Travel the World Virtually with Amazon Explore
Nostalgic about the days you could explore ancient ruins or peruse local boutiques from around the world? Wish you could learn how to make homemade pasta from a local Italian chef? With Amazon Explore, “the world is at your fingertips” — right from the comfort of your couch.
As of last September, US customers can sign up for live virtual experiences hosted by local experts from around the world. Currently offered in public beta, the Amazon Explore page allows customers and experts alike to connect through one-on-one live sessions — as if they were actually in person.
With one-way video and two-way audio, these sessions are meant to give the viewer the feeling of really being there. They range from 30 – 60 minutes and are focused on creativity, learning DIY skills, taking virtual tours of cultural landmarks or shopping local boutiques from around the world. For example, a customer can book a virtual wine tasting experience in Argentina, learn how to make smoked fish tacos in Mexico, take a virtual tour of Kyoto’s Nanzenji temple, learn about coffee creation in Costa Rica, and so much more.
Sign-up for the service is easy — simply sign into your Amazon account and browse through the many offerings listed on the Amazon Explore page. Once you find the experience you’re looking for, book your preferred time and date. When the time comes for your session, click into the Your Session page from the Your Orders section to get started. At the moment, sessions can be booked via mobile, however, Amazon explore sessions can only be accessed by desktop.
Once your session begins, you’re able to customize your experience by communicating with the host. You can even take pictures using the camera icon at the bottom of the live stream. Some sessions are even shopping-enabled, where you can make purchases from local stores and markets, as if you were shopping on Amazon directly. Payments are handled with Amazon’s secure payment system using the payment method associated with the customer’s account. The host is then reimbursed accordingly.
Pricing for each session is variable. For example, a styling session has been offered for $10, while a tour of Central Park has been offered at $150. Hosts set their own prices and hours without having to abide to a set minimum or maximum, enabling more opportunities for small business owners looking to generate additional income.
At launch, Amazon Explore offered 86 experiences across 16 countries. Their arsenal of experiences is continuously growing, so keep checking the page to see all of the different ways you can travel the world virtually. With Amazon Explore, the world is truly at your fingertips.
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