L’Occitane opens holiday shop – in the metaverse

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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L'Occitane has a new metaverse holiday store.
L'Occitane is opening a metaverse holiday store.

A French global beauty brand is seasonally expanding upon its metaverse retail presence.

L’Occitane en Provence, which launched an immersive, interactive shopping experience based on the Emperia metaverse platform in July 2023, is opening a new holiday virtual store developed by Emperia and designed in partnership with artist Steven Wilson.

Designed to virtually duplicate a chalet within the Provençal French Alps, the interactive shopping experience features limited-edition holiday assortments and education about L'Occitane’s recycling initiatives.

The metaverse experience’s layout is designed for gift finding, with items distributed by budget in five distinct product areas: advent calendar, holidays limited edition collection, gift sets, fragrances and Santa’s wish list. 

Customers can also interactively learn about gift wrapping. Scattered around the virtual space, customers will find gift wrapping elements. As shoppers locate each item, they are presented with different personalization options (i.e. tissue paper, box patterns, etc.). 

Upon completion of this mini-game, an animation shows the shopper their customized box, providing them with a special L’Occitane Christmas reward.

The outdoors section of the virtual environment features an olive tree that customers can light up themselves. The tree is also the virtual spot where customers can create their own personalized postcard, containing their curated product wishlist, to send to their family and friends.

“We're incredibly proud of this virtual experience that immerses our customers in the enchanting holiday spirit. It's a dream journey, like being in a chalet, where they can explore the true origins of L'Occitane as a brand,” said Mariana Rodrigues, marketing director of L’Occitane Middle East.

“The olive tree is symbolic and traditional for Provence, so our vision was to bring back those traditions to our customers,” said Rodrigues. “The holiday season is pure magic, and we our customers to experience the enchantment of L'Occitane and Provence.”

“L’Occitane’s new holiday experience adds a new dimension to the already-growing segment of seasonal online shopping. Nowadays users are demanding more from their online retail experience, expecting a far more personalized and interactive journey, one that reflects the brand’s values and elevates the shopping experience, to adhere to their own set of needs, wants and preferences.” said Olga Dogadkina, co-founder and CEO at Emperia. “virtual stores are no longer this one-of campaign but rather fill this great need of a new generation of shoppers to get to know their retailer on a personal level and what it stands for, significantly improving brand loyalty and improving brands’ online performance.”

Metaverse attracts cosmetics brands

Other cosmetics and personal care brands have turned to the metaverse as a direct-to-consumer promotional and commercial channel. This includes Japanese beauty brand Tatcha, whose virtual store running on the Emperia metaverse platform is designed to immerse customers in an interactive digital replica of a Japanese hinoki cypress forest.

In another example, Clinique, an Estee Lauder company, unveiled a digital shopping experience called “Clinique Lab” in April 2023. The virtual storefront, provided by metaverse-as-a-service platform company Journee, provides a virtual Clinique counter where customers can create a customized avatar and explore six unique zones.