Dive Brief:

  • Japanese skincare brand Tatcha on Thursday debuted a virtual store powered by Emperia to promote its Forest Awakening body care collection, which recently entered Sephora, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
  • The entrance to the virtual store  — where consumers can explore, learn about and shop products — resembles a Japanese hinoki forest, the theme for the products of the Forest Awakening collection, which consists of a body wash, body oil and body milk.
  • To coincide with the virtual store experience, which can be accessed on Tatcha’s website, the brand is launching a pop-up store in Los Angeles from Feb. 17-19.

Dive Insight:

Upon entering Tatcha’s virtual experience, users are greeted at the House of Wa and asked to enable audio. After a short walk through the hinoki forest, the space prompts entry into a Japanese wellness resort. From here, users are able to roam freely and browse products.

Within the virtual experience, visitors are educated on things like the ingredients used in some of the brand’s products and building a step-by-step beauty regime.

Virtual experience developer Emperia has collaborated with other brands in the past to create digital runway, gallery and retail experiences. Lacoste in November enlisted the company to launch a virtual store, which highlighted Christmas merchandise and other products, as well as offering additional perks to Lacoste’s NFT holders. Bloomingdale’s has worked with Emperia on two separate occasions, during New York Fashion Week in September and ahead of the holiday season.

Other brands have launched virtual experiences of their own through platforms like Roblox and Obsess as a way to entice online shoppers. NYX launched a makeup collection on Roblox and L’Oréal’s venture capital fund invested in metaverse startup Digital Village, suggesting a future virtual store creation for the beauty company.

“Virtual stores are becoming an extension of the brand, one that allows retailers to tell a story, like no other media could,” Emperia co-founder and CEO Olga Dogadkina said in a press release. “The Tatcha experience is both immersive and educational, allowing visitors to learn, experience and shop for products, all while being surrounded by the brand’s native environment, deepening brand familiarity and shopper loyalty, from the comfort of their home.”

Source: Retail Dive