Amazon is making it easier for people who own its Echo Internet-enabled smart speaker and digital assistant to make sure their supplies are topped up with new re-ordering functionality. After an update pushed out today, users can say things like “Alexa, re-order laundry detergent,” and the assistant will go back through their order history, find a product that matches and order it with a user’s default payment and shipping settings.
Support for re-ordering comes with obvious benefits for Amazon. Users could be more inclined to continue purchasing key household goods from the online retail giant, which is trying to become even more ingrained in the way people handle household purchases. Of course, it will also be useful for people who want to make sure they remember to restock on household essentials without requiring them to be near a computer or mobile device to make a purchase.
The functionality is reminiscent of the Dash Button that the company announced last month. The buttons (as the name implies) allow users to easily re-order a single product with a physical button that’s connected to the Internet. Those buttons, however, are limited to a single product and a single physical location.
Today’s update is the third that Amazon has rolled out this month. Previously, the company added an integration with If This Then That (IFTTT), which lets users connect Alexa with other web services including smart home products. It’s a move that more tightly ties Echo into a broader world of devices and services, and will ultimately make it more useful – for people who are happy to tinker with IFTTT.