Amazon launches immersive shopping experience

Amazon Anywhere will let shoppers buy physical goods from games or other virtual experiences without exiting the app.
A person holding a phone shows Amazon Anywhere in the Peridot app.
  • Amazon has launched Amazon Anywhere, a new immersive shopping experience.
  • The e-commerce giant says Anywhere can be built into games and virtual worlds, allowing players to shop for real-world goods.
  • It’s launching with Peridot, a new game from the creators of Pokémon Go. 

Amazon this month launched Amazon Anywhere, a new immersive shopping experience that lets shoppers browse physical goods from virtual experiences, such as games or apps. 

According to a May 9 blog post authored by Steve Downer, Amazon’s vice president of consumer electronics, Anywhere will first appear in “Peridot,” a new augmented reality game from Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go. Downer said the game includes virtual, artificial intelligence-powered pets. It will have a virtual merchandise store that will sell real-world products, like t-shirts, hoodies, phone accessories and throw pillows that include art from the game. 

Consumers can link their Amazon account to the Peridot game and can get product details, images, availability information, Amazon Prime status, price and delivery information — the same info they’d see if they were shopping through Amazon directly, the blog post said. Customers can manage their orders via the Amazon app, according to the retailer.

“We’re creating a new landscape for shoppable entertainment and digital experiences while continuing to meet our customers where they are, with the products they love,” Downer wrote in the blog post. “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.” 

Amazon’s entry into virtual shopping follows other retailers who have worked to sell products in games or other digital worlds — typically called the metaverse, though the push toward creating experiences for the metaverse has largely cooled during the past year following initial interest in the space fueled in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. Walmart, for example, this year pulled one of its metaverse experiences just about six months after launching it. 

Amazon says the new tools will benefit the developers of games and virtual worlds, as they can focus on building virtual experiences without having to worry about logistics associated with e-commerce, like selection, shipping and order fulfillment. In addition to offering their own products through Amazon Anywhere, developers will also have access to Amazon’s existing selection, the blog post said.