We are seeing that the social networking tool/virtual world Second Life is gradually becoming more relevant to business as more organizations take the plunge to test it out and market their wares to SL users.
Case in point: Canada Post has just launched Maple Grove, a city in Second Life. It was announced Thursday (see press release Canada Post Leaps Into Virtual World – Nov. 1/07) and the grand opening took place Saturday with a six-hour music festival. Maple Grove includes brand name stores where you can purchase real world items and have them shipped (using, of course, Canada Post). There is also a concert venue and a replica of the CN Tower.
From the press release:
“There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians in Second Life,” said Laurene Cihosky, senior vice president for Canada Post’s direct marketing division. “We want Maple Grove to be a place where they are comfortable to visit because it has a uniquely Canadian feel.”
Maple Grove is Canada Post’s flagship entry into the virtual world. The city includes a collection of stores from Canadian and U.S. retailers who are participating in Canada Post’s lookbook™ catalogue. Retailers in Maple Grove include Toys’R’ Us, The Shopping Channel, Brookstone, SkyMall, Red Canoe, and Everything Olive.
To mark this inaugural event, many retailers are offering incentives for Second Life visitors. SkyMall, who recently entered the Canadian market, is offering a “ship to anyone in Canada” option where Canadians and U.S. shoppers can send gifts to their family and friends in Canada. The Shopping Channel will be broadcasting special offers throughout the holiday season. Niche retailer, Everything Olive, is offering an eco-friendly gift tote with purchase and Brookstone will take $15 off all purchases of $100 or more.
See this video from this morning’s Canada AM for a brief tour.