Fashion Meets Commerce in the Gaming Metaverse

Posted by Victor Z Glenn • Dec 22, 2023 8:00:00 AM

The gaming industry is undergoing an important shift as part of what may be a key marketing trend - "twinning" or customized e-commerce integration. The concept of "twinning" is where items are simultaneously produced both digitally and in the physical world.  The idea is that it fosters brand impact and continuity on and off the platform. Nike has had a successful experience with one of its footwear brands recently, where that brand was available to buy within the game, and in stores.

Roblox, a leading gaming platform, is aggressively pioneering this concept, allowing users to purchase both digital and physical items seamlessly. While Fortnite has already experimented with this idea in partnership with Nike for the “Airphoria” Air Max-themed universe within Fortnite, Roblox's move is significant as it flexes to launch integrated commerce in the coming year. Brands will have a unique opportunity to connect their e-commerce ventures with the Roblox experience, creating a potential new revenue stream. Winnie Burke, the Head of Fashion and Beauty Partnerships at Roblox, emphasizes that users engaging with a brand on Roblox are more likely to make physical-world purchases. This trend is exemplified by brands like Forever 21, which have successfully sold physical versions of items originally created for the digital platform.

The 2023 Roblox Digital Expression, Fashion & Beauty Trends report sheds light on the intersection of gaming and commerce. Surveying over 1,500 Gen-Z Roblox users, the report reveals an 84% inclination to consider purchases within the gaming platform. Roblox is emerging as a vibrant commerce hub, with users allocating up to $10 monthly for avatar styling. There is also the phenomenon know as a “Limited,” the label given to virtual items available in finite quantities. Community-created Limiteds, priced up to $10,000, underscore the metaverse's impact on real-world consumer behavior. In parallel, Gamefam, a trailblazer in top-rated Roblox games, showcases innovative brand integration. From Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon to virtual concerts with major entities like Warner Music Group and the NFL, Gamefam strategically positions brands where Gen-Z is deeply engaged. Their success in Warner Music's Roblox world, Harmony Hills, selling over 2.3 million items, highlights the effectiveness of seamlessly integrating brands into gaming platforms.

The key for brands in this evolving landscape is authentic, yet trendy engagement with gaming communities in these spaces. This approach positions them to lead in the new era of digital advertising. That said, as gaming is a “live” experience, brand safety in gaming necessitates a profound understanding of the immersive nature of gaming platforms and the need to monitor and manage brand adjacencies.

Topics: Brand Safety, Technology, Brand Suitability, content, trends, marketing, Social Media, trust, gaming, metaverse, content creators, streaming, digital advertising, contextual advertising, retail media, esports, mobile gaming, people, advergames, ecommerce