How a virtual experience can be used to create a community

May 12, 2023
8 min read

Virtual experiences have sparked a revolution in the realm of online shopping, reshaping the way we connect and breaking down physical barriers. Whether you’re exploring virtual events, engaging in dynamic online forums, or immersing yourself in interactive platforms, the digital landscape offers an extraordinary opportunity to connect, collaborate, shop, and indulge in your favorite brands. 

Within this article, we will delve into the realm of virtual experiences and their significant role in nurturing dynamic communities. Emphasizing the crucial necessity of these communities for brands to achieve success. Our exploration will encompass how these experiences facilitate the gathering of individuals, ignite the exchange of ideas, cultivate profound connections, and cater to shopping aspirations.

Fostering connections and collaboration

In the vibrant world of virtual stores and the metaverse, collaborations and connections hold the key to unlocking boundless creativity, forging groundbreaking partnerships, and co-creating captivating virtual products and services.

In the metaverse, where users can interact and engage in shared virtual spaces, fostering connections and collaboration becomes even more vital for brands to tap into the vast potential of this interconnected digital realm. By encouraging social interactions, brands can unlock new possibilities, create unique experiences, and build a thriving presence in the metaverse.

Tommy Hilfiger serves as a shining example of how brands can effectively collaborate and connect with communities through the implementation of a virtual store. Partnering with Emperia, the premium lifestyle brand has embarked on an extraordinary venture, coinciding with Metaverse Fashion Week 2023. This groundbreaking initiative seamlessly merges Tommy Hilfiger’s official website with renowned metaverse platforms such as Decentraland, Roblox, Spatial, DressX, and Ready Player Me. The result is an unparalleled, immersive shopping experience that transcends platform boundaries, providing a streamlined and user-friendly interface. 

Tommy Hilfiger X Emperia

Tommy Hilfiger’s innovative approach captivates its target audience and enables a high level of engagement within the metaverse community. This collaboration showcases the brand’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of digital retail, creating unforgettable experiences, and extending its market presence.

Listen to Emperia’s latest captivating livestream webinar where we delve into the fascinating story behind the collaboration of Tommy Hilfiger’s groundbreaking multi-metaverse store. Join our Partnerships Director, Fiona Disegni, as she hosts an enlightening discussion with industry leaders from Tommy Hilfiger, DressX, The Sandbox, and other renowned experts. 

Embracing gamification and web3

Gamification has become a prevalent trend among online shoppers, delivering enhanced shopping experiences and significant benefits for brands. With the integration of game-like elements such as challenges, rewards, leaderboards, and badges into the shopping journey, gamification captivates individuals by tapping into their natural inclination for competition, achievement, and enjoyment. This approach has gained even more prominence with the emergence of Web3 technologies, which bring decentralized and blockchain-powered experiences to the forefront. Web3 and gamification combined offer unparalleled opportunities for brands to foster deeper engagement, loyalty, and interaction with their customers, as they embrace the exciting possibilities of immersive, decentralized, and interactive online experiences.

Drawing inspiration from Lacoste’s virtual experience, brands can create a robust community by embracing gamification and offering exclusive rewards. At the heart of their virtual store is a distinctive token-gated room, reserved solely for VIP customers who possess a Lacoste NFT and are part of Lacoste’s Web3 community, UNDW3. The room enticed customers to return and discover fresh surprises throughout the month. The inclusion of ‘loot’ boxes introduces an element of thrill, enabling customers to collect and compete for valuable prizes. By seamlessly blending gamification, exclusive access, and community-building elements, Lacoste cultivates a sense of exclusivity and nurtures a vibrant community within the VIP room, fostering ongoing engagement with their esteemed customers.

Lacoste NFT room X Emperia

It transforms the mundane act of shopping into an interactive and immersive experience that keeps customers engaged and entertained. Gamification encourages shoppers to actively participate, explore different products, and strive to unlock rewards or achieve higher levels. This heightened engagement leads to increased time spent on the brand’s website or app, boosting customer retention and loyalty. Brands like Walgreens, eBay, Threadless, and others have witnessed a significant boost in engagement and loyalty, with gamification tactics increasing these metrics by an impressive 30%.

