The Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled products may be ideal for controlling the smart home of the future, but don’t forget the real reason Amazon created its smart assistant – to sell more products. Now the company is enlisting the help of Oprah Winfrey to help with that effort, with the talk show host guiding Alexa users through her ‘favourite things’, just in time for Christmas.
Oprah’s Favourite Things is a list the star has curated every year since the 1990s. It used to be aired as part of the Oprah Winfrey Show, although it has since been given its own two-hour special on the Oprah Winfrey Network. It’s essentially a list of must-have gifts for the Christmas period; helping busy mothers and grandmothers pick out the perfect gift for their loved ones.
The list is now coming into the 21st Century, with Oprah teaming up with Amazon to launch an Alexa skill for her 102 favourite things. Users will be able to activate the skill by asking ‘Alexa, let’s shop Oprah’s Favourite Things’. After that the Alexa voice assistant will suddenly go away and be replaced by Oprah Winfrey herself as she goes through her list, explaining why she chose each item. After every item users will be given a choice to buy the product – all they need to do is say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Amazon’s partnership with Oprah Winfrey is a clever one. The Amazon Echo and Alexa voice assistant were designed to make it easier than ever to purchase items, and this tie-up certainly achieves that. It’s only around for the Christmas period, however, meaning Amazon will have to revert to other methods to ensure people keep shopping using its voice assistant.