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When it comes to marketing a high-end product, luxury retailers are acutely aware of how important the customer ‘experience’ is in differentiating their products. And, by experience I mean the customer service and how the product looks and feels versus the high street equivalent.
This means that digital marketing has always been tricky for luxury brands when the ultimate goal is driving customers into stores. Consequently, luxury retailers have often been quick to jump on technology-led brand experiences that bring their products closer to their customers. And, given the experiential qualities that Extended Reality (XR) experiences can bring, it's no wonder that Luxury brands have been turning to Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions to help differentiate their brands and engage with Gen Z customers.
There are plenty more examples where these came from so if you’d like to know more about how we can help your brand deliver XR experiences for your customers, please get in touch and we would love to chat.
1. Virtual stores. Ralph Lauren understands it has a global audience and not everyone can get to its flagship stores. So why not replicate the Beverly Hills shopping experience by creating a virtual store. The 360 shoppable store even featured a live performance from American artist Janelle Monáe earlier this year further blurring the lines between the physical and digital experiences. Visit the virtual store here.
2. Pop-up AR experiences. Burberry has been using AR and 3D technology for a number of years now. In 2020, it launched an AR shopping tool through google search meaning customers can see a 3D version of their product right in front of them. The experience gives customers the opportunity to get a better understanding of the product before purchasing and is proven to reduce buying time.
Continuing to innovate, this summer for the launch of its new Olympia Bag, Burberry has created a number of physical pop-ups with an AR experience that brings to life the Greek statue of Elpis in Pokémon Go style game. The pop-up launched in Harrods, London, earlier this summer and will be rolled out to Macau, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong later this year.
In addition to these pop-ups, it also has a fantastic product visualisation experience for its Pocket Bags inspired by the maritime themes of the SS21 campaign. Customers can view the Pocket Bag in 3D, create their own virtual sculptures and exhibit them wherever they are. Try it here
3. Gamified fashion. Traditionally only reserved for a limited audience, luxury fashion brands are experimenting with how they can bring their fashion shows to the masses. Balenciaga recently turned its fashion show into a video game. Afterworld: The age of tomorrow was launched in late 2020 where players can travel through a wonderland style future world, passing avatars dressed in ripped jeans and metal armour boots.
Gaming is huge and this is Balenciaga’s stab at gamifying the fashion experience, enticing younger customers, and establishing a relationship and engagement across the social platforms. Check it out here. Prada has also dabbled in virtual fashion shows, check out their experience from 2020 here.
4. Virtual try-on. Dior is another brand that is a big believer in the power of AR to communicate with customers. It has a permanent brand page on Snapchat where it collates all its content and shoppable lenses, and last year launched a first of its kind tech partnership with Snapchat. Using virtual try-on technology it enabled Snap users to try on the new B27 sneakers, paired with the ability to purchase them through the app. Find out more here.
5. Social shopping. Another brand that is going all in for AR is Gucci. Like Dior, it has a permanent brand profile on Snapchat and regularly creates social AR experiences that bring customers closer to its products and services. Knowing that visual communication is more likely to convert younger audiences has been the key to success for Gucci and we expect to see more immersive experiences from them in the future. Check out some of the recent effects for Gucci Beauty here and Gucci Perfume here.