Le Printemps has just announced that it is setting foot in the metaverse. The department stores that operate the Parisian brand – the most emblematic of which is located on Boulevard Haussmann – have opened their own 3D virtual store that offers immersive experiences and showcases products in a dreamlike world. Morgan Lopez, who is responsible for managing the project, explains what prompted her to start.
What prompted you to launch this virtual store?
Morgan Lopez: There is a boom now around the metaverse and the idea is not to put everything on the same level. If Printemps decides to invest in this area, it is above all aiming to recreate the magic of the customer experience. Last March, we announced the launch of the brand new “Everything Begins in Spring” platform to create memories in-store and online.
When Facebook became official Meta I realized the need to launch our virtual store. For us, it’s a sign that the metaverse is an opportunity to reconnect with the customer and offer them a new shopping experience.
Concretely, it is a kind of decentralized mini metaverse that is not hosted by well-known players in the sector such as Decentraland, The Sandbox or Roblox. Useradgents – who have already taken care of redesigning our e-commerce business – commissioned us with a 3D studio to create our metaverse. There is a bit of a mystery about these topics and we wondered how to deploy them while simplifying access to Web3.
At the same time, we asked French artist Romain Frouquet to create a set of NFTs. People who have purchased a product from our one-stop shop can enter a raffle to try to win one of the NFTs.
Is this a new way to attract more young customers?
Obviously, this is a way to attract new customers – in this case young people – but not only. We also generally wish to offer Web3 for the first time to our customers. Our role is to decentralize the topic and make it accessible through an educational and educational approach.
Does the outbreak of the metaverse mean the end of physical sales channels for you?
Just like the revolutions of Web 1.0 and 2.0, I honestly don’t think Web3 is the end of the physical store. Even if we someday have VR headsets in our homes, this will not replace human contact.
The free Personal Shopper service shows it well: the number of people who need fashion support today is very large. We will never get rid of this physical need and Covid has also reminded us of how important personal contact is.
Web3 is a powerful opportunity for brands to question and create. Personally, I love the fact that our customers come together for coffee to talk about the immersive experiences we have been able to offer them. Now, democratization is still needed because we are still groping and there is still a long way to go to justify brands’ presence on the metaverse.
Brands are becoming aware of the metaverse’s interest, but not all of them have time to get started. That’s why we also like to be facilitators to accompany brands to take their first steps there.
Don’t we risk with Web3 going back to the speculative setbacks that contributed to the bursting of the Internet bubble in the 2000s?
Our parents were hesitant to reveal their lives on social networks and today they are all on Facebook. Today, Meta is launching a beta version to bring NFTs to its platforms. I am waiting to see the business model to be built around these projects, especially since cryptocurrencies are assets that sometimes remain unstable. But shopping malls are already collapsing: Beaugrenelle, for example, accepts payments for cryptocurrency purchases in its stores.
Whatever the case, with the announcement of the death of the cookie, Web3 can nicely sculpt the digital marketing of the future. Without a doubt, zero-party data (voluntarily inherited data) will prevail and our client portfolio will allow us to better understand their expectations.