Staging the New Retail Drama: at a Metaverse near you!

Savvas Papagiannidis, Michael Bourlakis


Consumers have traditionally looked for products that could fulfil their needs and retailers responded to demand by initially adopting product-oriented, and then more recently customer-oriented, strategies. This shift was heavily underpinned by technology which enabled retailers to implement more intelligent approaches that evolved around consumers, based on their profiles. The next step in this transformation is now towards a ‘unique’ experience creation, with retailers providing a retail theatre experience that is different and special and consumers enjoying an increased opportunity to interact and participate in the overall experience. In this paper we examine how metaverses, i.e. Internet-based virtual worlds, and more specifically Second Life, can potentially provide the stage for this retail theatre experience. Our discussion takes place in the context of two cases that are used to highlight the implications of retail theatre for both consumers and retailers and illustrate the opportunities and challenges they are faced with.


retailing; metaverses; retail theatre; Second Life; electronic business; electronic marketing

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