21 million people have now visited Nike’s Roblox store. Here’s how to trade metaverse well

The sportswear giant was among the first to create its own virtual world in which to sell its own virtual goods. For The Drum’s Evolution of E-commerce Deep Dive, we look at the lessons to be learned from its success.

Nikeland was one of the first proof-of-concepts for mainstream metaverse commerce. The virtual world, created on Roblox, saw 7 million visitors in its first two months. It leveraged the expertise of Nike’s newly acquired metaverse agency, RTKFT, to facilitate a Nike-branded gaming experience and, importantly, allow users to purchase virtual goods from Nike itself. .

Nike’s digital results, largely driven by these metaverse experiences, now represent 26% of total Nike brand revenue. And as part of that effort, Nikeland has received more than 21 million visitors to date, according to Roblox, and has been preferred by nearly 118,000 players.

However, given that the Metaverse as a marketing tool is extremely nascent, there were questions about how long a Metaverse run like Nikeland would remain viable. Players are constantly looking for new experiences, and the nature of Roblox means these attractions are easy to find.

Winnie Burke is responsible for fashion and beauty partnerships at Roblox. She explains that the viability of a metaverse experience (as with real-world retail) relies on the introduction of new products: “Evergreen experiences on Roblox – such as Gucci Town, Vans World and Nikeland – incentivize players to keep coming back because they have created engaging social spaces with continuous content updates where fans can experience new products in an authentic and interactive way.

“Tommy Hilfiger is the latest fashion name to hit the metaverse with its persistent Tommy Play experience – which is frequently updated, meaning even regular customers can always find something new to explore or try. It’s one of the most exciting examples we’ve seen of the fashion industry taking to the metaverse.


This need to introduce new products and experiences is a fusion of retail and gaming fundamentals. Retail – especially in fashion and luxury – operates on the concept of seasonal refreshes of clothing lines, while persistent game worlds such as Final Fantasy XIV and Rocket League introduce new environments and game modes depending on a regular schedule.

Daren Tsui, Managing Director of Together Labs, argued that a successful run of the metaverse requires three key attributes: “It must have a presence (social presence), it must be persistent (when users return there is some kind of continuity and not a reboot) and last but not least, it must be shared (multiple people will need to be able to interact in the metaverse).“

In addition to introducing new clothing, Nikeland imitated the gamethe release-and-refresh approach of . During NBA All-Star Week, for example, Nike tasked LeBron James with visiting Nikeland, during which time attendees were rewarded for physical gameplay with the chance to unlock virtual merchandise.

Metaverse commerce is therefore at the center of the Venn diagram between these two disciplines, while the best metaverse experiences will be those that meet audience expectations for both.

Gucci, for example, recently revamped the visuals and experiences of its Gucci Town experience serving its latest Gucci Flora fragrance campaign, introducing new challenges and allowing fans to interact with an avatar of the brand ambassador. Miley Cyrus.

Burke says, “These brand worlds are an extension of existing social networks, allowing fans to connect with brands, creators and community members in an exciting, dynamic and ever-changing way that inspires people to come back for more and enjoy these experiences with their friends.”

Persistent Worlds

The e-commerce aspect of experiences like Gucci Town and Nikeland has, understandably, been the focus of a lot of Metaverse coverage. That the public chooses to dress their avatars with paid products is a new concept, at least for those who are not part of the gaming public. However, as Burke explains, many brands instead use their brand experiences on metaverse platforms to develop relationships with audiences they otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to.

She says, “For many brands, the primary goal is to create affinity with Gen Z, which in turn can impact their real-world purchasing decisions. Based on our research, we are seeing early indications of how brands’ lifestyle experiences on the platform may extend to future brand interactions in the physical world.

“For example, we held a virtual focus group to talk to people who visited the Alo Sanctuary experience and nearly half said they would “likely” to buy from Alo the next time they want sportswear. »

The Metaverse drew inspiration from the history of retail and gaming to create a viable new avenue for e-commerce. Its future success, however, requires brands to invest in their metaverse experiences for the long term, so that users return as regularly as they would in a real-world store.

For more on the evolution of e-commerce, check out The Drum’s latest Deep Dive.

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