Shopping for luxury Gucci items with cryptocurrency will become a reality soon. The famous fashion brand initiated a pilot program at the end of May 2022 in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Atlanta, and Las Vegas.
Customers can purchase store merchandise with ten types of cryptocurrency, including mainstream digital coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. But niche assets like Shiba Inu and Dogecoin are also on the table.
The strategic move symbolizes the next chapter in the fashion brand’s Web 3.0 journey, which aims to enhance the customers’ experience with new technologies. Let’s see what made them shift to this type of online payment.
The Infrastructure is Ready
This decision is one of the latest cryptocurrency news that shows digital coins are getting accepted as a medium of exchange by reputable brands.
In preparation for the launch, Gucci undertook a training program for its employees, getting them educated and ready for handling crypto transactions and other aspects of Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Typically, crypto payments in physical stores are processed via a QR code or NFC reader on a sale terminal that connects with a cryptocurrency app on the customer’s smartphone. That way, a retailer can instantaneously convert the crypto into fiat currency or keep the original crypto.
Gucci has announced that crypto payments in their stores will get processed via an email link with a QR code, through which the customer can make the payment from their crypto wallet. Gucci plans to offer refunds for cryptocurrency purchases in cryptocurrency.
Building Rapport With Younger Customers
The push to embrace crypto is part of the luxury brands’ strategy to appeal to younger customers by adopting new trends. This is also evident from Gucci outfits that feature digital characters. Millennials are still a primary target group, but Generation Z is steadily coming of age and encroaching on the fashion landscape.
Gucci managers know teenagers live on smartphones and are well versed in cryptocurrencies. Many have invested in digital coins or are part of the entire industry that performs mining on the blockchain.
Tapping into the pool of crypto influencers by making digital coins available as a payment method expands the customer base by including the younger generation that may be willing to splash out on the latest fashion items with crypto. Global events in recent years have restricted the luxury brand’s market, and Gucci is working on expanding its reach in North America.
Gucci’s NFT Collection
Gucci’s decision to start accepting crypto on a trial basis is not a surprise, considering the company has steadily been making moves to expand its footprint in the Metaverse.
At the start of the year, Gucci invested in virtual real estate on the blockchain-based platform The Sandbox. The goal is to create a digital property in the future. In March 2022, the company unveiled Gucci Vault, a digital store with plans to sell digital assets and vintage real-life clothing.
Although 2022 is shaping to be a busy year on the digital landscape for Gucci, the company started making bold steps in 2021, when it premiered its first NFT, a short four-minute film inspired by the “Aria” collection. The film sold for $25.000 through an online auction hosted by Christie’s.
This year, the NTF inventory received another batch with a three-part series labeled Super Gucci. This collaboration project with Superplastic, creator of digital vinyl toys, and the Gucci in-house design team resulted in the creation of digital collectibles. The first set of 10 collectibles is accompanied by exclusive eight-inch sculptures handcrafted by ceramicists in Italy.
The Super Gucci NTF collection comprises 250 pieces incorporating Gucci patterns, with the initial set of 10 NFTs available via Gucci Vault. The digital store features a Discord server that will function as an online community where fans of the fashion brand can read news and find rare vintage selections.
Owners of Gucci NFTs have privileged access to pre-order a collection before its public debut. In the future, the same perk may get offered to consumers that pay in cryptocurrencies.
Gucci is not a trendsetter in the cryptocurrency payment scene. Other big brands such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and telecom giant AT&T have already made pioneering moves and accept digital currencies.
However, Gucci is one of the biggest names in the fashion industry, devoting severe resources to help usher in the cryptocurrency era. The digital future of the Italian high-end fashion brand is promising, thanks to the Metaverse efforts and the new cryptocurrency payment system implemented in select physical stores.
If everything goes as planned with the pilot program, with the experience at hand to improve the service, Gucci plans to extend the program to all its stores in North America. Soon, it can spread across the world. And the next possible frontier is a Gucci “coin” joining the vast blockchain ecosystem.