Amazon has rolled out a brand new service titled ‘Amazon Explore’ which is set to offer a plethora of virtual tours, experiences, and classes through a video stream, with tour guides, instructors, and personal shoppers providing one-on-one sessions.
Created to offer users a range of varied experiences right from a shopping experience to learning a DIY craft, Amazon has claimed that the digital experience will offer a video that is one-way, meaning only the host is on camera during the virtual experience, but the audio is two-way so you can ask questions and make requests. During the session, you can also request the host to spend more time on one aspect of the experience or skip to another.
Currently available only for users in the US, the tours and experiences offer the ability to virtually travel the globe, taking sessions and learning skills, cultures ad histories from lands that are far away! As of now, there are a total of 86 experiences from across 16 countries, ranging from a $10, 40-minute virtual shopping experience in Ridgeland, USA, to a 45-minute virtual tour of a mansion in Lima, Peru for $70, or a $129 bagel cooking class, as reported by The Verge.
Earlier this year, Airbnb also launched its own virtual travel experiences in order to attract audiences that were made to sit at home, owing to the coronavirus restrictions. Not the first tech giant to enter this arena, Amazon will feature sessions ranging from 30 to 60 minutes in length and can be canceled or rescheduled with up to 24 hours’ notice.
As reported by ‘TechCrunch’, when it’s time to begin your tour, you’ll just sign in to your Amazon account online, then click into Your Session page from the “Your Orders” section to get started. The sessions will require you to have a laptop or desktop, as it has not been made mobile-friendly as yet. You’ll also need to have a Chrome, Edge, or Safari web browser, functional microphone (the built-in one is fine), and a set of headphones or speakers, as well as an internet connection of 5 Mbps or higher. You can also use the camera icon at the bottom of the live stream to take photos.
Detailed by TechCrunch, experiences on Amazon Explore are also shopping-enabled. Customers can visit local stores and markets, browse items, and ask questions to shop owners. They can then choose to make a purchase and receive the items they bought via Amazon’s secure payment system.
The feature is now available in the public beta version to users in the U.S., but on an invite-only basis.