Yes, Alexa is recording you. Here’s why it matters.

Arcane Blog Post

Yes, Alexa is recording you. Here’s why it matters.

Yes, Alexa is recording you. Here’s why it matters.


Don’t believe it? You can access every single command you’ve ever given Alexa since you first installed the machine. Here’s a tutorial on how to do that.

Why is Alexa Recording Me?

Alexa records the user because as much as it seems like “she” is a real person, you’re still talking to a machine — one with no flexibility in language. Alexa learns through trial and error to understand the nuances of language, like accents and linguistic quirks. Alexa records so she can get used to our voices.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology advances, we will see increased adoption of the product by both consumers and advertisers.

How Popular are AI Assistants Right Now?

The number of smart speaker units that shipped out to consumers more than tripled from 2016 to 2017, with more than 27 million being sold last year.

According to the Consumer Technology Association, the annual number of smart speaker units sold is expected to jump to hit 43.6 million in 2018.

What are the Hurdles?

With smart speakers being a strictly audio-based tool, ordering products becomes more difficult for the consumer. Standard shopping behaviours, such as comparing prices and confirming orders, are either more difficult or not available at all.

This trend emphasizes the importance of branding and loyalty, as it seems like voice commerce will be restricted to consumers reordering what they already know and love.

There are Hurdles for Advertisers, Too!

Amazon has actually banned 3rd-party ads that don’t also stream content. This basically means that any brand that wants a presence on the Echo must create an entire app on the platform. Amazon wants users to interact with the brands instead of being interrupted by ads. It doesn’t mean that voice-based ads will never happen, just not right now.

The first time Alexa piped up to tell you about something you didn’t ask for, the device would likely find a new home in your backyard.


Instead of rushing to an advertising conclusion, forward-thinking companies are participating right now so that they can build emotional connections and familiarity. The focus for most is building an organic presence.

What Can Companies Do to Take Advantage of AI?

Discoverability is Key(words)

Voice searches often rely on featured snippets to pull up and summarize the most popular answer. The name might not be familiar, but you’ve probably seen featured snippets on Google Search — they look like this:

Companies can use keyword research to understand what customers are searching for. This way, you can cultivate content on your website so that they answer specific questions that your consumers would ask.

SEO is the most important factor for smart speakers and if voice search continues to grow in popularity, we could see a reprioritization of how websites are created.

Brand Your Product for Voice

Depending on what your goals are, you may want to brand your product so that it’s very ask-able. Domino’s has done this very well with their Pizza Profiles. Each profile has the option to assign an Easy Order based on pizzas that the consumer has purchased in the past.

Make your product easy to buy in as few words as possible.

Consumers can now ask their smart assistants to order their preferred pizzas and even track the order from baking to delivery.

Though voice search is still in its infancy, it can still be a great marketing opportunity used to reach millions of tech-savvy consumers. There are hurdles that will improve over time, but businesses of all sizes can make changes now that will take advantage of voice!


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