From virtual to virtual and vice versa: the retail business of the future will bridge the gap

What if the real and the virtual were more closely related than they seem? To anchor your digital strategy into reality, here are four strategies Retailers in the metaverse untie

Today, 9 out of 10 companies are accelerating their meta investments, and according to a study conducted by Meta, in June 2021, 75% of business leaders see augmented and virtual reality deployed in their strategies by 2023. Among the most active sectors, retail has proven itself As a major introduction to these technologies, with effective use cases laying the foundation for a hybrid world, in particular thanks to augmented and virtual reality. From ready-to-wear to home furnishings, including makeup and in-store experience, retailers are already experimenting with and adopting these extended realities. Focus on four ways these technologies can be mobilized by brands to unlock new opportunities.

Display products in your daily life

Also according to a Meta study, two-thirds of today’s digital shoppers say they want to be able to try and use products virtually, without leaving their homes. Good news: Technologies like augmented reality could allow them to grab it with just a smartphone. This technology has tremendous power in personalization, and it opens up many opportunities around product consideration for brands. Prenons exemple sur le make-up: le virtue et le réel se rencontrent dans l’hybride, grâce à des applications qui permettent d’essayer en virtuel du maquillage réel avant de se le procurer, ou de se poudrer virtuellement avant le des ne On-line. Cosmetics giant L’Oreal is not wrong and has been investing in augmented reality technologies since 2012. In 2020, in the video conferencing boom, L’Oreal, in partnership with Virtue, has launched makeup filters to be applied over Zoom. To launch a file red signatureL’Oréal Paris has not hesitated to rely on the Meta Spark AR platform to publish a series of augmented reality advertisements, allowing consumers to try on the latest shades of lipstick without leaving the wires. Facebook News. A strategy that also proved a winner for Michael Kors, which allowed its customers to try on sunglasses in advertisements and make a purchase with a single click. Thus the brand received a 20-point increase in advertising recall. In the home segment, Castorama has launched an augmented reality filter on Facebook and Instagram to allow its customers to test furniture in their environment. The brand specifically tested this feature on mobile partitions in order to make the interiors modular. A complex scope for selling online but becoming more accessible thanks to these tools welcomed the Marketing Director and Digital Director. A feature that also attracted the decor and furniture e-commerce platform Made.com! The result: 2.5 times more purchases and 40% more memorable ads.

Faced with such success, can we imagine that augmented reality will be the future of fashion? Thus, the Auroboros brand, in addition to its 100% virtual creations, offers digital clothing for mixed photo shoots on Instagram. Nature or sci-fi-inspired outfits flesh-and-blood influencers can stick their shots. The same principle at Républiqe, a virtual clothing brand that offers bubble or matching evening dresses and thigh-high boots all in pixels. Ephemeral creative fashion with an ultra-light carbon footprint.

Redefining access to content and spaces

We explored it in the previous article on the file: the metaverse opens up the possibility to build and open up to new worlds – and one of VR’s strengths is undoubtedly its ability to transport us there with the most complete immersion, without leaving your everyday life. Creating a virtual tag in the metaverse is made possible, and advertisers are flocking to these new spaces for creation, sales, and interaction. In France, Carrefour was the first to purchase 82,000 virtual square meters in early 2022 on The Sandbox platform. A new address will allow her to experience new forms of interaction, exchange and work with her clients. In the United States, Wendy’s fast-food chain made a name for itself by opening the Wendyverse last April in Horizon worlds Di Meta, a virtual space to meet up with friends, play basketball or order a bacon egg sandwich, to be picked up at IRL.

If you can create space in the metaverse, you can obviously also organize events there – an opportunity that fashion is quick to seize. The most recent example, the first Fashion Week (MVFW) was held at the end of March in Decentraland. An opportunity for fashion brands to experience this new environment and scroll through their avatars on a 3D catwalk or even to invest in the Fashion Street District, a fashion district where brands showcase their virtual creations in showcases, including virtual ones. Balenciaga was one of the first brands to stage a virtual reality show during Fashion Week 2021, sending out Meta Quest 2 headphones to all attendees.

If the retail space invests in the metaverse, the latter also calls itself in the physical spaces. These experiences reach real world stores. Thus, Farfetch has been developing the store of the future since 2017 and publishing it for brands. Thus, the platform supported Chanel, with the implementation of augmented reality technologies in 2019 in its Parisian boutique. Among the main functions are the possibility of contacting the customer upon arrival at the store, shelves with RFID technology for product identification and above all a connected mirror which makes it possible to provide customers with more information such as excerpts from fashion shows or suggestions for accessories. In 2021, the Browns department store in London, in turn, called on Farfetch to support it in deploying such technologies.

Create synergy between universes

If these new technologies transcend screens and boundaries, they also transcend the boundaries of universes we imagine to be more distant, such as gaming and luxury. We can mention Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with the video game league of legends, which the fashion house envisioned having a limited-edition leather edition in 2019. In addition to this virtual collection, the French luxury house has created a physical collection associated with a line of clothing and leather goods in the colors of the video game. In 2021, it’s Balenciaga’s turn to bridge the gap between the real and the virtual with its collection of skins for It is an electronic game, again, accompanied by a physical line of branded hoodies and T-shirts bearing the name of the game. An opportunity for brands to marry a new world and find their audience in unexpected spaces.

Rely on the experience of the creators

Content creators have real experience in their field, demonstrate credibility, and are a great tool for brands that want to think outside the box. Take, for example, the Sephora Collection, which has teamed up with neuroscientist Jessica Harrington to create a series of sensory augmented reality ads that can stimulate olfactory memories. The textures, colours, shapes and movements of these creations were developed to represent the different fragrance ingredients – a simultaneous blend that allowed audiences to customize fragrances in a context where store access was more difficult.

Meta, for its part, used Club Med’s travel experience to explore the possibilities of RayBan Stories, the Meta connected glasses developed in partnership with Ray-Ban. And so, Club Med takes us to the Alps, where content creators give us excitement amidst the powder.

Whether we decide to invest the real by increasing it origins Virtual, or on the contrary to separate themselves from the physical world to create other world experiences, brands seize extended realities to discover opportunities, with boldness and creativity. One prerequisite: these experiences tell a story that has real meaning for the brand.

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