Amazon continues to show its support for small businesses through Amazon Explore. This new service by Amazon aims to expand the reach of small and local businesses even on a global scale.
A few years back, Amazon was criticized and accused of undermining small retail enterprises. In an interview with CNBC, former US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that:
“I think if you look at Amazon, although there are certain benefits to it, they’ve destroyed the retail industry across the United States.”
However, Amazon refuted such allegations and cited some of its efforts to help small business owners reach their full potential. Pursuant to such a goal of helping small businesses, the tech giant introduced Amazon Explore as a new service that allows business owners to bring customers into their stores virtually.
Amazon Explore | Overview
Amazon.com: A screenshot (cropped) of Amazon Explore Shopping Experience, Date Retrieved: May 05, 2021; Retrieved From: https://amzn.to/3gZc041
The idea of virtual tours has been around for quite some time. However, retail companies like Amazon have just started leveraging the power of virtual reality to benefit both their customers and sellers during the pandemic. Amazon Explore serves as a unique platform for sellers to offer virtual Livestream experiences to customers.
Amazon sellers will serve as informed hosts for a predetermined amount of time. They will serve as learning instructors or guides offering classes or tours, and most importantly, as sellers of small local businesses.
What makes Amazon Explore unique from other virtual tours is the one-on-one experience per customer. Furthermore, this Amazon service is delivered with advanced integrated graphics and high-tech features, including interactive maps, labels, and one-touch buttons.
The Amazon Explore Shopping Experience
With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the retail industry landscape, Amazon introduced Amazon Explore as a digital lifeline for small business owners. The Explore platform serves as an avenue for alternative means of selling products.
With the Explore platform, sellers can highlight products from their physical store while providing a one-on-one shopping experience with customers. This, in turn, provides a customized experience and repeat business.
Simply put, Amazon Explore extends the reach of your physical store to various communities worldwide. With the help of virtual reality, it is as if shoppers are actually shopping inside your store.
As a host, you have the ability to shop and ship items from your location on behalf of the customers. You can set your own prices for the unique items that shoppers cannot get hold of anywhere else. The item price range starts from 10 USD to 200 USD.
Each session with a customer generally lasts around 30 minutes to an hour. The bookings, payments, and other logistics involved during the session are coursed through Amazon, but items are shipped directly to customers.
Shoppers may scan through various experiences being offered by the region. Areas included are North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. However, as the platform expands, more hosts or sellers from other regions will be able to participate.
Make Shopping Experiences Hassle-Free
Although customers will be shopping virtually, this does not mean that it will be devoid of fun. Since you are mainly offering an experience to customers, you should see to it that each session with them is engaging, accessible, and convenient. Here are some tips for offering a delightful shopping experience:
Master Your Presentation
Since you are not just selling an item but also providing an experience, when conversing with shoppers, be sure to have the answers to potential questions concerning your product.
To provide the best experience during the Amazon Explore session, hosts should prepare the necessary apparatus ahead of time. The essential things needed for such a platform include a gimbal, SIM card, headphones, and a designated smartphone.
Prepare The Environment
If you are streaming in your store, make sure to declutter your area. Clear any trash, dirt, or other miscellaneous stationery that could obstruct the view of shoppers. You should also prepare the lighting in your store to make your presentation more appealing.
Be sure to follow the guidelines set by Amazon. In particular, avoid selling products that do not comply with import/export restrictions and other governing laws and regulations. To know more about Amazon Explore guidelines, you may CLICK HERE.
Know The Conversion Rates
To help customers easily understand pricing, be prepared with the conversion rate from your currency to US Dollar. Take note that there is a combined purchase limit of 800 USD for each session.
Don’t Pressure Customers
Amazon has emphasized that with Amazon Explore, sellers or hosts should not pressure the customer into buying products. Customers should also be informed that they can cancel their orders should they change their minds.
Frequently Asked Questions – Amazon Explore
- How to Register as a Host for Amazon Explore
To register as a host, Amazon sellers may Apply Here. Amazon will ask a series of questions in order to know more about the business you offer for the Explore platform.
- Can Sellers Present a Pre-Recorded Video?
Pre-recorded videos are not allowed under the Explore platform. Every session happens in real-time through one-way live-streamed video and two-way audio.
- What Language is Used During Explore Sessions?
The language to be used for every Amazon Explore session is English.
- Can Explore Sessions be Cancelled?
As a host or seller, you should anticipate the possibility of a booked session being canceled. A customer may cancel or reschedule an experience up to 24 hours before the session with no penalty.
- Is the Host Free to do Anything During the Session?
No, the host is bound by Amazon Explore Community Guidelines and Amazon’s conditions of use. The hosts may only do things within the guidelines set by Amazon.
- How do you Access Explore Sessions?
As of the moment, customers may only access Explore sessions via laptop or a desktop computer, with at least 5 Mbps or a faster internet connection.
Explore Your Options Today
Amazon Explore offers a new and unique avenue for sellers and entrepreneurs to grow their business amidst the pandemic. As Amazon would put it, with Amazon Explore, “the world is at your fingertips.”