In case you needed another reason to buy Amazon’s Internet-connected speaker, the Amazon Echo: the device can now order pizza for you, following your verbal command. Have all my dreams come true? Yes. Yes, they have. The feature is actually being made available by way of a third-party application from delivery chain Domino’s, which has been experimenting with new digital ordering systems over the past year, including the option to order pizzas by tweeting an emoji.
Domino’s is now the first company in the pizza and quick-serve restaurant industry to support ordering by way of Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, Alexa.
Similar to its other efforts, the process of ordering via Echo will first require that Domino’s customers set up a “Pizza Profile.” This is a personal profile where you enter in your name, address, and payment information, as well as your “Easy Order” preference – that is, your favorite Domino’s order – like a large pepperoni, for example.
The Pizza Profile is what’s needed to take advantage of digital ordering across all the platforms Domino’s now supports, which today includes desktop, mobile, SMS, Twitter, Samsung Smart TVs, Ford Sync, smartwatches like Android Wear and Pebble, and its own native application (where you can also speak to its virtual assistant, Dom, by voice).
Ordering via tweet may have felt a little gimmicky – and the process of setting up a Pizza Profile via the mobile web was not as seamless as it first sounded. Domino’s also didn’t take advantage of Twitter’s “buy” button, which made it difficult for first time users to tweet their pizza orders.
However, once you’ve established your Pizza Profile, orders were much easier. The same is true for the rest of Domino’s digital ordering systems, including now, voice orders via Alexa.
Plus, ordering via Amazon Echo – a device that’s becoming a hub for your smart home, supporting everything from shopping lists to home automation to news, weather, music and more – makes a lot of sense.
The only trouble is that the feature is still hampered by Alexa’s need to have requests phrased in a certain way. This is not an issue only for Domino’s, but one that plagues the platform as a whole.
Amazon tells us that you’ll need to say “Alexa, open Domino’s and place my Easy Order” to kick off your pizza delivery request. That’s just not good enough. You should be able to tell Alexa to simply “order pizza.” Alexa should be smart enough to connect the request to the given app. (Or in the glorious future where Domino’s is one of many food-ordering apps, Alexa could ask you which app you wanted to use).
To use the Domino’s app, Echo owners will first need to enable the Domino’s “skill” from the Amazon Alexa app by linking their account to their Pizza Profile. Then, after the order has been placed, Amazon Echo can also track your order progress upon request.
This is done by saying – again, specifically: “Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my order.”
Amazon says the feature will go live by Friday – well ahead of time for Super Bowl Sunday, of course.