Metaverse Shopping: The New Reality for Retailers

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For many consumers, metaverse It is a vague futuristic concept, perhaps catching their attention now. However, retailers can’t be that comfortable with the metaverse. It’s accelerating our way and by the time the holiday shopping season begins, this new world will already be here. retailers Need to know that laggards may not do well in 2022 – and realize that the time to prepare for a hypothetical future is now.

Successful brands have a vital presence not only in the physical world, but also online, on mobile devices and on social media. The metaverse is simply the next extension of that existence. By embracing virtual reality, retailers can enable customers to interact with their brand in a unique immersive environment that tells the brand’s story and differentiates it from others. Richly detailed, interactive 3D spaces encourage shoppers to stay longer than traditional websites or mobile apps.

Imagine the impact exciting virtual spaces can have on holiday shoppers, and it’s easy to see why online sales – along with customer engagement and brand loyalty – must raise the bar during the hottest shopping season of the year.

Fashionable early

The fashion industry was among the first to co-claim into the metaverse; Luxury brands invite shoppers in particular to explore and play in innovative virtual spaces:

  • Gucci upgraded virtual handbag On the popular and well-established gaming platform roblox game He sold it for $4,100, well above its actual price.
  • Louis Vuitton created virtual game To celebrate 200 foundersThe tenth A birthday full of challenges, prizes and surprises aimed at attracting young customers.
  • Dior Beauty Created her own virtual holiday store, highlighting gift options and limited edition products at dream player.

Magan McDowell wrote in Vogue Business. “In a world where any experiment is possible, why on earth would we use our industrial-age version of retail as a model for the future?” Virtual stores offer the possibility of a “third shopping mode that is not like stores nor websites,” she notes, but combines “the best of both the physical and virtual worlds.”

Data matters

The metaverse is recent, but data analysis provides a good indication of where it’s headed. Describing it as the “next big tech platform,” Bloomberg reported that the metaverse market is on its way to getting closer 800 billion dollars in 2024. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 13%, compared to a market of less than $500 billion in 2020.

At present, game hardware, software, services, and in-game advertising revenue are the main sources of income in the metaverse, and it is expected to reach 413 billion dollars In 2024, up from $275 billion in 2020. But online game makers who seize the opportunity to create virtual worlds within their games (remember Gucci and Louis Vuitton) could earn a larger share of game sales in the future. In total, the metaverse market is expected to outpace the current gaming market by nearly three times.

And looking forward to the next ten years, ie February 2022 Credit Suisse The report predicts that “even modest use of metaverses” could drive internet traffic’s compound annual growth rate 37% more than the current rate of 30% – a 20-fold multiplying current data usage.

At the user level, consumers were found to spend more than 14 minutes, immersed in 3D virtual shopping experiences, as opposed to less than 2 minutes on static 2D e-commerce sites. This boost in customer engagement translates into a 70% increase in conversion rates – and retailers offering a virtual shopping environment like the metaverse have seen a 450% ROI growth.

In addition to this feature, retailers taking advantage of today’s advanced virtual reality technology have access to data analytics based on user interactions in the metaverse, which can help improve product positioning. Not only can marketers identify the most popular products, they can also analyze traffic and track user activity, essential steps toward increasing customer engagement, brand loyalty, and ultimately sales.

Share the brand story

Unlike the retail spaces of the physical world, virtual experiences have very few limitations. They are never held back by construction costs, crowded showrooms, inconvenient locations, or the wrong time of day. In the metaverse, even the most imaginative visions can be vividly brought to life and made available by retailers to all consumers.

It is also possible to manage 3D virtual reality stores using software as a service (SaaS) solutions that give retailers complete control, without the need for technical expertise. Once a strong presence is established in the metaverse, brands can quickly and easily update their product offerings, store decor, and combo. This allows brands to align virtual stores with other channels such as physical stores and websites, as it is essential to ensure that the brand narrative is coherent across all sales channels, making an ideal multi-channel approach. Virtual stores can also be integrated with existing e-commerce systems, facilitating inventory management and direct checkout.

The metaverse can be an exciting yet relaxing space where customers leave their everyday realities behind and connect with brands on an emotional and personal level.

What’s to come next

It may be some time before the metaverse dramatically changes how we work, play, communicate and learn, according to Cassandra Napoli, chief strategist at WGSN Insights. Still, there are manyEntry points“What retailers should be thinking about now, she says: ‘Brands must start getting around these immersive virtual spaces and plan their corporate strategy or risk being left behind.’” “

The Robin Report neatly summarizes the importance of the metaverse, and predicts that it will become a “new method Internet experience, “and represents” an opportunity for any brand ready to meet customers wherever they are – whether in this world, or one yet to be created. “

Olga Dugadkina is the founder and CEO of Emperia.

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