Amazon rolls out a new travel platform to help customers explore destinations from the comfort of their couch. Through Amazon Explore, users can sign up to see and shop different stores, restaurants, and experiences anywhere in the world.
Amazon Explore allows customers to “visit” anywhere from Mexico to Tokyo from their smartscreen. Explorers can sign up to take virtual classes with local tour guides, shop owners, or regional experts, creating an opportunity for travel adventure hard to come by during the Coronavirus pandemic. Currently, Amazon offers experiences like virtual walking tours around Prague, visits to Costa Rica’s Toucan Rescue Ranch, or empanada-making lessons with renowned chefs in Argentina. The variety of experiences could help Amazon Explore appeal to a wide array of audiences and become a one-stop adventure shop for homebound travelers, according to a Gartner report. The tech titan categorizes the experiences by region, category, and price to help visitors find exactly what they are looking for, with most classes ranging from 30-90 minutes at an average price of $45.
Amazon Explore could help wanderlusters get their fill while international travel remains impractical during the pandemic. Not only do the experiences help consumers try something new, but the initiative could boost sales for small businesses around the world and raise Amazon’s image as a leader in travel marketing. Amazon integrated its Explore platform into its website, which could make it easier for users to find. The platform’s launch signals a shift in how Amazon continues to reach consumers during the Coronavirus pandemic. While it has been leaning into its delivery and grocery services, Amazon Explore could represent a rise in consumer demand for travel content, particularly as the industry is slow to return to a pre-pandemic normal. Amazon Explore could face competition in the virtual tourist market, however, as Airbnb also launched a similar initiative in May. While both platforms may appeal to homebound travelers, Amazon could set itself apart by offering experiences at lower price points.
Amazon Explore represents the state of travel in 2020 by providing a safe and unique alternative for at-home adventurers. With its new travel enterprise, Amazon could expand its global reach and connect with consumers through exclusive, virtual experiences.