Amazon Prime Day hits July 12, Echo voice ordering gets better

By on July 1, 2016

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Launching at midnight Pacific time on Tuesday, July 12, Amazon will crank up another day of sales that are exclusive to Prime members. In addition, Amazon will be launching pre-sale days starting on July 7 to offer a limited preview of the sales that will be launching on Prime Day. When the sale starts at midnight, Amazon will roll out sales as quickly as every five minutes.

While Amazon hasn’t released any specific details on what will be on sale, a spokesperson for the company said “A certain deal that might seem weird to one customer might seem wonderful to another. That’s part of the fun of Prime Day — discovering these unique items.” Of course, that strategy (also used in 2015) attracted consumer disappointment and intense mockery, perhaps because Amazon claimed the day would be bigger than Black Friday.

Voice Ordering Improvements to the Amazon Echo

Amazon also announced that the product catalog for voice ordering has expanded from a handful of items into the millions as of this week. Utilizing the Alexa voice assistant with the Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap, customers can place orders by using their voice and confirming the product suggestion.

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Of course, the product suggestion feature is limited to Prime shipped items only. It also doesn’t factor in any clickable coupons on grocery items; consumers will still have to log into the site to attach those discounts to an order. (Here’s our breakdown on the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap.)

Want Ads on your Smartphone?

Taking a page from the Kindle (so to speak), Amazon has launched a couple new sales on smartphones this week that place offers and ads on the lock screen in exchange for a $50 discount on the phone. Amazon already does something similar with the Kindle, basically reducing the cost by $15 to include ads on the screen when inactive.

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At the moment, these offers are limited to just a couple phones, the Moto G4 (all carriers) and the Blu RI HD (AT&T, T-Mobile). Amazon doesn’t specify if the ad-supported version can be upgraded for the removal of the ads after purchase, assuming someone doesn’t dare for the ads and offers after using the phone for a set period of time.

Don’t Forget the Amazon Sweepstakes

Similar to last year, Amazon is celebrating Amazon Prime Day again by offering up two additional promotions to win Amazon gift cards or a trip to hang out with famous musicians. To enter for a chance at $5,000 in gift cards, simply upload a single photo to the Prime Photos tool. (Unlimited storage on Prime Photos is one of the perks of Amazon Prime.)

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Regarding the music sweepstakes, you basically just listen to the playlist of your favorite artist and you will be entered to win a shot at a trip to one of the artist’s concerts as well as a meet and greet. Artists in the sweeps include such artists as Blink-182, Norah Jones, Flo Rida and Carrie Underwood.

About Mike Flacy

By day, I'm the Editor-in-Chief for The CheckOut in addition to being the content manager for Steve's Digicams and High-Def Digest. During my free time, I love to write about pop culture, home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and cool gadgets!

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