Now: The SEPHORiA Virtual House of Beauty is a hybrid meta-commerce experience where customers can explore various virtual rooms loaded with branded content. In these rooms, they can learn about and follow tutorials on how to use products in their Experience Kits – boxes brimming with real beauty samples sent to each Virtual House participant. Elsewhere, virtual store developer Obsess has created more than 100 virtual stores for brands including Dermalogica, NARS and Charlotte Tilbury. Having recently attracted investment, the company is scaling up to cater for growing demand from fashion and beauty brands.
Next: In the future brands could opt for branded virtual hubs over traditional e-commerce platforms – spaces where they can engage digitally native consumers who are unmoved by traditional marketing practices. Pointing to this is P&G Beauty’s BeautySphere, an informative ‘responsible beauty’ platform giving background on the ingredients, packaging and people behind its brands, alongside the company’s diversity and inclusion and corporate social responsibility efforts. ‘Through these fully immersive, digital experiences, visitors can interact with our brands in surprising, engaging new ways,’ says P&G Beauty CEO Alex Keith.
Now: Virtual brand events in open-source metaverse spaces such as Decentraland not only allow beauty labels to showcase products but also help them to communicate their values to brand fans and new audiences. During Valdé Beauty’s 500-person Decentraland launch event, buyers of its new lipstick were gifted a free matching NFT and access to the newly created Valdé NFT Collective. By providing this add-on, Valdé united digital art and cosmetics, while also showcasing the brand beyond the beauty world. ‘This event [has] allowed me to potentially build connection and community with other people that are not necessarily my Valdé [customer] base,’ explains Margarita Arriagada, founder of Valdé Beauty.
Next: In the future, metaverse pop-ups will become part of brands’ long-term marketing strategies and experience offerings. In these spaces they will build communities and opportunities, not just hype. SK-II’s Japan-inspired virtual world will be a permanent fixture in its brand universe and will continue to grow. ‘We were less concerned about cash outlay and more about our customers who are seeking more differentiated experiences online,’ says YoeGin Chang, senior brand director at SK-II.
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