number, street address and hours of over 1.2 million businesses – far more entities and details than Yelp offers.
Yext’s Digital Knowledge Management (DKM) platform will soon become part and parcel of Alexa’s knowledgebase. Apple (including maps and Siri), Facebook, Google (including search and maps) and hundreds of other data-centric companies and applications all rely on DKM for business information, so the integration with Alexa represents a major push by Amazon into the business of managing and delivering information on demand.
It’s not just significant for Amazon though; since business can add their own information directly to the DKM platform, the partnership holds the potential for your firm to reach more people who are looking for a professional services provider. Through DKM, businesses already manage the listings that appear in social media platforms, search engines, apps, online directories and other virtual assistants.
Alexa will use Yext as the source for information in selected countries at first, with plans to expand into other regions later. Areas included in the initial rollout include the US, UK, Canada, Japan, India, Germany, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Austria.
While the data that will be available is limited to basic facts like contact information and hours right now, there’s a possibility that this could expand to include broader content. In an email to Greg Serling, a contributing editor at Search Engine Land, Yext communicated an intention to augment the available data fields in the future.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, but given Alexa’s widespread popularity, chances are good that it’s a boon for your firm.