When customers sign up to access Nonstop Nars Virtual World, they are directed to customise their ‘Navatar’, an avatar version of themselves that acts as a tour guide throughout the virtual world. One of the main aspects of this digital environment is transporting users to the makeover room, where they will be able to try on Nars makeup products, fashion outfits, and hairstyles.
Within the virtual environment there are three spaces, all connected by the Nonstop Hall, where customers are greeted by their Navatar. From there, players can visit Nonstop Community, Nonstop Discovery, and Nonstop Play, to interact with various resources and products, and play mini branded games.
Upon entering Nonstop Community, players can interact with other members, look through makeup tips from professionals and receive product release information from Nars. In Nonstop Discovery, they can peruse a wide range of products connected seamlessly to the China Duty Free website for purchases, or refer to wishlist items at a physical retail location. Lastly, Nonstop Play is a space for people to play Nars games, which change regularly in line with the brand’s latest campaigns.
As Nars fans navigate the virtual environment, they are rewarded with virtual currency, NCoin, for a variety of interactions, such as trying out newly available makeup products for their Navatar and visiting Nars Travel Retail locations in real life. Every NCoin gained will be saved in the user’s NWallet, and can be redeemed for exclusive rewards and gifts with purchase.
To bring this vision to life, Nars has partnered with creative agency CircleSquare, which specialises in omnichannel customer journeys, designing personalised experiences for luxury brands around the world. CircleSquare identified the need for numerous O+O touchpoints.
“Travel Retail’s migration to the Metaverse is undoubtedly happening, and it is here to stay,” says Cherifa Ben Slamia, managing director of CircleSquare Asia. “We are excited to see what the future holds. Nonstop Nars Virtual World is an important milestone that marks CircleSquare’s venture into the Metaverse, and we look forward to being a partner for change with Nars and Shiseido in the future.”
The lines between traditional and digital marketing are becoming even more blurred as brands see it not as one or the other, but both simultaneously. It goes beyond rewarding customers at every purchase and presents a huge opportunity for loyalty programs to evolve and play a significant role in driving interaction and engagement.
This is an exciting time for Shiseido’s subsidiary brand as it builds on the innovative consumer experiences it has launched so far. Nars is leveraging a small ecosystem of communication and omnichannel retail touchpoints to test and measure consumer behaviours. A smart strategy when it comes to digital transformation and a great way to showcase what a loyalty program looks like in the metaverse.
Loyalty in the metaverse
Customers have traditionally accrued rewards based on their number of purchases alone. However, brands should be asking themselves whether their customers feel they’re benefitting from their loyalty and rewards program. The return on investment for customers from redeeming for perks and discounts may not be enough for the amount of money and energy they’re investing.
Digital-first challenger brands are looking for new and creative ways to build loyalty with their customers. At the core of these strategies are communities where people are talking about the brand 24/7. These communities live and thrive outside email databases and in social media groups, where people already spend a large portion of their time.
Whether it’s WeChat, social media groups, Discord, or Telegram, these community-driven online spaces are critical for building more interactive experiences. Loyalty programs need to enable socialising and the various ways people connect with brands they love. Layering interesting branded experiences on top shows customers there is more to the brand than selling products.
Australian makeup and skincare retailer Mecca has one of the best loyalty programs and engaged communities in the local industry. Its Facebook group has almost 75,000 members and contains a constant stream of conversations about Mecca products, beauty hacks and recommendations – plus many threads about the latest on Beauty Loop box, Mecca’s loyalty program.