Amazonians push the envelope

3pointD are reporting on the recent news from Supernova 2006 about pioneering ‘Amazonians’. Some Second Life users, who also happen to be Amazon employees, are exploring the potential of “a bridge between Amazon Web services and Second Life so you can go into Second Life and actually try things on there and buy them”. Interesting news indeed.

I have been wondering for a while which existing major online brand will be the first to make the move from e-business to v-business. American Apparel recently announced its virtual store, but if the Amazonians can get their company’s support might Amazon be the first company to really start the blur the boundaries between the real, the online and the virtual marketplace?

The fact that it’s “not being done under the auspices of the company” is not necessarily a bad sign either. The need for early-adopter employees to try some things out before their employer really ‘gets’ something (or can feels it can support it) is something most bleeding edge types can probably relate to.

A tool for browsing and choosing items to be sent to your home in meatspace would be the next baby step for online shopping. At its most basic, using a virtual world to act as a store and shopping cart for existing real life goods will be a refreshing change from current online shopping models, and provides some pretty interesting possibilities for a richer user experience too. In the same way that some booksellers already offer a PDF download while the dead tree is in the post, I wonder how long before Cafepress (or one of their competitors) offers avatarwear as an option for its user-designed products. Here’s my design. I need that on a T-shirt, a cap, oh and something off-the-shoulder for my avatar while I’m waiting.

Gradually, the metaverse matures.

2 thoughts on “Amazonians push the envelope

  1. I think this is an awesome idea and a great way for RL companies to expand their wares in to the virtual world. Maybe you could preview DVDs, videos, and CDs in SL as well, but the real kick is in trying on clothes virtually before you buy them; that’s the what online clothing retail really needs.

    Oh, and the American Apparel store is open in SL now at Lerappa 132/125/24.

  2. As Bezos (creator of Amazon) is a major investor in the company this is indeed the way things seem to be heading.

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