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Liminal retail: digitising physical shopping

How retailers are bringing the metaverse into the physical world

High-profile retailers are adding a digital layer to physical shopping, reimagining the storefront shopper experience.

Now, physical retailers are taking note of what the digital realm can offer in-person shoppers.

Image showing Nikeland's Roblox experience

Nike introduced the Nikeland Roblox experience to its NYC flagship store in January 2022. The first floor of Nike’s NYC House of Innovation was transformed into an augmented reality version of Nikeland.

Shoppers used Snapchat Lenses to alter their own 3D avatars with Nike products, play Nikeland’s Pachinko Obby Ball and compete in an AR-enabled version of the ‘floor is lava,’ like the game offered on Roblox, adding an interactive layer to the traditional storefront format.

“We see big opportunity in taking the reality around you and layering the digital world on top of it,” says Carolina Arguelles Navas, Group Product Marketing Manager at Snap AR. “From shopping experiences to travel, there’s an endless opportunity to take the power of digital content and layer this onto the physical world around you.”

Image showing Savage x Fenty's metaverse stoe

Savage X Fenty’s new storefront blends physical shopping and interactive digital experiences that allow shoppers to visualise themselves as avatars. Using AR body scans, Savage X Fenty offers patrons personalised product recommendations based on their body size and shape, displayed on a 3D body scan.

The technology, by Fit:Match, allows customers to shop on their own terms and move seamlessly between the unique Savage immersive retail experience and the convenient online interaction they already love.

Retailer Fred Segal introduced Artcade in December: the retailer’s first liminal shopping experience. In collaboration with Subnation, the Sunset Boulevard flagship now has a new, Web3 shopping format that fuses the physical and digital worlds. Digital skins, crypto art and NFTs will accompany the store’s physical items and can be purchased using cryptocurrency. Artcade will also showcase monthly programmes including NFT exhibitions, AR trunk shows, esports and live performances.

Fred Segal CEO and owner Jeff Lotman referenced a “massive transformation in the retail industry,” which inspired the brand “to completely reimagine how consumers will shop.” By leveraging interactive AR technology in physical spaces, brands are attracting creative talent and reinventing in-store consumer engagement.

Carla Calandra

Wunderman Thompson

published on

01 March 2022


Experience Technology & innovation

Related Topics

Augmented reality Ecommerce Retail The metaverse

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