Thursday, July 15, 2010

OK - i gave in to peer pressure

Stiletto Moody's is a well known expensive shoe line in SecondLife. Expensive like 2000 to 4000 Lindens per pair. People swear by these shoes...and then moan about how it was sooooo worth it to get them.

They put up a pair of shoes as a group gift. I gather it doesn't happen very often. There has been an unbelievable crush of folks trying to get the shoe. For most of yesterday you couldn't tp to the sim where the shoes were. This was bad since they were also having a 40% off sale and lots of the faithful wanted to come spend money on new shoes. Today they moved the group gift shoes to their smaller boutique store. Here's is the URL of the smaller store -
They have a tp system to take you to the main store.

When it's not so crowded I will go back and take pictures of the store - big shoes on display, whole ranges of colors available.

Here are 2 pictures - close up of my feet wearing my first *and probably only* pair of Stiletto Moody shoes. They are really well made. You get 3 sizes for a good fit. Check out the detail on the streps, the highlighting, the rich color

And - unlike most clothes in SL - they have the brand on the shoe - there's a small heart on the sole. Very cool. And it comes with painted toenails...and toes *duh*

So what's this mean? Other than with a little pressure I can dress up and get out of my raggedy tennis shoes or green sandals? There is knowledge of brands in SL - people recognize the name of this shoe maker. People aren't turned off by having brand labels on their clothes. People are willing to pay an immense amount of virtual currency for a virtual good - or more specifically for a quality trendy virtual good.

Another instance of gacha machines

I visited a hair store today with 3 gacha machines each holding an assortment of hair that you could win. Above each machine was a display of the hair in that machine. Each machine had some secret prizes you could win too - probably different hair.

On the other side of the store is a wall of group gifts and freebies.

The store did have things for sale - you were wondering right? They were on the back wall - and i forgot to take a picture of them!

Notice the black walls. Lots of windows - the ceiling and the front wall. It was a small store in terms of floor space. All stores in SL seem to be tall so that there is no interference with the camera that hangs behind the avatar.

Shopping Sims

I visited a couple of sims that seemed to be all shopping. Individual stores around some open space.

One had a boardwalk coaster car that you rezzed to move you around the island. There were points were it stopped and you had to get out and look around/shop or rez a new car. Here is a slurl to one store on the sim -

One the sim was all black and grays - the sidewalk, the trees. The stores had a little color in the store names that you could see from the streets. Inside the clothes of course provided color. The black/gray background made the colors stand out. Here is a slurl to this sim -

One was just a series of open stores around a grassy plot. Felt less permanent than the others. Definitely felt less upscale.

I didn't see any way to know what was on the sim anywhere on these 3 examples - no island directory for instance, although granted, I tp'd into a specific store on each sim and not some central landing zone. You just walked around and looked to see what was there. With SL being slow to rez, that can be kind of aggravating because it seems the store name is often the last thing to rez (kind of like finding your keys in the last place you look). The vast majority of the stores on each of these sims were women's clothing. They're kind of like a RL mall in that. But no game stores or furniture for the most part. All in all, there's not much reason to wander if you came for a specific store - nothing to lead you around the sim.

The exception was the sim with the boardwalk coaster car. That sim had little carts set up all along the waterfront with freebies and cheap things from the merchants on the sim (I think that's what was there - the signs were mostly in Japanese). There were some humorous themed elementsIt also had some machines that seemed to be set up to change RL currency into Lindens.

Here's a view of one of the stores on the Japanese sim with a view out the door

And here's a closeup of the machines you can see out the store's door.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A couple of interesting store interiors

I was following some links earlier today and was really taken by the entrance to this store...unfortuantely not much else outside of this one to make it worth going outside to take a look. It was in a castle. The floors were wood planks. The walls were stone. It looked like a castle inside. The front doors were massive, metal engravings. Stained glass images flanked the doors. It was the stain glass that caught my eye.

This is a long shot of the inside of Vinyl Addict. . It's fun. There's a giant glass of milk and some cookies, some cupcakes you can sit on, a big stuffed rabbit, dance balls for tinies (little avatars that come up to a typical avatars knees), and record album covers on the wall. Nothing for sale, just a fun space as you come into the store.

Here's a close up of the milk and cookies. Big - that's me next to the glass.

Here's the outside of the's also fun. Oversized fruit and mushrooms, a Mini Cooper (don't know why). There's water behind me and there are some boats out there. I'm not sure who sees it tho since the TP lands you inside the store.

This post is related to the one about TP landing zones. Where the avatar enters your store seems important. Do you feature a few things for sale, put out a gift item, visually lead them into the main retail space? If you have a central TP spot, people do tend to pile up there - they just stand and wait for things to rez or they land but can't move because of lag. If you don't have a TP landing spot, then sometimes it's difficult to tell what store you're in or where in the store you've landed this time.

Last day of the Fashion Fest

I visited a rew more sims in the2010 Fashion Fest. There were 9 sims altogether in the event, each with a different theme. Today I visited sims with an  Egyptian theme, an Italian renaissance theme, and an American Wild West theme. The brands or the products they're offering don't seem to have any connection to the sim theme. The retail spaces are very nicely themed tho.

This is Kunglers' store on the Italian Renaissance themed sim. There are frescoes on the wall, mosaics on the floor and clothes . That's me sitting in the chair on the left

Here's a long view of the main plaza on the Italian Renaissance sim. Lots of art, plants, and places to walk. Things are huge here. i'm the tiny speck in the center of the picture at the base of the flag pole

Here's the inside of a store ont eh Egyptian themed sim. There was a pyramid, elephants and camels. And surprisingly , lots of water features. I loved all the textures used in these sims - the architecture established the theme and all the details definitely enhanced it.

