Le Printemps recently announced that it is stepping into the metaverse. The Parisian brand that operates department stores – the most emblematic of which is located on Boulevard Haussmann – has opened its virtual 3D shop offering immersive experiences and showcasing products in a dream universe. In charge of project management, Morgane Lopes explained to us what inspired him to start.
What motivated you to launch this virtual store?
Morgane Lopez: There is a boom right now around the metaverse and the idea is not to put everyone on the same level. If Printemps decides to invest in this field, above all to re-engage the customer experience. In March, we announced the launch of a brand new platform “It All Started in the Spring” to create memories in-store and online.
When Facebook officially became Meta I understood the need to launch our virtual store. For us, this is a sign that the metaverse is an opportunity to reconnect with the customer and give them a new shopping experience.
Concrete, it’s a kind of decentralized mini metaverse and isn’t hosted by well-known sector players like Decentraland, The Sandbox or even Roblox. The Userargents agency-which is already taking care of transforming our e-commerce activity-commissioned a 3D studio for us to create our metaverse. There’s a bit of mystery around these topics and we’re wondering how to popularize while simplifying Web3 access.
At the same time, we called on French artist Romain Froquet to create a collection of NFTs. People who have purchased a product in our immersive shop can enter a draw to try to win one of the NFTs.
Is this a new way to attract more young customers?
This is clearly a way to attract new customers – in this case young people – but not only that. Often we also want to offer the first time Web3 for our customers. Our task is to desacralize the topic and make it accessible through a didactic and tutorial approach.
Does the explosion of the metaverse mean the end of physical sales channels for you?
Like the Web 1.0 and 2.0 revolutions, I really don’t think Web3 is the end of the physical store. Even if one day we all have virtual reality headsets in our homes, they will not replace human contact.
Our free “Personal Shopper” service shows this well: the number of people who now have to associate in terms of fashion is enormous. We never take away this physical need and Covid also reminds us how important personal contact is.
Web3 is a solid opportunity for brands to spark surprise and creativity. I personally love the fact that our customers meet over coffee to talk about the immersive experiences we give them. Today, there remains a need for democratization because we are still grasping and there is still a long way to go to justify the presence of brands in the metaverse.
Brands are aware of the interest in the metaverse, but not everyone has the time to start. This is why we also want to be a facilitator to accompany brands in making their first steps there.
Don’t we risk Web3 going back to the speculative failures that contributed to the explosion of the Internet bubble in the 2000s?
Our parents were reluctant to reveal their lives on social networks and now they are mostly on Facebook. Today, Meta is launching a beta to introduce NFTs to its platforms. I’m waiting to see what business model will be built around these projects, especially since cryptocurrencies are assets that sometimes remain unstable. But shopping centers have already taken the plunge: Beaugrenelle’s, for example, accepts payment for cryptos purchases in its stores.
However, with the announced demise of the cookie, Web3 could be a good carving of digital marketing tomorrow. Undoubtedly, Zero-Party Data (data voluntarily provided) will prevail and the customer’s wallet will allow us to better understand their expectations.