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Inside Amazon Explore Livestreaming Service for Online Shopping
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On Sept. 29, Amazon launched Amazon Explore, a service that enables customers to book live, virtual experiences. The virtual sessions include cooking classes, wine tastings, art lessons, shopping at boutiques, taking a tour of historic landmarks around the world, and many more.
Customers can learn how to make sushi and miso soup from a home kitchen in Tokyo for $39.20 or take a virtual walking tour of Berlin for $118. Within the video platform, there is a camera icon that allows customers to take a picture of their virtual experience, whether that is to remember a specific ingredient of a recipe or to capture a memory.
The service offers customers a one-on-one live session with the host. The video streaming functionality is solely available for the host, but customers can make requests or ask questions in real time through the two-way audio. The virtual experiences are typically 30–60 minutes long but vary depending on the activity. As of now, there are a total of 86 experiences available for purchase on Amazon Explore.
Amazon has recruited a group of chefs, art teachers, stylists, tour guides, and more specialists to host virtual experiences on Amazon Explore. Hosts can set their own prices and create their schedules. Hosts also have the option to sell their products in the retail section embedded in the video. Amazon takes a commission from each virtual session but does not require a percentage from product sales. The company processes the transaction using its secure payment system and charges the card associated with the customer’s account.
Amazon Explore has rolled out at an ideal time, as people are currently restricted in the activities they can participate in and are encouraged not to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual experiences offered allow customers to continue to build their skill sets in a variety of subjects, purchase products in an engaging way, and take a tour of different cities from the comfort of their own home.
The service is currently invite-only for U.S. customers. Eligible customers are required to use a laptop or desktop computer for the virtual session, as Amazon Explore is not compatible with mobile devices at this time.
What Does This Mean for Sellers?
Amazon continues to expand its offerings and the company is now selling experiences and products. Similarly to Amazon Live, brands and sellers can use Amazon Explore as a method of connecting with their customers through live video and showcasing their products. Amazon Explore, however, enables sellers to interact with their customers on a one-on-one basis, answering all of their questions, and even personalizing the experience for them.
For example, if you are a host demonstrating how to bake a cake, you can integrate selling into your session by describing each tool you are using, and listing the products in the selling section of the video. Customers will be able to ask questions during the baking process and may be tempted to purchase the items shown to recreate the recipe you have demonstrated. You can also sell relevant products to your sessions, such as a baking cookbook for the example mentioned.
Amazon has selected the hosts that are currently on the platform, but you can apply to become a host on the Amazon Explore webpage. The service should be used to leverage your product assortment across more digital channels. Participating in Amazon Explore will help expand your customer reach, drive brand discoverability, get valuable customer insights, and create brand loyalty over time. Providing a personalized, engaging customer experience is essential in maximizing business growth.
Amazon Explore allows customers to engage in a wide range of virtual experiences, from cooking classes to tourism. The live video service allows customers to have a one-on-one session with the host and have the experience personalized toward their needs and interests. The service launched at an optimal time as people are turning more towards digital experiences.
Brands and sellers would greatly benefit from enrolling to become a host on Amazon Explore since it offers a new digital platform to showcase their product assortment and enables them to reach more of their customers. Sellers are also able to communicate directly with their customers and gain valuable feedback that can be used to improve their products. Providing a more engaging customer experience will help fuel the success of their business.
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