As a leader in the digital food space, Allrecipes provides recipes, tools, and community to 85 million home cooks in 24 countries.
“Allrecipes’ mission is to inspire cooks all around the world to discover the joy of home cooking,” says Vasantha Kostojohn, Senior Director of Product Management at Allrecipes.
The Allrecipes website sees 1.5 billion visits per year, mainly via a mobile device. With devices with Alexa appearing in kitchens everywhere, Allrecipes saw an opportunity to make it even easier for customers to find and follow their recipe of choice via voice.
“Being voice-first really helps home cooks because it leaves their hands open to cut or knead, or do whatever they need in the cooking process,” says Kostojohn.
Allrecipes first built a skill for Alexa that enables customers to search for a specific recipe by voice or ask Alexa for recipe ideas based on ingredients and available cooking time. Once they’ve picked a recipe, customers can ask Alexa to send it to their phone or save it in Favorites.
With the announcement of Echo Show, the Allrecipes team turned to the Alexa Skills Kit’s enhanced visual capabilities to optimize the skill. The team leveraged the new display templates to offer visual content including streaming video. The result: Allrecipes’ tried-and-true skill for Alexa enriched with beautiful visual aids on the Echo Show screen.
“Echo Show elevates the capabilities we’ve got in the Alexa skill by enabling us to visually present more search results than we can with a voice-only experience,” says Tim Claxton, Senior Product Manager at Allrecipes. “Our customers can also see the recipe, the ingredients, the cooking steps, and, in some cases, a video that shows how to make the recipe.”
Developing the Allrecipes skill for Alexa was an intuitive and straightforward process, says Kevin O’Neill, Director of Software Engineering at Allrecipes.
“We found it to be relatively easy to marry together our API with Amazon Alexa,” he says. “And their experience in natural language processing made it quite easy for us to focus on content delivery that we’re experts in.”
Building with Alexa has enabled Allrecipes to reach customers where they are and deliver a delightful, frictionless experience, says the team. And by using the enhanced visual capabilities in the Alexa Skills Kit, Allrecipes has elevated that experience.
“We found it to be a compelling way for us to build and realize the next-level vision for our own content delivery, recommendation, and consumer engagement,” says O’Neill.
“We cook with our eyes. We look for recipes that are great. So being able to show the visuals and having the visual response—that’s the best of both worlds,” says Claxton.
Build a Skill, Get an Echo Dot and New Alexa Swag
Leverage the new developer tools and documentation in the Alexa Skills Kit to build skills for Echo Show. Developers have built more than 15,000 skills with the Alexa Skills Kit. Explore the stories behind some of these innovations, then start building your own skill. If you’re serious about getting into building voice UIs, we’d like to help you explore. If you publish a skill in July and Echo Dot and some new Alexa swag so you can experiment and daydream.
Source: Alexa Developer Blog