Last month, skin care brand Laneige announced it partnered with New York-based experiential e-commerce platform Obsess to launch its first virtual store. The immersive virtual experience features exclusive content, including 360-degree video functionality, gamification, behind-the-scenes content with actress and brand spokesperson Sydney Sweeney, seamless checkout, and information about the brand’s recent product launch – the Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Collection.
While Laneige is not the first beauty care brand to launch a virtual store experience, the brand’s unique surrealist approach will allow consumers to explore five different ‘dream-like’ rooms where they can interact with various Laneige skin care collections, complete a skin care quiz to match with best-fit products, and even participate in a scavenger hunt to win two free products with purchase. To learn more about the partnership between Laneige and Obsess, the development and launch of the virtual store, and plans for further expansion of the virtual store, we spoke with Julien Bouzitat, CMO of AmorePacific US, Laneige’s corporate parent company, for his insights.
Virtual store concept & design process
When the Laneige team conceptualized its virtual store experience, the goal was to help the brand “create direct connection and interactions with our consumers, engaging them in our brand story telling or scientific expertise in the most immersive way without the traditional limitations inherent to working with a retail partner,” shared Bouzitat. Additionally, the store launch allowed the brand to “collect first-party data at a time where paid media performance is more challenging given the ever-evolving digital regulations,” which is exceptionally beneficial when looking to meet consumer needs better.
To bring this concept to life, Laneige partnered with Obsess to help make the team’s vision a reality. About the partnership experience, Bouzitat said that “working with Obsess was extremely seamless.” Further, he added, “we selected Obsess over other partners due to the quality of their 3D renderings, and we were actually surprised at how fast their creative team was able to bring to life this 3D virtual world.”
As detailed in the company’s press release announcing the virtual store launch, the immersive experience includes rooms like “an Underwater World for its Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Collection to a floating cloud Dreamland for the Sleeping Mask Category and a Carousel Candyland for its number one lip treatments,” all of which deviate from the concrete reality of an in-person store.
When approaching the design, “most of the Virtual Stores we have seen tend to recreate an actual building or physical store very close to the reality,” said Bouzitat. Therefore, when designing the Laneige experience, “we took the exact opposite approach, where we wanted to create a surreal, dream-like experience where there is no gravity or physical limitations.”
In addition to being an ethereal virtual experience for users, the design is practical and user-friendly. For example, explained Bouzitat, “from a functional perspective, the integration of multiple Tik Tok behind-the-scenes video in one seamless room was a new digital innovation, allowing to bring our visitors to literally be On Set with Sydney Sweeney, our brand spokesperson.” As detailed in the company’s press release, the store also offers “the Laneige Lab, where users can get to know the ingredients behind the brand’s innovative and highly effective skincare.”
Further plans for digital innovation
As the launch is a relatively new development for the brand, it will take some time adequately gauge the consumer response to the experiential opportunities afforded by the Laneige virtual store. Said Bouzitat, “we are monitoring the launch and the audience interaction and are planning to continue to add experiences or update the existing ones to reflect our calendar of new launches or seasonal offering” based on consumer engagement.
However, there are plans for further innovation and development of the digital space, including the release of an additional virtual room “to feature our most recent launch with Cream Skin Toner,” he added.