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How Twitch could build on its Amazon-built merchandise store

Amazon's Twitch now has a merchandise store

Amazon owned live-streaming platform Twitch has bolstered its e-commerce credentials with the unveiling of an online merchandise store that is, at the moment at least, devoted to doling out branded hoodies and other similar purple items of that ilk.

The platform, largely known for its gaming communities, claims to have acknowledged fan demand for Twitch-branded goods with the move, the store launched earlier this week with 18 items ready for sale.

The Drum touched down with the company to learn if the move marks a mere experiment for a larger commercial ecosystem, especially with it being a subsidiary of retail behemoth Amazon.

Jennifer Dabnor, director of private label, licensing at Twitch told The Drum that the company worked together with Amazon to deliver the offering, as such, the team had to “pull together the best customer experience from their large menu of services”.

“Our ability to leverage their fulfillment network and plug into Prime has provided our customers instant gratification after making a purchase,” she added. Fans wanted the merchandise, it was reportedly one of the main requests leveraged by viewers. Further to that existing stocks had already been ripped off the racks at the last two annual TwitchCon conventions.

The mere 18 items on show are a mere skeleton of what can eventually work on the hub. Dabnor admitted: “We are rapidly evolving our product offerings to include more fashion forward interpretations of what it means to be a member of the Twitch community.” Much of this will be based on fan-feedback, especially at TwitchCon 2017 which touches down at Long Beach, California 20-22 October.

Twitch is already offers unique benefits to Amazon Prime subscribers, with in-game loot, currency and more. Furthermore, users have the ability to support a new streamer each month financially through Amazon. Naturally as an outlet for media and games, Amazon perks like free delivery could entice a healthy commercial relationship between the two brands. It builds upon Amazon moving to sell games directly on Twitch in 2016 – a move that saw it pair up game purchase paths with the relevant audiences who often tune into the Let’s Play videos and other content.

When asked if Twitch Streamers will one day be able to integrate their own merch, a valued additional revenue stream for many, Dabnor admitted that there were “a few ideas percolating” in that space, although offered nothing solid at this stage. It took a year to deliver the current merchandise store infrastructure, and it was built out in earnest from December 2016 with a dedicated team. She concluded: “It is still day one and we will continually be evolving and growing.”

Twitch was acquired by Amazon in 2014, for a fee just shy of $1bn. It now boasts more than 100m monthly active viewers.

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