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07/05/2022

CSA Exclusive: Crocs opens metaverse store with Saweetie

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Crocs Saweetie metaverse store
Crocs and rapper Saweetie are partnering in the metaverse (Photo by Benjamin Askinas).

Crocs’ latest immersive virtual shopping experience involves a partnership with a popular rap star.

The specialty footwear brand is collaborating with rap music artist Saweetie to design her own custom Jibbitz charms (owned by Crocs). As part of the launch, Crocs and Saweetie have opened an interactive virtual store based on technology from metaverse commerce platform Obsess.

The immersive experience features a digital avatar of Saweetie welcoming customers to explore the 3D metaverse environment. Within the virtual store, fans can sign up to enter a live drawing on the Crocs e-commerce site to shop an assortment of limited-edition Saweetie X Crocs bundles.

 “We’re constantly looking for new ways to push the boundaries of digital innovation and drive consumer connectivity, said Heidi Cooley, chief marketing officer, Crocs, said in an exclusive interview with Chain Store Age. “We maintain brand momentum by growing and evolving with our consumers and we seek to work with partners like Obsess who share our vision for delivering consumer-first experiences. This allows us to pursue innovation and authentic consumer engagement through a digitally-led social-first lens.”

According to Cooley, the metaverse store experience has driven double-digit engagement rates across its social media platforms, outperforming digital benchmarks.

“Building authentic brand engagement through interactive experiences has never been more important, and we leverage digital innovation as a tool to build meaningful, long-term relationships with our consumers,” explained Cooley. “We’re considered a polarizing brand and we embrace that because it gives us permission to be bold, disruptive, and take risks.” 

Given the success of its metaverse commerce launch, Crocs is planning to focus on creating more immersive, digital-first customer experiences.

“We feel it’s our obligation to give customers interesting reasons to engage and come back to our brand,” Cooley stated.

Crocs collaborates with Bitmoji

Crocs has been increasing activity in the space between physical and virtual retailing. In October 2021, the company launched a global partnership with Bitmoji, the platform for creating personalized digital avatars. Through this activation, customers were able to outfit their Bitmoji avatars with items from a digital collection of Crocs shoes and Jibbitz charms.

The content was available to consumers on Snapchat and the Bitmoji app.Events including Crocs trivia on social media and in select Crocs retail stores also took place,.and customers could share Crocs-centric content on social media, with a chance to receive surprise items or be featured on Crocs' social media channels.

And during the September New York Fashion Week event, Crocs partnered with buy now, pay later platform Afterpay to reveal an exclusive collection of Jibbitz charms, at a Times Square digital “Dropshop” augmented reality-based shopping experience. Customers could also use Snapchat to virtually try the Jibbitz charms on a pair of Black Classic Crocs before the Dropshop event, via a new Afterpay Snapchat Lens.

Based in Broomfield, Colo., Crocs operates more than 350 stores in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia, France, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and China.