Amazon Anywhere Lets Consumers Buy Real Merchandise in Video Games
Next time you see someone sporting a Peridot-themed shirt, you can likely thank Amazon for this IRL experience.
Amazon Anywhere debuted this week, enabling immersive shopping experiences for video games, virtual worlds, and mobile apps.
“Most shopping in virtual worlds is currently limited to purchases of virtual currency and in-game digital items, with no easy path to purchase physical products. We want to change that,” Steve Downer, VP of Consumer Electronics at Amazon, said in the announcement.
To kick off, Pokemon GO developer Niantic has deployed Amazon Anywhere in Peridot, its new real-world augmented reality game, which features unique virtual pets powered by artificial intelligence. When playing Peridot, available on iOS and Android devices, users can access physical products within the game as they care for the one-of-a-kind creatures.
After linking an Amazon account to Peridot, consumers will find Peridot-branded products such as T-shirts, hoodies, phone accessories, and throw pillows featuring artwork of creatures from the game. Gamers will see product details, images, availability, Prime eligibility, price, and estimated delivery date, just as shoppers would in Amazon stores.
To purchase, they tap the “buy” button and check out using the linked Amazon account without leaving the game. Products will ship like any other purchase from Amazon, and the shopper can track and manage the order via the Amazon app.
Amazon isn’t the first retailer to link virtual or real merchandise to gamers. Walmart, Nike, Gucci, Lacoste and PacSun have created virtual events and virtual goods in games.
[See more: Top Retailers Like Walmart and Lowe's Enter the Metaverse]
PacSun’s second Roblox initiative Pacsun Los Angeles Tycoon on Roblox offered a three-level store that gave consumers access to products at a virtual, multi-day festival. The experience married augmented reality with real-life shopping, allowing consumers to identify a product they wish to purchase within the virtual space and then directing them to Pacsun’s website where they can buy the physical version.
But Amazon’s experience differs in the fact that users don’t have to leave the game or app they are in to purchase physical products.
Creators and developers of virtual worlds, video games, or mobile apps can curate products from Amazon’s selection, including a brand’s own merchandise. Amazon Anywhere secure endpoints enable them to display products in their experience and integrate with Login with Amazon's authentication to allow Amazon customers to use their Amazon accounts to make purchases.
“Never before has it been so easy for our fans to purchase branded physical merchandise directly from within the experience, without ever having to leave the game,” said Ziah Fogel, director of production for Peridot. “This really brings the Peridot universe to life, creating more opportunities for our players to engage with the brand, and helping to blend the virtual and physical worlds.”