Online retailers are moving into online games and virtual worlds to take advantage of millions of pounds being spent in Second Life, according to analyst firm Gartner.
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"Consumers are increasingly using technology to customise the shopping process to their specific needs. Retailers must understand how consumers are interacting with their brands as this will have a substantial impact on how retail operations will evolve in the future," said Gartner.
The company predicts that 20% of global tier one retailers will have a marketing presence in online games and virtual world's by 2010.
Gartner said that there are 11 million people registered in second life and more than £500,000 is spent every day as they buy property, items or experiences.
Retailers must expand their definitions of customer touchpoints to include virtual worlds and online games, according to the company.