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Q&A: Meditating in the metaverse with Alo Yoga

Insider Intelligence spoke with Angelic Vendette, vice president and head of marketing at Alo Yoga and Alo Moves. Vendette shares the company's foray into the metaverse, as Alo Yoga has expanded its digital offerings of yoga clothes and accessories in Roblox's “Alo Sanctuary.”

Insider Intelligence: What does Alo Yoga’s partnership with Roblox look like in the metaverse?

Angelic Vendette: When you come into the Roblox platform, you're automatically given one of our yoga mats and straps. As you discover the world, your avatar can roll out their mat and take an Alo Moves yoga class or select a pose like Warrior 2. As your avatar is in a certain pose, you can close your eyes, listen to the breath work, and follow the meditation as you're guided through it.

Our mission is to bring mindfulness and mindful movement to the world. We fully see this as a continuation of our purpose and mission and meeting a whole new slew of consumers in a space where they are already. We know that there are millions of daily active users on Roblox, so our goal is to meet consumers and clients where they are.

II: Why is it important to adapt products for purchase within new platforms like the metaverse?

AV: Retailers that don't adapt to new platforms will experience a lot of challenges. During the pandemic, certain retailers that were highly dependent on foot traffic and malls took a hit. This is also going to be the case for retailers that are popular only on social media like Instagram. We're already seeing shifts from Instagram-famous brands, [they're] getting less traction because they are not early adopters on TikTok.

We're seeing a really interesting shake up in the industry in how consumer behavior is changing. Some folks might want to shop everything on TikTok. Some might still want to shop in person, but expect almost a private or a personal stylist experience. Some might only want to shop on mobile and have a texting relationship with their advisor. Brands that are relying on traditional brick-and-mortar or just a very front-facing ecommerce website will lag behind.

II: What will define the consumer’s shopping experience going forward?

AV: The future of ecommerce and retail in general is experience. Whether that experience is in person or in the metaverse, a brand can set itself apart if consumers can holistically understand what values and type of lifestyle you bring as a retailer.

You may be leaning into the metaverse and thinking about creating a line of digital fashion and putting it up for sale. How is that different from just having your collection for sale in store? You need to add something extra so that your audience is getting value out of joining you on these platforms, and understanding who your brand is and what you stand for.

II: How have you seen consumers’ relationships to lifestyle brands evolve in recent years, and what has Alo Yoga done to meet that shift?

AV: Consumers overall expect integrity and purpose. They expect you to be genuine from start to finish. If you're a lifestyle brand like us, you have to ensure that you stay true to your values. We're not arbitrarily picking products that are a quick money grab. For example, we started with yoga apparel and then yoga accessories, but when we branched out into skincare a year ago, we had to ensure that we stayed true to our values and who we were.

It's all about ensuring that all our products are about mindfulness, and if we are not mindful about the ingredients, product story, and innovation that we put into our skincare, consumers will sniff that out.