Do you feel like you depend on technology just to go shopping? Most of us do. Over three-quarters of shoppers worldwide say they depend on technology now to do ordinary tasks like housework, exercise, and of course, shopping. This figure has almost doubled in just four years.
Overall consumer behavior has changed dramatically in the past decade due to technological advances, and those changes are only going to continue. In the near future, we may see a new type of shopping emerge: shopping in the metaverse.
How the Metaverse Affects the Consumer-Brand Relationship
OK, let’s establish first what the metaverse is.
The Metaverse is a term coined by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. It refers to a 3D world that gives the user an immersive experience. It is created by computer graphics and allows users to interact with each other in a virtual space.
While the entire concept is still in its early stages, consumers have already started to shop in the Metaverse.
Reportedly, an average house in the Metaverse will cost you $76,000, a piece of artwork will set you back $9,000, and a digital designer handbag will require nearly $3,000. Are people really spending that much money in a virtual world? Yes, and the trend is only going to grow.
The Metaverse Mainly Appeals to Younger Generations
So far, the metaverse has been most popular with younger generations. This is likely because they are the most comfortable with technology and like to shop on the go.
For instance, a vast majority of Gen Zers want to be able to purchase products – both physical and digital ones – no matter where they are.
The concept of shopping in the Metaverse is pretty similar to in-game purchasing. We are already seeing this with games like Fortnite, Roblox, and various sports games where players can buy virtual currency to purchase items in the game.
According to a recent Obsess survey, around 75% of Gen Z consumers have made a digital purchase within a video game. And 60% of those shoppers feel that brands should start offering their products in the Metaverse.
How Should Brands Transition to the Metaverse?
The good news for brands is that there are already a few ways to transition into the Metaverse.
- Establishing Metaverse Presence
The first step is to establish a presence in the Metaverse. Through the integration of VR and AR, users can interact with 3D representations of brands. That can be done by creating a virtual store or exhibiting at a virtual trade show.
There are already a few platforms that brands can use to do this, such as Sansar, High Fidelity, and Decentraland.
- Getting to Know the Target Audience
The next step is to get to know the target audience. What are their shopping habits? What do they like and dislike? That can be done by conducting traditional surveys or using analytics tools to track user behavior.
- Using Virtual Search Optimization
The final step is to use virtual search optimization (VSO) to ensure that users can find the brand in the Metaverse. That can be done by using keywords and other SEO techniques.
All of this is all-so-new to most of us. But, like all things, it will become more and more normalized over time. The key for brands is to stay ahead of the curve and be open to new opportunities. The possibilities are endless.
Only time will tell how the Metaverse will change consumer shopping. But one thing is for sure, it’s going to be a wild ride. Are you ready for it?