- Joining others opening virtual stores this year, beauty brand Laura Mercier has tapped experiential e-commerce company Obsess to create its first virtual store, “World of Beauty,” the company said Monday.
- The store features three virtual rooms designed with a Parisian aesthetic where shoppers can find their ideal cosmetic shades, purchase their products and do a 3D unboxing, according to the press release.
- To kick off the store’s launch, the brand will host a livestream shopping event with Laura Mercier and brand partner Karen Gonzalez on Tuesday.
Laura Mercier, which was acquired by private equity firm Advent International over a year ago alongside fellow Shiseido Americas brands Buxom and Bare Minerals, is joining the virtual store trend.
Along with Laura Mercier, other retailers and brands have been launching virtual stores to create a digitally immersive experience. Bloomingdale’s enlisted virtual experience developer Emperia to create a virtual store featuring dedicated spaces for brands like Nespresso, Ralph Lauren and Chanel. In a similar move, Lacoste also called upon Emperia to build a virtual store featuring seasonal products. Laura Mercier is hoping to capitalize on shoppers’ interest in virtual stores: Citing a Kantar survey of 1,000 consumers, the companies said one in four people have shopped in a virtual store and of those who did, 70% made a purchase.
“This is an exciting time for our consumers to explore Laura Mercier through a new, digitalized lens that offers an immersion into the brand and its history,” Diane Kim, global brand president of Laura Mercier, said in a statement. “The dynamic shopping experience provides consumers with the opportunity to play, discover, test and trial products while telling the rich story of this iconic brand.”
As more retailers and brands try out virtual stores, companies are testing the interest in and limitations of virtual environments. A Forrester report shared with Retail Dive predicted that consumers may have immersive shopping experiences within virtual environments a decade from now, but they may not be able to travel freely between digital environments with their goods.