Amazon’s video streaming service Prime Video is dabbling with becoming an e-commerce shopping destination. The retailer announced today it’s launching a virtual shopping experience tied initially to one of its series, “Gen V,” a young adult superhero series and spin-off of the “The Boys.” The company suggests it may offer similar experiences for other Prime Video series and films in the future.
The retailer refers to “Gen V” as its “first experience” involving e-commerce shopping on Prime Video. Here, users can visit the show’s detail page where they can then explore “Gen V’”s fictional Godolkin University via an immersive Virtual Campus Tour and Virtual Campus Store. The tour leads to the student union and a campus store where viewers can purchase Godolkin University merchandise and other dorm room products.
The 360 experience also includes an interactive campus map, information about the superhero statues in the quad, an “orientation” video at the student union, and locations like Vought-a-Burger, dorm rooms, and soon, Dean Shetty’s office.
As users move around the campus store, they can click on items they want to buy which pops up a window to complete the transaction on Amazon.com by clicking the yellow “Buy Now” button.
This immersive virtual experience is only available through a web browser, however, which limits its reach for the time being.
The idea to tie in merch to original content series and films is not unique — Netflix established its own merchandise arm to help it push products tied to popular shows like “Stranger Things,” and now runs its own online storefront at Netflix.shop with apparel, collectibles, toys and more from a range of shows and movies. Hulu also tried launching a shop with ugly holiday sweaters and merch in previous years. And, last year, Disney+ connected its streaming service with an exclusive shop for its subscribers featuring brands like Star Wars, Marvel, Disney Animation Studios, and Pixar which could be shopped directly from the detail pages on the service.
Despite being an e-commerce giant, Amazon hadn’t yet fully immersed itself in marketing its own Prime Video shows and films directly from Prime Video, even though its service has a number of popular originals with dedicated fan bases. That may change as the retailer now hints that “Gen V” will be the first of further efforts in the merch space, noting the new virtual shop is a place where fans can buy merch from “popular Prime Video series and films,” — not just Gen Z.
“The new experience will extend the worlds of Prime Video titles creating convenient, culturally rich environments for customers to discover, learn, experience, and consume more of their favorite stories,” Amazon said.
The new shop is live now in the U.S. and features around 150 items available for purchase, which are delivered via Prime. The merchandise itself hails from Sony Pictures Consumer Products, in collaboration with licensee Ripple Junction, which launched a merchandise program ahead of the Season 1 debut. In addition to “Gen V” merch, Amazon is also now selling officially licensed products from “The Boys” on its retail site.