When virtual worlds collide: Facebook meets 3D shopping

Simon Mainwaring / Advertising / 7 years ago

If brands and ad agencies were already struggling to create seamless, real-time shopping experiences built around customers’ multi-screen lifestyles, their work just got harder. It is one thing to migrate seamlessly between the on and offline world across multiple devices (PC, tablet, smartphone) to never lose touch with your customer, it is another to reconcile the real world with its new virtual equivalent showcased in Yogurtistan.

It’s beta form was just showcased at DEMO Spring 2012 in California and it provides brands and customers with new challenges and opportunities including:

– Creating customizable avatars that can try on clothes, chat with others, and buy both virtual and real goods using real and virtual currencies such as Facebook credits.

– New coupons, incentives and rewards specific to engagement within the virtual worlds.

– The ability for brands to build customized stores within the virtual world itself.

This is a far cry from simply having a presence within a social game like Farmville using virtual goods that represent your brand. This requires companies to have a deep understanding of virtual life engagement and the ability to layer e-commerce on top of it.

Yogurtistan’s CEO Cemil Turun put it this way:

We are creating a new experience by mimicking real-life engagement by going from store to store without changing a tab, or entering the web site address of the store. This is one centralized system. I can run into a promotion, a friend, or simply begin to chat with a stranger in the street, all of which is accessible on any browser or even an iPad.

It is yet to be seen whether we see the emergence of a virtual shopping world as comprehensive and compelling as the tactile real world, but its plans are being drawn and built. As such brands would be wise to add virtual worlds to their ‘To Do’ skills sets so they can capitalize on all the worlds that their customers choose to inhabit

Do you think 3D shopping will take off? What advantages does it offer brands?



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  1. Avatar eDDi Hughes says:

    My head is going to explode.

  2. Avatar lochwinnoch says:

    I see a huge number of challenges ahead, not least, the requirement for shoppers to learn an entirely new interface, following none of the standards that have developed over several years from test & learn through eCommerce platforms. I can’t think of a single 3D avatar interface that’s worked on a mass scale for anything other than gaming, so the question for me becomes, “is this something that users actually want? Is this the way that they want to browse for, and purchase goods?” 

    Only time will tell, of course, but this feels oddly like boo.com in a different guise…

    1. Thanks, and I hear you. That said, the send life’s of the world continue to prosper so maybe the shopping opportunities will new confined to this users. But I agree, it’s a line call for now. Thanks.

  3. I can’t wait for facebook to drive a Google Maps style image capture device – to scan malls and then provide them online in 3d with the ability to change which stores are in the virtual mall?

    1. Very smart suggestion. I think you just gave them a great idea! Nice one, Patrick.

  4. I believe Zappos started by taking pictures of shoe inventory from actual stores to test its idea of a virtual shoe store. This might be testing the same idea, but for a mall. Given how teenagers gather to shop together, and how parents often want to see the purchases before paying for the clothes with credit cards, there might be a natural market for this.

    1. Agreed. Online behavior is increasingly driving commerce and if teens get behind it the rest will follow. Thanks Michael.

  5. Avatar Rebecca says:

    I’m sure Google has a plan once facebook launch their virtual mall. Let’s see what’s their 
    reaction about it..

    1. I agree. Google never watches idly. There are plans afoot!