Popular avatar clothing and accessories include headphones, pets and boots.
The Roblox platform never ceases to amaze me, especially in regards to the astounding volume of publicly available data you can find there. Every couple of weeks, I discover a whole bunch of new and interesting data (or ways to look at that data) that surprises and fascinates me.
While I usually focus on analyzing how brands are activating on the platform (such as through monthly brand experience rankings), I believe it's equally important (if not more important) to see how native developers and designers are succeeding on the platform, since they're typically reaching more players and monetizing more effectively than brands are.
This week I'm taking a deeper look at UGC virtual fashion items, which are available within the Roblox Avatar Shop. Over the past several months, I've gained deep expertise in this area through a combination of working with clients such as retailer Hot Topic and analyzing how brands and celebrities like David Guetta translate what they do into sellable digital clothing.
Why Analyze Roblox UGC Virtual Fashion / Merchandise?
Before we look at the top trending UGC virtual items on the platform, let's first review why this topic is so important for brands and developers alike.
While generating revenue on Roblox is extremely difficult (items sell for small amounts, so you need LOTS and LOTS of micro transactions to generate meaningful amounts), selling virtual items is one way that developers and brands can do this. So for brands interested in either testing out a new digital goods revenue stream or finding ways to possibly recoup their Roblox development costs, understanding and potentially mastering digital fashion / merchandise is definitely worthwhile.
Although you might not typically think about selling virtual items as a marketing play, there are potential marketing benefits possible when you design and sell items on Roblox.
On-Platform Impressions: When someone checks out the Roblox item page for the Officially Licensed Invader Zim GIR Plush Backpack, which I worked on with Hot Topic, that's a touchpoint for the brand (and the seller). And if the user checks out multiple item pages, the brand racks up multiple touch points, which not only boosts the strength of the brand, but can also increase the likelihood of that user making a purchase both online and IRL.
Off-Platform Impressions: Launching virtual items that resonate within Roblox can also yield huge benefits off of Roblox on platforms such as TikTok. For example, when I helped Hot Topic launch virtual goods with Paramount / Nickelodeon's Invader Zim property, Roblox creators on TikTok got super excited about it, posting lots of videos that generated over 1.6 million views (and counting).
Engagement: When a user purchases your branded item and wears it within a Roblox game, they are spending time engaging with your IP. In addition, they are effectively turning their avatar into a walking billboard for your brand, which can lead to more marketing impressions and other players purchasing that item.
Lower Startup Costs
While integrating a brand into an existing Roblox game can easily require an investment of over $100K and building a custom Roblox game can range from $200K-$500K+, brands can launch virtual items for much less, typically in the $15K-$25K range (pricing depends on who is making the items, how many items are being made, and types of items). For brands interested in entering the Roblox platform, gathering data, and figuring out how to engage with the existing community, launching UGC virtual items is a smart and lower-risk way to get started.
Faster to Market
Launching virtual items within the Roblox Avatar Shop can take only 1-2 months, and sometimes as short as a few weeks. That's much faster than building a custom game, which will likely take anywhere from 3-8 months on average.
Now that we've established why UGC fashion and merchandise are important for brands to consider, let's look at what's trending on Roblox right now.
How To Determine Which Items are Popular on Roblox
What got me excited this past week was playing around with the filters within the Roblox Avatar Shop. Although I have used them in the past, I didn't realize how powerful they were until just now.
Roblox allows users to explore items in the Avatar Shop by sales type, creator and price. You can also sort the results by relevance, most favorited, bestselling, recently created, price (high to low), and price (low to high).
At first blush, bestselling seemed to be the best way to sort the items. I mean, who doesn't want to know what the top selling items are on the platform, right? However, it turns out this approach doesn't yield the type of results you'd hope for. When you sort by bestselling, you get a lot of initial results that are free items. And that makes sense, right? People want free stuff. However, these results aren't super helpful because they are mostly legacy items sold directly by Roblox. Roblox doesn't create many free items itself these days, so these items aren't super helpful to study.
