For decades, consumers have sought the hottest and trendiest apparel items to show off their tastes to the world, and as the metaverse continues to increase in prominence, brands are betting those fashion preferences will transfer to virtual personas even when no physical items are attached.
In Nikeland, Nike’s virtual world inside of Roblox, for example, users can wear Air Force 1 and Nike Blazer sneakers, as well as other apparel. The athletic apparel giant has a showroom dedicated to hawking this virtual merchandise, not unlike the Nike stores that thousands of real-world shoppers frequent regularly.
And by certain metrics, this virtual merchandise is in high demand. In May, for example, a virtual Gucci bag originally sold for less than $6 began being resold for astronomically higher prices, at one point reaching as high as $4,115. The average price for the purse eventually ended up at $1,578, slightly more than a physical Gucci bag.
To be sure, the Gucci event where this bag was debuted, the Gucci Garden Experience, was originally derided by users for not making all of the items free, but the fact that the items were only sold during specific windows of time helped to create the scarcity and demand that retailers of physical items rely on every day.
And though considered by some to be a “children’s website,” Roblox is actively pursuing an adult audience as it builds out its vision of a gaming platform. Roblox, which went public earlier this year, has become one of the top-grossing iOS and Android apps. It features millions of user-created games that let people interact with their friends while playing.
Other apparel brands have also gotten into the virtual styling game, with Vans in August launching a skatepark experience within the Roblox metaverse that allows players to virtually skate with their friends as well as shop for exclusive Vans gear.
David Ripert, co-founder and CEO of Poplar Studio, told PYMNTS in an interview earlier this year that the metaverse is something brands need to take seriously, especially as tech companies make large investments in the technology. “A brand needs to be ready to deploy their products within those environments,” he said, adding that “it’s all crossing over, the physical and the virtual.”
Ripert noted that VR technology is moving fast, and “the future is … two to five years down the road, which in tech is nothing.”
“It’s something retailers need to experiment with now and start to get ready for because it’s whoever starts first and builds these experiences that’s going to really bring that new generation of consumers into the store,” he said.
Last week, Dyson, best known for its bagless vacuum cleaners, opened a virtual reality (VR) store through Meta’s Oculus device that allows customers to test its hairdryers, straighteners and stylers from the comfort of their home. The Dyson Demo VR was built with the same visualization technology the company uses to prototype, test and develop new products.
Dyson told Reuters in a statement that its virtual-reality showroom is an extension of selling direct to consumers through its 318 stores, and will eventually incorporate fully integrated eCommerce capabilities and the ability to talk to a salesperson.
—————————— NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK About: It’s almost go time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of U.S. consumers plan to make at least some of their purchases online — 13% more than did in 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to learn what is driving online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preference.
NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE 2021 HOLIDAY SHOPPING OUTLOOK
About: It’s almost go time for the holiday shopping season, and nearly 90% of U.S. consumers plan to make at least some of their purchases online — 13% more than did in 2020. The 2021 Holiday Shopping Outlook, PYMNTS surveyed more than 3,600 consumers to learn what is driving online sales this holiday season and the impact of product availability and personalized rewards on merchant preference.