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Here's how Amazon Alexa can make holiday shopping so much easier

Shopping for the holidays can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.

Stack of boxes sitting on a front porch decorated for the holidays. Credit: Getty Images / TriggerPhoto

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Amazon Prime Day was the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season, and if you’re tired of scrolling your phone for things to buy, don't worry. You can get everything you need using Amazon Alexa voice shopping to buy the best gifts for everyone on your list.

Alexa voice shopping is an amazing service that lets you find and buy products on Amazon's website without doing any real work. Here’s how to use it.

1. Set up an Alexa-enabled device

Echo Show 10
Credit: Amazon

From a smart screen to a smartphone, there are plenty of ways you can get your holiday shopping done with the help of Amazon Alexa.

Prior to leaning on Alexa for some shopping help, make sure you’ve got the right setup. You can talk to Alexa via an Echo speaker, or using the Amazon Alexa app, available for download on iOS and Android devices.

2. Get a Prime membership

Next, if you don’t already have an Amazon Prime membership, you'll need to sign up for one before you attempt to shop with Alexa. A Prime membership gets you free two-day shipping on thousands of items and more—a totally worthwhile investment if you love to buy things online.

3. Add your payment method

A valid payment method must be in place before you can make a purchase using Alexa. In your Amazon account settings, you’ll find an option to add a credit or debit card, personal checking account, Amazon.com Store Card, or EBT card.

4. Turn on Voice Purchasing

Turn on Voice Purchasing
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Here's how to turn on Voice Purchasing in the Amazon app.

Next, turn on “Voice Purchasing” in the Settings of the Amazon app. This can be done by navigating to Settings > Permissions > Microphone and turn on "Use voice search." Here, you can also give Alexa permission to read aloud product reviews of an item before you buy it. If you’re worried about someone ordering something without your approval, you can also set up a four-digit voice code that’s required to submit Amazon purchases and payments.

However, Alexa can only place orders on Prime-eligible products. That means if a product is shipped and sold by a third party vendor, Alexa won't be able to order it for you. That's not a huge issue, though, since so many things on Amazon qualify for Prime shipping.

5. Add items to your cart

If you know exactly what you're looking for, you can go ahead and order it straight from your Echo speaker by saying, "Alexa, order [item]." She will search through your Amazon order history to find the right product and add it to your cart.

Buying something for the first time? Alexa will likely recommend products aloud or on the screen, if you have an Echo Show, that are marked "Amazon's Choice" when helping you make a purchase. Once you've found what you're looking for, say, "Alexa, checkout [item]." She will place the order for you and confirm the delivery date. Change your mind about an order? That's OK. Just tell Alexa to "cancel my order" and you'll be all set.

Not sure what you want to shop for? The Amazon Deals roundup is a great place to start.

To access Amazon’s most recent deals say, “Alexa, what are my deals?” She’ll tell you everything you need to know about the product like the name, current Amazon price, and total savings. Alexa will ask you if you want to buy the item, to which you can respond “yes” or “no.”

If you respond “yes,” Alexa will add the item to your Amazon shopping cart, where it will stay until you’re ready to check out. You can hear more deals by again asking Alexa, “What are my deals?”

6. Check out

Echo
Credit: Amazon

Ready to check out? An Alexa-enabled speaker like the all new Echo can help place your order.

When you’re done shopping say, “Alexa, check out my cart.” She will restate the products in your cart, including the total number of items and the total cost with tax and shipping. Then, she will ask you, “Do you want to buy now?” When you respond with “yes,” Alexa will purchase the items using your default payment method.

Alexa voice shopping is a handy service that can help take the headache out of holiday shopping by helping you find great deals on presents for your friends and family (and maybe even a little something for yourself, too). Before you know it, Alexa may just be your new favorite shopping buddy.

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