The stores on Second Life are open for business. Or is that virtual business? Or is that experiential virtual business? Beats me. It also seems to beat marketers, not many of whom are actually attributing real product sales to Second Life shops. In fact, I wonder if fake shopping will have a negative impact on real shopping. Will it desensitize the shopper to a real purchase because play-acting a purchase just isn’t as much fun?
For instance, if I go to the Reebok store on Second Life and buy my avatar (a cartoon image/likeness) a plaid pair of high-tops with orange laces, am I building these sneakers because they are cool looking and I would wear them in public? Or am I trying to decide if they are cool and I would wear them in public? Or am I buying them because there’s no way I’d wear them in public, but can pretend I might? And do I even need sneakers at the same time my avatar does?
Then the phone rings, someone asks me to go to the beach, I grab my flip-flops and say “Would I?”
Second Life might make sense for new, category-busting products, but I’m not yet feeling the love for traditional products. Not yet.