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Virtual worlds. Virtual stores. Virtual avatars. The metaverse is bringing the virtual universe to a computer near you. Industries are jumping into the metaverse headfirst to take advantage of this new environment, as soon as people can explore it.
At Metaverse Fashion Week, huge brands like Estee Lauder, Etro, Dolce & Gabbana, and Dundas participated in a show that merged fashion with innovation. Meanwhile, Vans, Gucci, and Adidas are preparing to launch themselves into the Metaverse.
In the food industry, Kraft Heinz has made a deal with Microsoft and created digital twins in the Metaverse, as a way to solve problems on a virtual basis. The objective is to ensure that Kraft can deliver their products, while the factories run efficiently. The company will virtually map out the supply chain and simulate product runs, to become aware of problems before they happen.
Because the Metaverse may be new it remains in a conceptual phase rather than a tangible one. Everyone has an opinion about how things will unfold in the future.
eCommerce involves selling or buying products or services over an electronic network, which is typically the internet. eCommerce also includes sending or receiving data or funds in the same way. In contrast, immersive commerce, also known as iCommerce, focuses on using virtual reality, augmented reality, and immersive technology to create smart virtual stores that represent physical locations. iCommerce has features of digital eCommerce and traditional stores for a more immersive experience.
The Metaverse is integral to moving the world from eCommerce to iCommerce. As the internet ushered in eCommerce, the Metaverse will do the same for iCommerce. It will be a new location for the direct digital sales of products. Instead of clicking and buying, consumers can ‘try and buy’ before they complete the transaction.
Ordinary people might be overwhelmed by the Metaverse, but business leaders need to be aware of all the available opportunities. In order to prepare the next generation of virtual retailers, ByondXR has created the first exclusively dedicated curriculum for New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. In a recent interview with WWD, Noam Levavi, ByondXR CEO and cofounder, shared details about how their cloud-based software creates virtual showrooms that are represented with interactive AR, VR, Web 3.0, Roblox, 360 web and full 3D web. Merging the physical with the metaverse creates a “phygital” connection, enabling brands to create engaging connections with people, so that buyers will support labels without site accessibility and location restrictions.
In addition, there’s no need to worry about supply chain issues and shipping delays in the Metaverse. Designers and digital hosts now act as “manufacturers” and consumers do not need to wait to get what they want. This serves the modern expectation of consumer gratification.
Personalized customer journeys, unique customizable products, and more efficient shopping are attainable in a way they weren’t before. However, consumers must be educated on virtual goods and what they offer. Based on the Revealing the Metaverse report, half of the average consumers aren’t aware of what an NFT is, and one-third feel the same about virtual products. About 1 in 10 want to know more about virtual goods and services. Once they realize how easy it is to shop on the Metaverse, the expectation is that it will become more popular than shopping in a physical store.
While an average customer or client may not know much about digital goods, business leaders need to know who their current consumers are. The current demographic who is most interested in purchasing virtual goods are males who are between 18 and 34 years of age.
When you look at the available products, this profile makes a lot of sense. However, only focusing on that small segment of the population would be a mistake. There are many obvious gaps in the market, such as women and other underrepresented groups.
Anyone working on the metaverse to sell products or services should be thinking ahead and creating tactics, activations, and messages that address these unmet needs. This provides an opportunity to cultivate a new audience and establish brand loyalty.
When you incorporate technology in an intuitive and relevant way, you can continue to adopt new tech as innovation occurs. Physical and digital offerings should work with each other, not replace one another. Use tech to provide something that can’t be accomplished in the real world and do the same with physical elements that aren’t possible to replicate digitally.
The Metaverse can empower a made-to-order/customization model, where clients get precisely what they want and little to no waste is involved. Make this part of your brand by having hangouts, one-off designs, and tailored messages in the virtual world.
It’s important to be strategic about all the data produced in the metaverse and how it can be applied. The Metaverse will give brands an option to seamlessly and completely map both offline to online, and online to offline behaviors and purchases.
With omnichannel shopping behaviors today, many find it difficult to determine where and how a customer finds and researches an item before heading to a physical location to purchase it. Fewer questions will be necessary with the implementation of the Metaverse, since large quantities of data will be available. Optimizing this data will be essential and highly advanced data management tools will likely be a big part of that process.
Anyone who wants to capture the loyalty, dollars, and attention of younger generations needs to understand what they are looking for. The main thing is an interactive digital experience. While joining the Metaverse might seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be.
If you don’t have a robust digital presence, it might not be time to join the Metaverse quite yet. Instead, take steps to build up to that offering for the sake of yourself and your clients. A certain level of digital knowledge is needed to navigate the Metaverse while measuring your performance and making necessary changes.
In addition, the audience looking at the Metaverse is also interested in other digital experiences. They’re the ones who are spending time on your ecommerce platform, social media, and apps.
One of the most essential features of the Metaverse is excellent digital content. If you haven’t already made strides toward that, focus on those efforts first. The Metaverse is largely digital, and most customers are going to be searching for brands and companies that offer aesthetic appeal. Unlike physical stores, the Metaverse lets you show off endless, personalized items to appeal to customers’ tastes.
Consider the graphics, videos, and imagery you want to share on the Metaverse. A real estate owner might want an immersive platform with imagery of available properties. While you may not be engaging the Metaverse tomorrow, starting the ideation process is wise.
If you’re a small to mid-sized business, you likely have a lot of responsibilities and roles to fill. Finding time to plan, learn more about new projects can be challenging. However, remaining relevant requires meeting new customer expectations. When Facebook made its debut, marketers were apprehensive about using it. However, those who advertised reaped new customers, with solid gains in revenue in a short period.
Partnering with a consultancy or digital marketing company could help you push the boundaries of your brand.
Interactivity will be a key element of engaging with customers in the future. Shoppers are searching for transparency and detail, while feeling a connection to the brands they shop with.
eCommerce in the Metaverse lets people shop, interact and experiment, without alienating past generations. The shift toward this kind of shopping provides a way to increase engagement, heighten brand awareness, and drive sales for those who take advantage of the Metaverse first. It’s a great way to work with all generations and engage customers globally.