NEW YORK — Shopping online can be great for bargain hunting, but it's not usually thought of as a feast for the senses. A new Amazon.com Inc. site is trying to change this, though, by showcasing some items in a multimedia setting.
The online retailer quietly rolled out Windowshop.com in mid-September, and is updating the site each Tuesday with new, best-selling and hand-picked products.
Visitors are encouraged to use the arrow keys on their keyboards to navigate the site, which features products as vivid rectangles in a checkerboard-like configuration.
Right now, Windowshop includes music, books, video games and movies. You can zoom in on a product to see or hear related content, like a video clip of the movie "Kung Fu Panda" or an audio review of the book "The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled it."
If you want to buy an item, you can click to jump to the product's page on Amazon's main site.
Eva Manolis, Amazon's vice president in charge of the retail customer experience, said Windowshop was intended to feel immersive — something that is hard to do with online shopping, and particularly with Amazon.com, given its scale.
"We wanted to try some new and different things," she said.
Beyond the stand-alone Windowshop site, Amazon is using Windowshop's technology and aesthetics to showcase popular holiday toys and kid-friendly video games and DVDs on a section of the main Amazon site. Manolis said other types of products, such as shoes and apparel, could get featured in the Windowshop style as well.
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