There are nearly 8 billion people in the world. Yes, crazy. And more than a quarter of them are active online shoppers. Ecommerce sales are about to hit $6.5 trillion within a year.
What once was the future has finally become present. All of you reading this probably buy everything from groceries to garments on a regular basis. But we’re just people.
We’re always looking for the next big thing. Both as shoppers and investors. So what’s next for retail?
You’ve read the title, so you know the answer.
What the Metaverse Is and What It Isn’t
The Metaverse. A virtual, immersive world. It gives you an experience similar to the one you have with your smartphone. However, it’s far more advanced.
It’s in 3D, so it’s much more absorbing and realistic. You can actually see and interact with different things within this world.
The concept is still too futuristic and new for some. For now, only 16 in 100 people fully understand what the Metaverse is.
What Has Metaverse Done for Retail So Far
Some of the largest brands on the globe have used early Metaverse technology to develop more awareness, increase engagement, and learn in the process. D&G, Gucci, and Nike are just some of the brands that have used NFTs, virtual concerts, and VR to enhance their online presence.
And it makes sense why.
Augmented reality headsets can give consumers unique, one-to-one interactions with brands and products. Around 73% of consumers are willing to spend more money on a brand if they establish a genuine connection with it.
Shortcomings of Online Shopping
Let’s backtrack a little bit, and ask ourselves, will the Metaverse have a practical use or is it just a gimmick? We’ve seen a ton of new technologies come and go. All of them looked promising. However, they couldn’t deliver.
Is the Metaverse any different?
Studies show that nearly 60% of consumers actually like purchasing clothes, shoes, and other accessories online. It’s easy to see why. It’s really, really convenient. You can do it from the comfort of your own home.
But there are some things that you can’t do online. You can’t try on the clothes or see the fabric up close. Not to mention that you don’t know how it will look on you until you receive it. That brings us to the next point.
How the Metaverse Can Help Address That
The Metaverse can help solve some of the issues that come with online shopping.
For example, you can try on clothes virtually before you buy them. You can see how they look on you and what goes well with them. Want to inspect the fabric? Thanks to HD graphics and haptic feedback, you can do that as well.
Brands have people working for them who are more than aware of this. In fact, they’re already working on it.
Some of the brands working on the metaverse include:
- Nike: With the purchase of RTFKT, a virtual sneaker company, Nike has taken the first step in entering the Metaverse.
- Gucci: They’ve been one of the earliest adopters of Metaverse technology and the use of NFTs in brand promotion.
- Balenciaga: In addition to partnering with Fortnite for a virtual collection, Balenciaga established a full Metaverse unit within the company.
The Metaverse is the future of retail. It has the potential to solve some of the biggest issues that online shoppers face.
It’s still in its early stages, but brands are already experimenting with it. And this is just the beginning. Sooner or later, we’ll all be shopping in the Metaverse.