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With shoppers wanting unique experiences the metaverse is one way brands can increase loyalty and engage with shoppers in ways they never have before. Here are five retailers who made unforgettable entrances into the metaverse:
Selfridges X Pokemon Electric/City

More retailers are embarking into the metaverse each week as the virtual world created by Facebook gives brands a way to provide unique experiences for shoppers and staff.

Retail Gazette shines a spotlight on five retailers that have made notable entrances into the metaverse.


Selfridges

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon, Selfridges teamed up with clothing brand Charli Cohen to launch Electric/City, a virtual city where shoppers can browse for exclusive virtual and physical products.

Inspired by the fashion capitals of the world with a cyberpunk spin, visitors are immersed in the 3D environment where they can create custom avatars to watch virtual performances and shop from augmented reality merchandise vans.

Pieces from the physical collection include hoodies, jackets and t-shirts starring Pokémon character Pikachu. Once purchased, buyers can access exclusive Snapchat filters attached to each product and use Snapchat’s AR technology to digitally wear the garment.


Gymshark

In January, Gymshark went viral on Linkedin after its chief brand officer Noel Mack posted  a video on the platform showing himself and the sportswear giant’s founder and chief executive Ben Francis hold a meeting in the metaverse for the first time.

The footage showed both Mack and Francis’ avatars sitting in a virtual meeting room and getting to grips with the revolutionary new technology.

Mack’s avatar is heard saying that he believes the software is “a step ahead of Zoom,” which exploded over the pandemic as businesses were forced to work remotely.

During the short clip, the two executives change their surroundings swiftly to demonstrate how avatars can move into virtual rooms.


Benetton

In February, Benetton revealed it would make its first foray into the metaverse with it’s own online ‘store’.

The fashion brand even transformed its physical store on Corso Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, turning it completely pink to make it match the virtual store.

While visitors can’t actually buy any clothes in the metaverse, there will be various gaming experiences that will allow them to collect QR codes. These QR codes can then be used when making purchases in Benetton’s physical stores.

“In this way, the brand creates an additional connection point with the consumer, strengthening the omnichannel strategy,” said Benetton Group chief digital officer Antonio Patrissi.

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Nike

While brands such as Boohoo, Vans and Tommy Hilfiger have partnered with online game sharing platform Roblox to make their entrances into the metaverse, Nike took it a step further unveiling a bespoke, immersive world called Nikeland in Roblox late last year, inspired by the sporting giant’s real-life headquarters in Oregon.

The virtual world features Nike buildings, arenas and fields where players can compete in mini-games including dodgeball, tag and ‘the floor is lava’.

A digital showroom also lets users dress their virtual characters in Nike’s latest digital products including classics such as the brand’s Air Force 1, Nike Blazer, Air Force 1 Fontanka and Air Max 2021.


Forever 21

Forever 21 also made its own entry into the metaverse with Roblox, launching Forever 21 Shop City at the end of last year.

In an interesting twist, users can experience owning and managing their own Forever 21 store in the virtual world, selling merchandise, hiring non-player characters as employees, and customising the store including its product offer, location and interior design.

As users progress through the game, they will earn points that can be used to expand their store or to unlock customised options. The 21st of each month will also be Forever 21 Day, with new themed content and activities.

Whenever a Forever 21 collection launches, it will also be simultaneously released in the metaverse, to be worn and sold by the virtual avatars.

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