ComplexLand has evolved into a metaverse shopping experience – WWD
When Complex first built ComplexLand, the virtual shopping experience created in 2020 to replace popular shopping event ComplexCon due to the pandemic, words like “metaverse” and acronyms like “NFT” n were not yet common.
Then in January 2021, a month after the first ComplexLand experience, mainstream media caught up with Web3.0, NFTs and everything in the metaverse as well as the gaming shopping experience that Complex developed at the place of its revenue-generating ComplexCon.
Complex continued to build on its success in the virtual world earlier this month when it hosted ComplexLand 3.0 from Wednesday to Friday, with elements returning from its first iteration that included users creating an avatar they could take into virtual stores to buy from brands such as Atmos, Market, Billionaire Boys Club, Pacsun, Pleasures and Round Two.
During this edition, Complex also tapped into the Healthysexual sexual health campaign to organize the District section with five LGBTQ artists and designers – Willy Chavarria, Coco and Breezy Eyewear, Daniel Fletcher, K.ngsley and Fruitloots – and extended the partnership with UPS to the virtual world. which started at ComplexCon in 2021 with a select group of emerging designers and underrepresented entrepreneurs, including Brownstone, Circulate, Colle and Compton Cowboys.
The event also featured NFT artwork by Chuck Styles, Naturel, Marly Mcfly, Numan Khan and Shantell Martin in a section of the NFT Museum.
“I was looking at the time spent on the platform and it’s much higher than last year and the bounce rate was much lower,” said Neil Wright, head of collaborations and experience for Complex Networks. “People have a higher intention to participate. We’ve tried to remove so many barriers, be free and accessible, log in with email or Facebook profile, and it seems people are excited to attend.
PacSun, a longtime ComplexCon attendee, showcased its first activation in ComplexLand, which it considers “a unique intersection between fashion, tech, community, music, and gaming in the metaverse,” said the Mark. ComplexLand is helping the retailer expand its digital footprint beyond Pacworld into Roblox, PS the Game and its real estate purchase in Sandbox, and allowing it to showcase its PS Mall Rats NFT series which was on display at the NFT Museum on Friday. “Our NFT Mall Rat feature in the museum gallery included an exclusive hype sneaker from partner PS Reserve with purchases,” the brand said.
“We exceeded our revenue targets in the first 18 hours and are very pleased with our partnership with ComplexLand,” the retailer added. “Our audience loves the ability to customize their own avatars and access their favorite brands – we featured exclusive Cloud9 game drops, PS Reserve hype drops and Playboy merch, alongside our Pacsun monogram capsule.”
Frequent attendee of ComplexCon Atmos activated at ComplexLand for the third time. The Foot Locker-owned global retailer sees ComplexLand as a testing ground for new products, like its branded apparel and product collaborations with New Balance, [email protected] and Fisk. The company also saw this year’s event as an opportunity to explore the metaverse.
“It was our first opportunity to leverage the metaverse, which was super innovative for Complex to dive in so early with its first ComplexLand activation in 2020,” the retailer said. “It’s amazing how the NFT space has exploded over the past two years. We’re now in the process of launching our own Atmos NFT project and we’re excited to discover new ways to connect with consumers. outside of traditional branded/brick-and-mortar retail spaces.
Martian Toys activated for the third time at ComplexLand with collaborations with Tokidoki ahead of its third activation at ComplexCon this year in November. The company also offered free NFTs to consumers with certain purchases.
“The response has always been great,” said Kevin Phillips, wholesale manager of Martian Toys. “We see the shopping experience that ComplexLand delivers as the future of e-commerce – giving consumers an experience to shop rather than just scroll through a website. It’s an immersive experience with our fans to experience shopping in a whole new way.
Vandy re-released his Kakigori shoes at a virtual booth that served as a precursor to his upcoming ComplexCon activation this year and the eventual introduction of VandyLand, the metaverse he is developing. “As the metaverse grows, it’s a great platform to start learning about for newbies and also brand owners like us,” Vandy said.
ComplexLand is much more acceptable today as Web3.0 and NFTs grow in conversation and engagement with brands and consumers. In 2021, artists earned millions from their digital artworks and collectibles, brands jumped into the space introducing their own NFTs, and partnered with artists to create works of art with uses beyond simple collection. Cryptocurrencies and networks like Ethereum and Solana are regularly mentioned in conversations with crypto top dog Bitcoin and metaverses like Decentraland starting their first fashion weeks.
The first iteration of ComplexLand looked like a video game with in-game purchases, which Wright said the younger generation is aware of with virtual goods, in-app purchases and downloadable content. But where ComplexLand sees an opportunity on the game and the metaverse is what Wright describes as bridging “IRL and URL,” one of Complex’s missions.
“I have so many thoughts for the future and as we continue to develop the future of ComplexLand for 4.0,” Wright said. “If you can wear what your avatar wears, it’s different, especially for real gamers. It’s more fun that way. You want something tangible that transcends representations of you.
A few innovations introduced in version 2.0 that have returned in this edition are the playful aspects of the platform – users can collect coins in the virtual world and unlock new styles for their avatars, such as an adidas yeti suit hood or foam hats – and multiplayer, a regular has been in the game since the 1980s and 1990s, as a controller adapter built into the Nintendo 64 game console in 1996.
“We really wanted to make it a bit more of a video game where people have more to do during the experience,” Wright said.
He explained that users in the first iteration interacted and connected over chat, and felt that the form of community was important. ComplexLand 3.0 also had a feature for visitors to invite 50 friends to shop and explore the world together without other users and even have a private party in the world.
One feature that did not succeed this time around was the round tables. “People are there to shop,” Wright said. “I did not implicate any panel in this go-around. We were getting feedback after the show and people were coming for the shopping and not for the signs. They were pre-recorded and not live, so I think if it was live, the spontaneity would increase viewership. It’s becoming such an expensive experience and we really want to invest in what users want. »
Each year ComplexLand has sections like Sunset Lagoon, The Boro, and Astral Market, each with different brands and stores, but The District has been redone in this edition and has been enabled by UPS.
“We were the official shipping partner of ComplexLand,” said Betsy Wilson, vice president of digital marketing and brand activations at UPS. “We are always looking for innovative ways to impact culture. The Metaverse is a natural next place to go. We do a lot of training using virtual and augmented reality. The idea isn’t new to us, but the marketing activations are.
“UPS does a great job of assimilating,” added Wright. “At ComplexCon, they gave grants to key brands to participate and grow their activations and did a similar integration for ComplexLand. They’re a great utility partner and don’t necessarily fit a lifestyle perspective, but they’re so grounded in the back end.
And for the section curated by Healthysexual, Wright said LGBTQ brands haven’t been front and center or well represented at ComplexCon and ComplexLand over the years, but this section shines a spotlight on streetwear and culture makers. street. “It’s a really good way for us to make sure we’re as diverse as possible and give every underrepresented group a spotlight on the platform we’re building.”
Wright added of ComplexLand this year: “Web3.0 is supposed to be decentralized, but nothing is shared across platforms yet. From a business perspective, it’s compartmentalized. But if you can bridge the physical and the virtual, the adoption rate will be higher. »