To lure more young customers, retailers are trying to make online shopping
a more social experience. They're creating "elaborate online worlds
that may have little to do with their products [and] employing
video-sharing, social networking and even virtual reality to target the
teenagers who drove sites like YouTube and Facebook to popularity," the
Washington Post reports.
Examples: At Sears.com you can create your own avatar, or virtual self,
and virtually try on Sears clothes; "Wal-Mart started a Facebook group
about dorm-room style"; and J.C. Penney and American Eagle Outfitters
will have new short films in their sites every week.