Take a few steps back – it’s the year 2008 and social networks are still just an entertaining novelty in our country with their full potential only perceived by few. It is a climate in which people can still be heard saying things like: “Facebook will go bust as soon as people have had enough of it, and this will happen soon. Virtual friends? Come on…”.
Nevertheless, when a client asked Bruketa&Žinić OM to come up with the concept and the mechanism of their new online shop to offer a wide array of electronic equipment and devices, the agency turned to the very elements which are today widely recognised as the basic building blocks of social networks – it decided to use the virtual space which users can fill in with their own contents and gave them the possibility to share or download contents from other users, spicing it all up with elements of online gaming.
In this concept the webshop looked like this: the shop was presented to visitors as a 3D virtual space in which the user can move freely, wander about, look around and purchase items obtaining more information in pop-up menus always found next to the product. In this world, the user is represented by an avatar which can be personalized – selecting gender, clothes and the like.
While shopping, the visitor can meet and interact with other visitors – they can chat, exchange product reviews and shopping experience or even set up an exchange of used devices.
Visitors can ask the shop staff for help to find out more and can get a part time job at the shop themselves – for example, if you wish to be Santa Claus at our shop, you will have to spend 4 hours a day in the virtual space, ring a bell, go “ho-ho-ho” and do all the things Santa Claus is usually expected to do. In return, you will receive purchase discounts or loyalty points.
Loyalty points are collected by purchase and they make buyers stronger and more valuable – the “strong” buyers are being served first, they wait less for data processing, the staff is always at their disposal and they receive additional gadgets (clothes, equipment, technology) for their virtual avatars. Points can also be exchanged for a product of the same value.
This online 3D shop concept has been upgraded by the concept of a virtual space in which people will be able to hang out without having to purchase anything – we offered our users a free virtual room to be decorated as they like and filled with fictional devices.
The user can adapt the room entirely to him or herself – select the wall and floor colour, pick out furniture, upload his or her pictures into photo frames…
In the room, the user can also use functional virtual devices sold by the client, by dragging them into the room from the menu – TV, radio, turntable, game console, telephone, camera, etc. Each of these objects is functional and entirely free of charge for an unlimited amount of time – you can watch the TV, you can call someone on the phone, you can play on the console, you can listen to the online radio and online “vinyls”. Next to each of the objects that have been “moved in” there is an icon allowing the visitor to purchase it swiftly, as well as the quick menu in which the user can find out more about the product specifications, price, other similar but cheaper products, the statistics on the same product in other users’ rooms, and so on.
Each purchase at the webshop earns the user virtual points to be used for better room equipment, for example: a purchase in the amount of 500 kunas will bring 50 points to the user, which can then be used to purchase another virtual TV channel or another virtual console game.
Users are allowed to peek into other people’s rooms and find out who purchased what, who selected what and how they decorated their space, they can select a best-buy room, the most expensive room, the cheapest room, they can chat with other tenants (the mailbox in your room will light up when you get mail) and exchange reviews.
Loyalty program was designed for frequent buyers, occasionally offering limited edition contents for their devices – HBO channel for the TV, a new game for the console or another gift, such as a baseball bat to thrash the entire room and restore it by a single click on the button.
In any case, the client liked it and the idea was accepted!
Bruketa&Žinić OM / Davor Bruketa, Nikola Žinić (Creative Directors), Ivan Čadež (Copywriter), Tomislav Jurica Kaćunić (Art Director), Marija Jakeljić (Account Manager)
client: Hrvoje Prpić, Tomislav Radošević