Gucci announced that it is accelerating its digital payments in cryptocurrencies in its US offline stores. It contributed to reaching Gen Z customers by developing the digital world. Moreover, multiple international and Chinese cosmetic brands are stepping into the digital and meta world.
Gucci will accept payments in cryptocurrencies in the U.S. starting this month, as the luxury industry takes tentative steps into the digital-asset universe.
Customers in some stores in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Las Vegas will be able to pay using digital tokens from the end of May, the Italian fashion house said in a statement. It will adopt this payment option throughout its North American stores this summer.
Gucci, owned by Kering SA, will initially accept 10 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.
Kering Chief Executive Officer Francois-Henri Pinault in February said Gucci and other fashion houses like Balenciaga had innovation teams looking at opportunities related to the metaverse and web3 — versions of the internet built around blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens.
The decision to embrace crypto payments shows how luxury brands are trying to appeal to younger generations of consumers by catering to emerging trends, such as creating outfits for digital characters and metaverse.
In fact, since Facebook announced its transformation into a metaverse company within 5 years, events have propelled the metaverse to become one of the hottest concepts in the tech space. Major cosmetic brands have also entered the metaverse.
Citi GPS recently released its latest study, Metaverse and Money: Decrypting the Future, which predicts that the total market for the metaverse economy will grow between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030 and forecasts that the number of metaverse users has a chance to reach 5 billion.
In February, global cosmetics giant L’Oréal Group applied for virtual goods trademarks on behalf of its L’Oréal subsidiaries, including 17 brands under cosmetics companies Kiehl’s, Maybelline, Pureology, Urban Decay and Redken, which L’Oréal said it tended to provide a virtual world for people to browse, accumulate, buy, sell and trade virtual cosmetics.
Last October, Estee Lauder Group’s beauty brand Clinique launched its first NFT digital collection. The NFT piece, called “MetaOptimist,” is a dynamic digital sphere model that comes in three different versions for consumers to express their joy and optimism. Giving shoppers who sign up for its rewards program the opportunity to receive 10 years of free product and one of three versions of NFT artwork, the campaign helped increase brand searches by 60 percent and social engagement by 20 percent by opening up NFT access to members of its loyalty program.
Most recently, Estée Lauder was the exclusive beauty brand partner for the virtual world of Decentraland Fashion Week from March 24 to March 28, rewarding 10,000 NFTs inspired by its flagship product, the Advanced Night Repair Serum in a free virtual image for users. The brand is offering a “glowing face” to enhance the user’s immersive experience.
Chinese beauty brands are more likely to launch avatars and virtual live streamers.
In June 2021, the oriental makeup brand Florasis announced its brand avatar “Florasis” to the public. Visually, she has the facial features of classical oriental beauty with gentle eyebrows and a dignified demeanor with both fresh and elegant. She has a wisp of diaphanous color in her hair, which symbolizes the brand color of Florasis, and holds a lotus, which symbolizes the character’s temperament as the old saying natural and refreshing like a lotus rising out of water. The image of the avatar “Florasis” is the personification and symbolization of the brand, and is the first ultra-realistic virtual image created by a Chinese makeup brand.
The virtual live streamer has 24-hour work for customers. Multiple Chinese cosmetic brands released their virtual live streamers such as The Perfect Diary virtual live streamer “Stella”, CHANDO of Tang Xiaomei, L’Oreal’s “Ou Xiaomei” and Florasis’ “Florasis”. These virtual live streamers in the Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao live streaming is based on Damo Academy from Alibaba(Taobao’s parent company). Their expression action, live content can be changed according to the demand.
Reaching the meta-universe can also somehow facilitate brands to attract more attention and widely reach the Gen Z group who are willing to try new things and follow the new sub-culture. Relying on the blockchain technology of digital assets, brands have the opportunity to provide users with innovative experiences of scarcity, transform intangible brand values into assessable brand digital assets, and achieve unique customer relationship management.