21m People Have Now Visited Nike’s Roblox Store. Here’s How To Do Metaverse Commerce Right

The sportswear giant was one of the first to create its own virtual world where it can sell its own virtual goods. For The Drum’s Evolution of E-Commerce Deep Dive, we look at the lessons to be learned from its success.

Nikeland was one of the first proofs of concept for mainstream metaverse commerce. The virtual world created on Roblox received 7 million visitors in the first two months. It built on the expertise of Nike’s newly acquired Metaverse agency, RTKFT, to enable a gaming experience that was Nike-branded and, crucially, allowed users to purchase virtual goods from Nike itself.

Nike’s digital results — in no small part due to these Metaverse experiences — now account for 26% of total Nike brand sales. And as part of that effort, Nikeland has received over 21 million visitors to date and has been favored by nearly 118,000 players, according to Roblox.

However, given that the Metaverse is still a nascent marketing tool, how long would a Metaverse execution like Nikeland remain viable? Players are constantly looking for new experiences, and the nature of Roblox means these attractions are easy to find.

Winnie Burke is Roblox’s Head of Fashion and Beauty Partnerships. She explains that the viability of a Metaverse experience (like physical retail) depends on new product launches: “Eternal experiences on Roblox — like Gucci Town, Vans World, and Nikeland — keep players coming back for creating something have engaging social spaces with ongoing content updates where fans can discover new products in an authentic and interactive way.

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“Tommy Hilfiger is the latest fashion name to leap into the metaverse with its enduring Tommy Play experience – which is regularly updated, meaning even regulars can always find something new to discover or try. It’s one of the very exciting examples we’ve seen of the fashion industry embracing the metaverse.”

The Tommy Play Experience promotion in Roblox

This need to introduce new products and experiences is an amalgamation of the core principles of retail and gaming. Retail – particularly in the fashion and luxury sectors – is built around the concept of seasonally refreshing apparel lines, while persistent gaming universes like Final Fantasy XIV and Rocket League regularly introduce new environments and game modes.

Daren Tsui, CEO of Together Labs, has argued that successful Metaverse execution requires three key attributes: “It must have presence (social presence), it must be persistent (when users come back there is some sort of continuity and not restart), and finally and most importantly, it must be.” be shared (multiple people must be able to interact in the metaverse).”

In addition to introducing new clothing items, Nikeland emulates gamingRelease and refresh approach of . For example, during NBA All-Star Week, Nike commissioned LeBron James to visit Nikeland, where attendees for physical gameplay were rewarded with the opportunity to unlock virtual products.

So Metaverse Commerce is the center of the Venn diagram between these two disciplines, while the best Metaverse experiences will be those that meet audience expectations of both.

Gucci, for example, recently redesigned the look and feel of its Gucci Town experience as part of its latest Gucci Flora perfume campaign, introducing new challenges and allowing fans to interact with an avatar of brand ambassador Miley Cyrus.

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Burke says, “These brand worlds are an extension of existing social channels that allow fans to connect with brands, creators and community members in exciting, dynamic and ever-changing ways that keep people coming back for more and those experiences to enjoy together their friends.”

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Persistent Worlds

The e-commerce aspect of experiences like Gucci Town and Nikeland has understandably been the focus of much coverage of the Metaverse. Audiences choosing to dress their avatars in paid products is a new concept – at least for those outside of the gaming audience. However, as Burke explains, many brands are instead using their brand experiences on Metaverse platforms to build relationships with audiences they otherwise would not have been exposed to.

She says: “For many brands, the main goal is to build an affinity with Gen Z, which in turn can impact their purchasing decisions in the real world. From our research, we are seeing early signs of how lifestyle experiences from brands on the platform can extend to future interactions with the brand in the physical world.

“For example, we did a virtual focus group where we spoke to people who had attended the Alo Sanctuary experience and almost half said they would ‘probably’ they’ll buy from Alo next time they want gym clothes.”

The Metaverse has drawn on the history of retail and gaming to create a viable new path for e-commerce. However, its future success will require brands to make long-term investments in their Metaverse experiences so that users return as regularly as they would in a real-world store.

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For more on the evolution of e-commerce, check out The Drum’s latest deep dive.

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