Enjoy Virtual Tourism in 2022 with Amazon Explore

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Amazon Explore is a new platform that lets everyone enjoy virtual experiences from the comfort of their home.

Imagine doing all the things you love.

From online food tours to online shopping, this new feature will add a little spice to your quarantine life.

You can even get the chance to learn a new skill!

Amazon Explore works via a video stream, showing tour guides, instructors, and personal shoppers providing one-on-one sessions.

It is a one-way video, which means only the host is on camera during the virtual experience. But the audio is two-way; so, you can interact if you wish to.

This new platform is currently offered on an invite-only basis for customers in the U.S. But the tours and experiences will let you virtually travel across the globe.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what Amazon Explore has in store for you.

Amazon Explore Launches Virtual Events

As more people are refraining from doing personal activities outside their homes which includes cutting down on trips, it is the best time that Amazon has launched this platform for the good of everyone during this global pandemic.

Amazon is not the first company to offer virtual events this year.

Airbnb launched its own virtual travel experiences, and fitness company ClassPass has shifted to offering online classes.

The New York Times reports that Apple was initially criticized for taking a 30 percent cut of these virtual purchases.

But just last week, they said it would temporarily stop taking its cut on virtual purchases from Airbnb and ClassPass, as well as Facebook’s online events’ feature. 

In Amazon’s Explore product pages, customers are notified that they will be able to browse and purchase experiences on their mobile phones and tablets, but it’s unclear whether these will be subject to Apple’s 30 percent commission.

Hosts come from a range of established tour guide companies such as Intrepid Urban Adventures, Bamba, and Essence of Berlin this is according to Amazon.

Hosts are the ones in charge of the prices of their sessions, but the split of revenue between Amazon and the host is unknown as Amazon declined to comment.

On the other hand, If you’ll take a virtual shopping experience, any purchases are handled via Amazon’s payment system.

Amazon Explore Experiences

Amazon launched  Amazon Explore on September 29th. Explore is a service that allows customers to book virtual, live experiences.

As we are now into the new normal, having this kind of experience will make people feel they are not deprived of going somewhere else and doing things they love despite the pandemic.

The virtual sessions include cooking classes, wine tastings, art and crafts lessons, shopping at boutiques, taking a tour of historic landmarks around the world to name a few.

During its launch, many of the experiences that can be found on the site are being offered by local tour operators, though any business that has a tour idea is invited to apply.

Aside from local tour operators, other hosts like historians, artists, musicians, master craftsmen, chefs, personal shoppers, or anyone with a skill or adventure to share, says Amazon.

Amazon Live Video

Amazon Live offers a one-on-one live session between the customer and the host.

Note that the video streaming functionality is just available for the host only, but customers can make requests or ask questions in real-time through the two-way audio. 

The virtual experiences may last for 30–60 minutes long but may also vary depending on the activity. Up to this date, there are a total of 86 experiences available on Amazon Explore for purchase.

If you will ask about the requirements to be able to experience this video streaming all you need to have is a laptop or desktop, as they’re not mobile-friendly at this time.

You also need to have a web browser like Chrome and a reliable internet connection with at least 5mbps or the higher the better. A functional microphone, a set of headphones, and speakers are also a must-have.

The Amazon Explore page also provides an idea of the range of experiences in a particular offer.

For example, you’ll have relatively cheap sessions like about $10 for a 40-minute virtual shopping experience in USA to a 45-minute virtual tour of a mansion in Lima for $70.

TechCrunch reports a total of 86 virtual experiences available in 16 different countries.

Another cool thing about this video platform is that there is a camera icon that will enable customers to take a picture of their virtual experience.

You will definitely love this part as you will have something to share in your social media accounts.

Virtual Shopping

Virtual shopping is in and what a better way to please yourself is through a virtual shopping experience offered by this platform.

They can choose to make a purchase and receive the items they bought as if they had been shopping on Amazon directly. Amazon handles payments within their secure payment system using the payment method connected with the customer’s account.

The host is then reimbursed for the purchase. This is truly convenient for shoppers because they will not be bothered about going out and worry about their safety.

Keep in mind that you can actually ask questions to the shop owner about the product you wish to buy. So, you will be making conscious purchases all along.

As you can see instead of having an influencer talk about and demo a product — as is often the case on Amazon Live, you can do it yourself through these shopping-enabled experiences.

Amazon also provided opportunities for small business owners looking to generate additional income.

Most of these businesses have been affected by the pandemic. Business owners such as shop owners, local guides, chefs, stylists, and artists to name a few benefited from this opportunity.

Guided by Experts

Each virtual experience is led by local experts trained and supported by Amazon. Amazon Explore gives a different kind of experience where you can genuinely feel your participation in the tour.

What makes it different is that it’s a one-on-one session between the host and the viewer.

This way, it gives the viewer the feeling of “being there.”

The sessions length in minutes ranges from 30 to 60 minutes. Sessions can be canceled or rescheduled with up to 24 hours’ notice. 

Opportunity for Sellers

Similar to Amazon Live, brands and sellers can use Amazon Explore to get in touch and connect to their customers through a live video.

Amazon explore gives a more personalized experience because it allows sellers to interact with their customers on a one-on-one session making them more connected in an intimate way.

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.

Also, by listing the products in the selling section of the video.

During the baking process, customers may ask questions and might purchase items shown during your demonstration. You may also sell products relevant to your sessions such as cookbooks.

You can apply to become a host on the Amazon Explore webpage.

Currently, Amazon has selected the hosts in the platform. One benefit of joining Amazon Explore is it will help you expand your customer reach, make your brand known, obtain valuable customer insights, and create brand loyalty over time. To maximize business growth it is essential that you provide a personalized, engaging customer experience to make you stand out.

Final Thoughts

Amazon Explore allows you to connect with customers in a very extraordinary way.

It allows customers to be a part of a variety of virtual experiences.

The live video service offers customers a one-on-one session with the host and let them have a personalized experience toward their needs and interests. The service launched at an optimal time as people are turning more towards digital experiences.

Since this will make way for brands and sellers to expand their customer reach, the use of this platform will greatly benefit them from enrolling to become a host on Amazon Explore.

This new digital platform will help them showcase their product and make them known to many customers. This will also enable them to communicate directly with their customers and gain valuable feedback to improve their products. Providing a more engaging customer experience will help fuel the success of their business.

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