Gamification isn’t just a game-changer for boosting conversion rates; it’s a data goldmine for brands! By immersing shoppers in an interactive and thrilling experience, gamification enables brands to uncover precious insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and buying habits. Armed with this treasure trove of data, brands can craft personalized recommendations and supercharge their targeted marketing efforts.

Promoting knowledge and learning opportunities in your virtual store

As online shopping continues to gain momentum, it becomes increasingly clear that customers have higher expectations when it comes to their online shopping experiences. 

One aspect that stands out prominently is the desire for detailed product information. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can physically interact with products and rely on knowledgeable sales associates, the online shopping landscape presents a different challenge. Customers rely heavily on the information provided on product pages to make informed purchasing decisions.

Emperia recognizes that the more transparent and informative brands are in their product presentations, the greater the likelihood that customers will feel confident in their buying decisions. Emperia empowers brands to provide these opportunities in various ways, including:

  • Engaging videos that showcase product demonstrations, step-by-step tutorials, or behind-the-scenes insights.
  • Hosting online events, webinars, or workshops that educate customers about the brand, industry trends, or specific product usage tips.
  • Providing a platform for customers to share their reviews and ratings, helping others make informed decisions.

Popular skincare brand Tatcha provides a great example for other brands to draw inspiration from. In their 4D virtual store, set against the serene ambiance of a Japanese hinoki forest and surrounded with lifelike 3D products, Tatcha goes the extra mile by incorporating explainer videos and skincare tutorials for their audiences. 

One video, in particular, includes the founder of Tatcha, Vicky Tsai, who personally demonstrates the best practices and techniques for achieving radiant skin. By having the brand’s founder directly involved in these tutorials, Tatcha adds a touch of authenticity and expertise, establishing a deeper connection with its customers. 

Tatcha X Emperia

These video demos serve as a valuable addition to their virtual store, offering skincare lovers a visual and interactive way to learn about their products and skincare routines. By including such engaging content, Tatcha not only enhances the overall shopping experience but also educates and empowers its customers, helping them make informed choices and achieve optimal skincare results when using their products.

Harnessing the power of social media

In the current era of digitalization, it is of paramount importance for brands to actively connect and engage with their target audiences on various social media platforms.

The presence of social media platforms such as Twitter, Discord, LinkedIn, and others provides brands with a diverse range of possibilities to cultivate thriving communities. These platforms enable brands to forge authentic connections with their customers, fostering unwavering loyalty to the brand. Through active engagement, brands can tap into the invaluable potential of customer feedback, addressing concerns and gaining profound insights into the ever-evolving needs, preferences, and behaviors of their target audience. Additionally, these dynamic platforms serve as arenas where brands can proudly exhibit their unique offerings, share real-time updates, and establish an authentic and transparent presence that deeply resonates with customers on a personal level.

Harnessing the power of social media goes hand in hand with establishing a virtual store. A virtual store provides brands with the opportunity to reach a wider audience, breaking geographical barriers and enabling 24/7 accessibility. As an illustration, according to Meta’s data, 83% of Instagram users report finding new brands while using the platform. Brands can leverage visual content, videos, and user-generated content to demonstrate the value and appeal of their virtual store offerings. By sharing compelling and informative content and encouraging visitors to the same, brands can pique the interest of their social media followers and entice them to explore the virtual store.

By implementing these strategies, brands can effectively engage their audience on social media, encouraging them to explore and visit their virtual store, resulting in increased traffic, conversions, and business growth.

The Future of Community Building through Virtual Experiences

As technology continues to advance and reshape the way we connect, brands have the opportunity to create vibrant and inclusive communities through virtual platforms.

The potential for community building through virtual experiences is immense, enabling brands to cultivate loyalty, gather valuable insights, and create a lasting impact. As we move forward, embracing the possibilities of virtual community building will be essential for brands to thrive in the digital era and create immersive, engaging, and inclusive spaces for their audiences.

To explore how Emperia can enhance your brand’s revenue, schedule a personalized demo with our team of experts today.

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