Roblox & I-Commerce
Updated: Nov 6
iCommerce is the new eCommerce, where customers enjoy an immersive digital experience.
Major brands are venturing into Roblox because they can not only access Generation Z and Generation Alpha audiences where they are spending their time, but brands gain valuable data insights on these customers.
If mall owners want to compete with the iCommerce, they must offer a superior experience and customer data insights - which may prove to be a challenging endeavor.
For years, malls have been synonymous with experiences, transitioning from merely a convenient shopping destination to a place where people seek entertainment and immersive experiences. Roblox has become the ultimate hub for socializing and experiences particularly for younger generations.
Roblox stands as the most popular metaverse, boasting more gamers than Fortnite, Zepeto, Minecraft, and others. It enjoys 66 million daily active users, 67% of whom are under the age of 16, a lucrative emerging group of customers. On average they spend 2.6 hours a day on Roblox.
Two thirds of 9-12 year old American kids play Roblox.
Within the metaverse, you can encounter experiences unlike any other. Your chosen avatar can be an astronaut, a dinosaur, or any character you desire, and you can bend the laws of time, space, gravity, and reality. A study by Razorfish revealed that 52% of Gen Zs individuals feel more like themselves in the metaverse than in real life.
On average, gamers spend over two hours a day on Roblox, surpassing the time spent on YouTube, Instagram, and Netflix. It's where they invest the majority of their time.
Roblox grants brands access to a wealth of valuable data insights. This includes distinguishing new and returning visitors, tracking their frequency of visits in the past 30, 60, and 90 days, and gathering demographic information. It even monitors their purchasing behavior and frequency.
Similar to how traditional advertising mediums (newspapers, TV, magazines, signage) struggled to compete with digital advertising (on websites and social media) due to its ability to quantify campaign success by tracking impressions and engagement, mall asset owners may face challenges if they can't provide data insights. They risk losing tenants' budgets to those who can demonstrate store success.
Mall owners can no longer afford complacency. Foot traffic remains a vital metric for demonstrating an asset's health and success, but even accurately counting visitors has proven to be a challenging task.
If we can't get the basics right, how can we hope to catch up? Mall owners must invest in a forward-looking strategy for their technology infrastructure.
This entails high-quality sensors, hardware upgrades, advanced reporting technology, connectivity, and a comprehensive data strategy for collecting, recording, securing, analyzing, and integrating data with proprietary in-house and third-party data to provide exceptional insights to both themselves and their tenants.
As retail technology advances in other areas, such as AI, i-commerce, e-commerce, and digital advertising, raising the expectations of retailers, more asset owners must adapt to meet these customer expectations to avoid falling behind.