7 Simple Tips for Shopping With Your Amazon Echo

Did you know that you can do almost all your shopping with Amazon Echo? That’s right — just tell Alexa what it is you want to order and she’ll handle the entire process for you. Pretty cool, right?

Of course, you do have to enable this feature in the settings menu of the Alexa app. You’ll find it under the “voice purchasing” menu option. Once you enable the setting you’ll need to enter your security pin.

Once it’s all set up, there are several ways you can add items to your shopping list.

1. Use the Alexa App

Open the Alexa app, choose “Shopping & To-do Lists” from the menu and simply begin adding items to your shopping list. Alexa will prompt you to order these items and will also go over a list of the options you have to choose from.

This is a great feature and can keep you from endlessly scrolling and impulse-buying items from the main site. I mean, really — are you able to browse Amazon without adding something you don’t need to your cart? Because I’m not.

2. Use the Amazon Site

Through the regular Amazon site, you can set up an order of items for Alexa simply by adding them to a pre-generated list. Make sure you’re signed-in and then choose “Alexa Shopping List” from the Lists menu.

If you’ve ever created a list on Amazon before, you’ll be right at home. Just start adding items to the list and you’re all set. Anything you add to this shopping list will also appear in the Alexa app and your Echo. When you ask Alexa what’s on your shopping list, she’ll call them out to you.

3. Link Echo to Your Amazon Prime Account

Go to the Amazon Echo setup page, enter settings and choose “Set up your Household” from the menu. This will allow you to place orders and take advantage of that free two-day shipping that comes with your active Prime account. It also opens up your Echo to a whole host of new features and functionality.

Keep in mind that you can have you Echo linked to multiple accounts — even Prime accounts. You can do this by syncing the device with the appropriate accounts through the Alexa app and just add each person to your household.

Switching profiles is super easy. Just say this: “Alexa, switch to [user name]’s profile.”

4. Cover for Your Forgetfulness

Forget to do some last-minute shopping for someone’s birthday? Need to get something for an anniversary fast? You can also place orders through a variety of third-party services too, like 1-800-FLOWERS.COM for instance.

Say: “Alexa, ask 1-800-FLOWERS.COM to order a batch of orchids.”

5. Order More Than Products

Believe it or not, you can order more than just Amazon products with Alexa. She can also double as a personal concierge. It’s just a matter of knowing how to take advantage of this feature.

Need a plumber? What about an electrician? Want to make dinner reservations at a nearby spot? Thanks to Yelp integration, you can ask Alexa to carry out a variety of orders and actions. For example, you can ask her to call out some Mexican restaurants nearby and then use her to place a reservation or even an order.

Be sure to keep an eye on your Alexa app too, because additional suggestions will show up there.

6. Buy a Vacation

Thinking about getting away? Alexa can help you out by doing a little research. Just tell her what you want to do most and give her a budget, and she’ll spit out some ideas for you.

“Alexa, ask Kayak where I can go for $500?”

She’ll use integration with Kayak — the booking service — to find you trips that match your budget, even if it’s tight. It’s also worth mentioning that Alexa can track flights and even look up travel dates and times if you give her the correct timeframe.

7. Be Creative

There are so many things you can do with Alexa, but that wasn’t always the case. In the past, you were only able to order items you had previously purchased.

Luckily, now you can order just about anything from a Domino’s pizza to a ride via Uber or Lyft. Be creative with your ordering — you may find a new way to interact with Alexa.

Bonus: Use a Third-Party List App

Don’t like the simple list options available through the Alexa app and Amazon website? No problem! You can add your own third-party service like Any.do, Todoist and more.

You’ll find instructions on how to do that here.

Image via Amazon

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews writes about technology and gadgets for Motherboard, MakeUseOf and The Gadget Flow. To read more posts by Kayla, check out her blog Productivity Bytes.