Savvy brands are utilising technology as a method of connecting, engaging consumers in a playful way that helps build long-term loyalty.
Beauty retailer Chanel captured consumers’ hearts in Asia, turning traditionally one-way experiences into interactive and responsive activities. Games were skilfully outfitted with an element of learning – its version of “Pong” featured pixelated versions of Rouge Coco in place of the traditional paddles, giving consumers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the brand’s new products.
Moreover, A Stranger Things x Coca Cola pop up in London’s Shoreditch utilised a games arcade that featured dated games. Littered with lightly branded products, the pop-up featured classic video games, free to play and an upside-down room… just to make things a little stranger. Delighting the hardcore fandom with the 80’s connection, the arcade is a haven of nostalgic video games and creepy goings-on.
This creation of a unique form of third place is evolving to become more inclusive and experiential. Google’s development plans for its gaming platform, Stadia, will be a Netflix-style service that lets gamers play on almost all devices. From mobile phones to TVs to iPads, the platform will negate the traditional physical box and instead be hosted on a cloud-like server. Linked to Youtube, players will be able to instantly stream and connect with other players, forging deeper and more accessible communities globally.
There has been a significant update in games being played on handheld devices, as AR has bridged the gap between the digital and physical.
Seeing the success of Pokémon-Go, the Harry Potter franchise is set to release a similar type game, hoping to capture the attention of the millennials who grew up with the Harry Potter magic, exploring wizardry in real-time.
Using both AR and AI in conjunction, Taiwanese beauty company Perfect Corp, unveiled a device that scans the skin and creates a perfect make-up match that is then overlayed and shown on a smart mirror. Being used in Ulta and US Estée Lauder stores, using these mirrors has seen basket sizes increase by 9%.
Though AR is fleetingly popular, the same cannot be said for VR which has a particular niche following. Expensive to make and buy, VR experiences are completely immersive but not always convenient for home users. Needing a clear environment to move around in isn’t particularly conducive to gamers who preferably are sitting on a sofa. Having found a home in interactive exhibitions, VR has further to go before it makes its way into a household staple.
Making its mark on retail however, selected John Lewis and Macy’s stores now offer consumers the ability to design their interior using VR. Increasing sales in Macy’s 60%, consumers enter the dimensions and details of their homes to see chosen products in-situ via a headset and a shoppable list of these products is emailed later.
Branching out into new, unprecedented industries helping to reach consumers.
In the political field, “This is Not a Game: The Game” co-created with Samantha Bee, has hundreds of thousands of people playing a political trivia game to increase democratic participation for the American 2020 election, proving that a game can truly impact consumer behaviour. Gamification has excelled in the last few years, with brands using gaming to nurture long-term loyalty and breach the gap between the digital and physical.
The gaming industry is growing in more than one way. Alongside gamers, it is spreading in to fashion, beauty and other retail experiences.
With increased awareness surrounding climate change, more people are seeking to buy more consciously, fuelling a rise in demand for second hand stores.