What do Alo Yoga, Gucci, Walt Disney, Nike, Vans, Tommy Hilfiger, and Walmart have in common?
They spent the last year targetting 67m Gen Z via virtual showroom experiences.
Did it work? What’s the takeaway, and should you join in?
Where are these virtual showroom experiences?
The metaverse. It's certainly a buzzworthy term. It encompasses 3D digital spaces where people can socialize, work, play games, and even buy and sell virtual goods. Some of the most popular platforms in the metaverse include Roblox, Decentraland, and Sandbox.
While virtual environments can be encountered on a variety of platforms, this blog post is specifically dedicated to exploring experiences within the world of Roblox.
I undoubtedly enjoyed an amazing rollerblading experience in the metaverse, and I have the screenshots at the bottom of this thread to prove it!
For those of you interested in exploring web-based virtual experiences outside of Roblox, be sure to check out Bloomingdale’s immersive virtual department store as well as the recently unveiled Pricewaterhouse Decentraland.
Roblox is available on any device from mobile phones, your computer, or gaming console: roblox.com
How big is Roblox?
Roblox Statistics (Q1 2023)
- 67.3 million daily active users and around 214 million monthly active users
- Roblox registered a revenue of $2.22 billion in 2022
- Nearly 80% of Roblox users are under the age of 16
- User spends about 2.6 hours on Roblox every day
^^ The key metrics are age and daily usage
Is it working?
Certainly, in terms of experimentation, brand awareness, and learning, but not in terms of short-term ROI.
Should your brand invest resources and effort into this emerging channel?
Absolutely. The emergence of the metaverse and the rise of virtual showrooms are trends that warrant close attention. However, it’s important to approach them with careful consideration when it comes to allocating effort and budget. The key is to understand your business, customers, and objectives.
It appears some brands scaled back on their Metaverse projects may have encoutered challenges such as misaligned KPIs amongst stakeholders, unrealistic expectations, or ran into unanticipated issues (such as consumer advocacy groups calling for audits of Walmart’s Roblox game due to ‘stealth marketing’ targeting children).
For smaller direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, it may not be advisable to allocate time or resources to this endeavor. However, assigning a community manager or marketing team member to spend a certain number of hours per month to keep an eye on trends and opportunities could be a beneficial strategy. Or you could always join my newsletter to get regular updates.
As with any emerging channel, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, whether it’s to learn, prove or disprove something, with well-defined KPIs, timelines, and planning.
It’s worth noting that this is a strategy that requires a long-term mindset. While setting up a complete showroom may not be the best approach, investing a few hours each month to observe how other brands are tackling the challenge and discovering ways to incorporate those insights into your own brand could prove beneficial.
What about during a recession?
In the current economic cycle, there may be opportunities for research or collaboration with other brands or companies that promote learning and internal e-commerce growth, without committing significant amounts of capital, time, or resources. How? It could be as simple as migrating your 3D product renders with a game developer or part of an in-play game challenge.
It’s evident that in the near future, omnichannel strategies will involve 3D environments and personalized AR/VR experiences. With brands stepping back, there may be a promising opportunity to capitalize on or join the growth of emerging platforms.
Gen Z definitely seems to love laid-back interactive experiences, and I’ve gotta say, I was personally caught off guard by the huge number of plays they got—especially the Alo Yoga environment.
Keep scrolling to view screenshots that will surely spark some ideas and current usage stats by showroom.
Roblox Brand Experiences
Check out the screenshots — it shows the stats for each room!
As of May 01, 2023, here are the play stats for Roblox games, listed from the highest play count to the lowest.
Alo Yoga Sanctuary
Alo Yoga Sanctuary
Are you experimenting with Roblox or virtual shopping experiences?