Amazon's new service lets users buy physical items in games and apps
Amazon is launching a new immersive shopping experience called "Amazon Anywhere," the company announced on Tuesday. The service brings Amazon's online marketplace to video games and mobile apps, starting with Niantic's new real-world augmented reality game Peridot.
With Amazon Anywhere, the company will allow users on gaming, mobile and AR applications to discover and buy physical products from Amazon without having to leave the game or app. Peridot players now can link their Amazon account to the game and purchase a t-shirt. For context, Peridot is a pet simulator, but it takes place completely within augmented reality (AR). You can feed, play with, walk, breed and socialize with your Peridots.
"After seamlessly linking your Amazon account to Peridot, you can find Peridot-branded products such as T-shirts, hoodies, phone accessories, and throw pillows featuring artwork of magical creatures from the game," the company wrote in a blog post. "You’ll see the familiar product details, images, availability, Prime eligibility, price, and estimated delivery date as you would in Amazon stores."
Once you select the "buy" button, you can check out using your linked Amazon account without leaving the game. Products will ship to you like any other purchase from Amazon, and you can track and manage orders via the Amazon app.
Amazon notes that most shopping in virtual worlds is currently limited to purchases of virtual currency and in-game digital items, but it wants to start offering users the option to buy physical products, which is why it's launching the new offering.
Today's announcement indicates that Amazon is looking to expand its reach beyond its online marketplace by engaging with users in new ways. Earlier this year, the company expanded its Buy with Prime service to U.S.-based merchants. The service, which allows third-party merchants to offer Prime benefits like free shipping and returns on their own apps, was initially only available to those merchants who were already using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to handle their shipping and logistics.