Gaming platform Roblox has released its annual report, Digital Expression, Fashion & Beauty Trends, a survey of over 1,500 Gen-Z members in the United States and United Kingdom. And it has some interesting implications for the marketing strategies of fashion and beauty brands.
While generally speaking activations are not yet generating significant revenue from the sale of digital merchandise—though there are, of course, important exceptions— such activations are, nonetheless, proving invaluable as marketing tools with early data pointing to an impact on real world sales.
That three quarters of respondents considered wearing digital fashions from a recognized brand as important where their avatars were concerned may come as no surprise. However, 84% said they would be likely to wear that brand in the physical world with 50% saying that they’d be very or extremely likely to do so.
Roblox has 70.2 million daily active users so it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out the revenue opportunity going forward. Admittedly Gen-Z has a lower purchase power than their millennial counterparts for now, but if they retain that early brand loyalty, their economic impact will be keenly felt in a few years once that purchase power increases.
Gucci is one such brand successfully shoring up its Gen-Z following. According to a December 2022 Business of Fashion survey of Gen Z’s favorite fashion brands, it stands at number two—second only to Nike. Most recently it activated in The Sandbox with a digital recreation of its physical Gucci Cosmos exhibition.
The Kering powerhouse’s Roblox experience around its September Milan Fashion Week Ancora show featured 10,000 free digital items for those participating in challenges and they were snapped up in under an hour. Which illustrated another key finding of the Roblox report.
The Beauty Opportunity
Over a third of all respondents said it was important to customize their avatar’s makeup whether this be daily or weekly. Likewise hair. Over the last year, users have purchased more than 139 million digital hairstyles for their avatars, (up 20% on the previous year) with more than 7.3 million users investing in five or more.
Of all the Gucci limited edition pieces earned via its Ancora activation in Roblox, it was a runway derived digital hairstyle that proved the most coveted. It is currently changing hands on the Roblox marketplace for over six times more than the second most popular item—an Ancora branded digital baseball cap.
This demonstrates the community’s appetite for beauty related items—further evinced by the report which also notes the popularity of other recent activations on the platform by Fenty Beauty, L’Oréal’s Maybelline and NYX, Shiseido’s NARS and LVMH’s Givenchy Beauty.
While e.l.f.’s Roblox experience e.l.f. UP! missed out on being included in the report due to the fact that it only launched on Thursday, it is yet another indication of the beauty industry’s metaverse take up. According to McKinsey, the beauty market is expected to reach approximately $580 billion by 2027.
Final take-out from the report is the aforementioned exception to the current status quo regarding revenue generated by digital items. Just like desirability for exclusive or rare items in the physical world, the same is true in the metaverse.
Electronic music brand, Monstercat, recently teamed up with community creator Whose Trade on six single-edition necklaces. Its Ruby Pendant, sold on the platform for the equivalent of $10,000 which is the highest initial sale to date for one of . Roblox’s Limiteds—a separate category for digital items available only in limited runs that was launched by the platform earlier this year.
Foto: Gucci created am experience on Roblox around its Milan Fashion Week Gucci Ancora show.Roblox / Gucci