Here's a long shot of one of the buildings set up on the Egyptian themed sim. See the great desert backdrop?

I'm not sure why the sims weren't more crowded. There were some well known brands. There were scheduled events. Maybe I just went during non-peak times. But to me it seemed less visited than the Fashion Fair held earlier in 2010.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Another Fair..the Summer Gatcha Fair

The summer Gatcha Fair starts tomorrow - here's the SLURL:

As far as I can tell a gatcha is a machine like a bubble gum machne. You put your money in and one of the gumballs falls out. You don't know what color you're going to get. You put your money into the gatcha machine and one of the items falls out. You don't know which you're going to get. Here's a link to another blog post about them:

The prices aren't too high so you can buy several times from the same machine if you're trying for something specific.  there are lots of different stores represented - I saw Miel and Reek.

The site is cute...a fun atmosphere. There are stand alone stalls along the edges of hte area and a long pond down the center with floats and rafts. The open area is covered with sand and there are some little dunes and a sand castle. Summer at the beach.

Here's a link to a review of last year's Gatcha Gatcha Fair -

And a link to an article from wikipedia about gatcha machines in Japan where they're called gashapon -

Here are some pictures. Some of the gatcha machines look like actual gumball machines but there is an incredible variety.

Reek's machine looks like a red spaceship.

This stall had a cool treats vending machine

The machines in this stall looked like teddy bears.

Here - a photo booth dispenses shoes instead of snaps of you making a funny face

They had stand alone stalls and these little carts.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Landing Zone and Lobby - studio M

Studio M is another pretty store. I admit to having a preference for light woods and smokey colors. I got a note card recently that the store was having a summer sail - almost everything marked down to $50L so I went back to check them out.

Here is a picture of the landing spot for the provided's outside, on the sidewalk, down a bit from the actual store. Very pretty blooming trees. There's an outdoor shop behind me there - an example of a store that doesn't look like a store.

Here's a picture of what I would call the lobby...a little seating, the store name on the wall, and 2 doors into the story proper. I'm not sure why this isn't the TP landing zone..might be a requirement of the sim to land outside.  I don't see things like store policies or a obvious group joiner (but i think that's what hte pictures are under the store name on the green wall)...It's understated, calm....maybe more like a real life store than many I've seen.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Landing Zones - The Dressing Room

I really like The Dressing Room and The Dressing Room Blue. A small always changing collection of very inexpensive items from a few designers. Shoppers can check out a designer with little financial risk (ignoring the fact that even an expensive dress in SL only costs a couple of RL dollars). THey can see outfits pulled together that they migiht never have considered on their own.

I also love the design, the look and feel, of the two stores. Very sparsely decorated. The objects for sale highlighted. Although occasionally I think something is decoration and it's really for sale. But I'm getting better at that.

They have themed landing zones for when people TP in. The first Dressing Room doesn't have a door so people don't walk in and out; this makes the TP zone an important part of the store. They're set off by curtains. There are some items for sale, the list of designers involved in the project.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Front desks

I have been noticing that many large stores have front desks. They're not manned - or at least they haven't been while i've been there. They're impressive, make the store look a bit more upscale. Sometimes there are freebies on the surface, things to click to leave notes for the owner or to get customer service. Store policies can be displayed here. Usually there is information about how to join the store group or a subscribe-o-matic so the customer can get join the stores mailing list.

In each case pictured below, the color scheme and style of the store is reflected in the design of the front desk.

Display options

I went to a couple of sims of the Fashion Fair 2010. They have 9 sims all together. Here are some interesting display options I saw at different stores.

These dresses are displayed on mannequin cutouts - flat people shapes all in shiny black. They make the dress stand out. And i love the grouping. There's something powerful about seeing a whole collection in one spot. It makes shopping easier too because you can see all the colors. I'm sure the designer hopes that once you see all the colors you will buy two or three or four.

This next store was very under-decorated. Nothing on the walls or floors. There are cubes and sign boards filling the space. The cubes have pictures on all four sides so it's easy for the customer to see all the options by walking around. The sign boards had images just on one side. There was enough space between them for the customer to walk and move their camera to see better.

Shoe racks...They're deceptively narrow. From the front they look like traditional stepped displays. However, since the shoes are flat pictures, the shelves do not have to be very deep. From the side these displays are very shallow.  Users can see all the shoes though so it's another way to see a whole collection at once and compare features and colors.

Another display of a whole collection - one or two outfits and all the available colors.  easy to see all the options.

And a close up on the wall. Users just have to click on the picture of the color outfit they want to get the option to pay.

I like this wall. Big signs show the customer that these are the new items in the store and they're all pulled together on this wall. Each section of the wall contains one outfit in all the color combinations available.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Cute "store"....inside Peas

Not all stores are square buildings. Here are some pictures from Split Pea. This store is set up like a group of peas just out of the pod....the peas are hollowed out of course. Here are some pictures arranged from far away to closer up. The store sells women's clothing. It's a fun store, and the design is memorable. Each pea has just a few items in it, so it's easy to see what's available and kind of fun to climb up and down into the peas. The items are fun too. I have a dress from here named Olive Garden Tablecloth...because it has pretty stripes in colors that fit the color scheme of the Olive Garden Restaurant. It has a hat too..but seriously..I am sooo not a hat person (see the pics at the end for a giggle).

Here you can see a couple of the peas hollowed out.

You can see the peas are pretty big. There I am standing at the base of one of the ladders to a pea.

Here's a closeup inside one of the peas. The clothes are displayed on the walls as flat illustrations. They're touching the curved walls so they're at an angle.

Kim in the olive garden dress