- Adding another brand to the virtual store trend, J. Crew launched a virtual store through a collaboration with experiential e-commerce company Obsess, the retailer said in a press release Friday.
- In celebration of J. Crew’s 40th anniversary, the virtual store is styled after a beach house with six themed rooms and a separate boathouse. As shoppers visit each room, they can browse the brand’s clothing, shoes and accessories, and view historical context and other information.
- The virtual experience also features images from J. Crew’s catalogs, a catalog cover pop quiz and a scavenger hunt game.
Obsess continues to attract more companies seeking to experiment with virtual store experiences. In December, Laura Mercier introduced its “World of Beauty” virtual store using Obsess’ technology where shoppers could find the right cosmetic shade, buy products and do a 3D unboxing.
This year, the trend continued with Alo Yoga and Elizabeth Arden tapping Obsess to create their virtual stores. According to its website, Obsess has worked with major brands including Coach, Prada, Fendi, Maybelline and Armani Beauty. For J. Crew, the virtual store allows the brand to “connect with new audiences, foster customer engagement, drive sales and create memorable digital touchpoints,” Neha Singh, founder and CEO of Obsess, said in a statement.
“This immersive experience brings J.Crew’s past and present together, giving our customers a virtual passport to explore the world of J.Crew, while shopping a curated edit of summer styles in an innovative digital format,” Derek Yarbrough, chief marketing officer of J. Crew and Madewell, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, other virtual experience companies are vying for brands and retailers’ attention, too. Bloomingdale’s teamed up with Emperia to develop a virtual department store for the holidays with separate spaces for brands such as Chanel and Ralph Lauren. Tatcha, a Japanese skin care brand, also collaborated with Emperia on a virtual store to showcase its new Forest Awakening personal care line earlier this year.
As more retailers develop virtual stores, Obsess in April launched Ava by Obsess, a tool that helps brands create their own virtual stores and 3D experiences. With the tool, brands can build virtual spaces that house their products, and create branded avatars and social media integrations.