So instead I decided to focus on "Most Favorited" as the primary way to sort and determine the top-performing items. And after sorting by "Most Favorited," I went to "Past Week" as the date range, so I could get a good sense of current trends, not lifetime trends. This approach worked very effectively, producing very illuminating results.
Top Clothing Trending on Roblox
"Clothing" is one of the main categories within the Avatar Shop. Within this category, there are several sub-categories: jackets, t-shirts, shorts, pants, etc. To understand what's trending, I've pulled the most-favorited item for the past week within each sub-category. Here they are listed in order of most-favorited to least-favorited.
Note: you can see the number of favorites each item has by looking in the bottom left corner of each image, where you can see a star icon.
Knitted Arm Warmers White - 260K+ Favorites
White Oversized Crop Off Shoulder Sweater - 79K+ Favorites
Pompous Poodle - 15K+ Favorites
Fur Boots White - 13K+ Favorites
Goth Corset in Pure White - 9,445 Favorites
[HUGE] Teddy Bear Family - 8,157 Favorites
Top Takeaway from Clothing Category
In the Northern hemisphere, it is winter with cold temps, and some of the top trending clothing fashions reflect that season. Arm warmers and fur boots are the types of items you'd expect to see people wearing in winter. Clearly lots of Roblox players have an interest in equipping their avatars with clothing that matches the weather IRL.
Things are Not What They are Categorized As
It seems odd that "fur boots white" are categorized as pants and that the "Teddy Bear Family" is categorized under skirts. I assume that the reason for this funky categorization is due to Roblox's categorization system and UGC creators needing creative ways to work within those restrictions. While the teddy bear family doesn't look like a traditional skirt, it does end up wrapping around an avatar's waist, just like a skirt would. So that's why it's listed as a skirt.
And while the "boots" are labeled as "Pants," they don't look like pants when worn by an avatar. They look like perfectly normal boots on my avatar....
Top Accessories Trending on Roblox
After clothing, the next big category in the Avatar Shop is accessories, which includes a variety of sub-categories such as front accessory, face accessory, waist accessory, and shoulder accessory.
Top Front Accessory
white connected headphones - 53K+ favorites
Top Face Accessory
White Simple Bored Face - 50K+ favorites
Top Waist Accessory
Realistic Capybara Mount - 47K+ favorites
Top Hat Accessory
white valentines heart cyber mecha headphones - 38K+ favorites
Top Shoulder Accessory
Maxwell The Cat - 23K+ favorites
Top Neck Accessory
Silver Y2K Planet Necklace - 19K+ favorites
Top Back Accessory
3.0 BLACK Y2K STAR BACKPACK - 16K+ favorites
Top Takeaways from Accessory Category
Cute Pets Rule
Want to ride a realistic capybara around different Roblox games? Well, you can for only 50 Robux! Want to carry a cat on your shoulder? That's only 35 Robux! Whether you're an animal lover or just want to attract other players' attention by equipping your avatar with a cute pet-themed accessory, there are plenty of options available in the Avatar Shop. And clearly, this is a trend that's popular enough that we're seeing it across multiple accessory sub categories, not to mention the poodle item trending in the shorts clothing category.
Y2K Is Back?!
I haven't thought about Y2K, the milllennium bug that was feared to cripple technology at the turn of the century, in many years. But apparently the fashions inspired by this era are quite popular. Not one, but two Y2K items are currently popular on Roblox, a Y2K planet necklace and a Y2K star backpack. Y2K fashions have been popular IRL, dating back to last year. So again, we're seeing trends in the physical world having a noticeable impact on trends in virtual worlds as well.
Know someone working in virtual fashion, or know of a brand that would be interested in launching virtual merchandise? Please share this article with them!
If you're interested launching branded UGC virtual fashion and merchandise in Roblox but need help figuring out what to do, please drop me an email at email@example.com.
Stephen Dypiangco is the CEO of Metaverse Marcom, a strategy and consulting firm helping entertainment and sports brands enter the metaverse.