Le Printemps just announced he’s stepping into the metaverse. The Parisian brand that manages the department stores, the most emblematic of which is located on Boulevard Haussmann, opens its 3D virtual store that offers immersive experiences and presents products in a dreamlike universe. In charge of project management, Morgane Lopes explains what motivated her to start.
What prompted you to launch this virtual shop?
Morgan Lopez: There is a boom right now around the metaverse and the idea is not to put everything on the same level. If Printemps has decided to invest in this field, it is above all with a view to re-enchanting the customer experience. Last March we announced the launch of a new “It all starts in spring” brand platform for creating in-store and online memories.
It was when Facebook officially became a Meta that I realized the need to launch our virtual store. For us it is a sign that the metaverse is an opportunity to reconnect with the customer and offer them a new shopping experience.
Concretely, it is a sort of decentralized mini metaverse and which is not hosted by well-known players in the sector such as Decentraland, The Sandbox or even Roblox. The Useradgents agency – which has already taken care of the restyling of our e-commerce business – has commissioned a 3D studio to create our metaverse. There is some mystery surrounding these topics, and we wondered how to popularize by simplifying access to Web3.
At the same time, we asked the French artist Romain Froquet to create a collection of NFTs. People who have purchased a product on our immersive store can then enter a raffle to try and win one of the NFTs.
Is this a new way to attract more young customers?
This is obviously a way to attract new customers – in this case younger – but not only. We also generally want to offer a first time in Web3 to our customers. Our role is to desacralize the subject and make it accessible through a didactic and tutorial approach.
Does the eruption of the metaverse mean the end of physical sales channels for you?
Just like the Web 1.0 and 2.0 revolutions, I honestly don’t think Web3 is the end of the physical store. While we will all have virtual reality headsets in our homes someday, this will not replace human contact.
Our free “Personal Shopper” service demonstrates this well: the number of people who today need to be accompanied in terms of fashion is very large. We will never eliminate this physical need and Covid has also reminded us how fundamental contact in person is.
Web3 is a strong opportunity for brands to spark wonder and creativity. Personally, I like the fact that our customers meet in front of the cafe to talk about the immersive experiences we have been able to offer them. Now, there remains the need for democratization because we are still groping and there is still a long way to go to justify the presence of brands in the metaverse.
Brands have become aware of the interest of the metaverse, but not everyone has the time to get started. This is why we would also like to be a facilitator to accompany brands to take their first steps in this area.
With Web3 do we not run the risk of falling back into the speculative setbacks that contributed to the bursting of the Internet bubble of the 2000s?
Our parents were reluctant to reveal their life on social media and today they are mostly all on Facebook. Today Meta launches a beta version to introduce NFTs on its platforms. I’m waiting to see what business model will be built around these projects, especially as cryptocurrencies are assets that sometimes remain unstable. But the malls have already taken the big step: that of Beaugrenelle, for example, accepts payment for purchases in cryptocurrencies in its stores.
Be that as it may, with the announced death of the cookie, Web3 could very well shape the digital marketing of tomorrow. No doubt Zero-Party Data (data voluntarily bequeathed) will prevail and the client’s portfolio will allow us to better understand his expectations.