Own showrooms, 3D products, virtual offers and interactive customer dialogue: the Metaverse offers retailers new opportunities, enormous potential and completely new touchpoints. Why a presence in the parallel world is worthwhile – not just for big brands.
Shop in the Metaverse Economy? What next after future music the sounds are now quite real. Because the Parallelwelt increasingly blurs the boundaries between the virtual and physical world. The Metaverse was born from the combination of three independent developments: the vastly growing range of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) terminals, blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFT) as well as Web3 with its new social interaction. sizes.
All of these components provide e-commerce with the Ability to discover virtual and physical products and services in the metaverse and to be expelled.
Metaverse economy: definitions of the most important terms
- VR devices:
Virtual reality refers to a digital image of reality created by computer. If you immerse yourself in this purely digital three-dimensional world using a VR device, you will no longer perceive anything of your real environment. These VR terminals are VR glasses or headsets.
Blockchain technology is a database technology that anonymizes, decentralizes and securely records economic transactions. Due to their security against manipulation, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are stored on blockchains. Translated into German, the English word token means something like a mark, coin or symbol. A (fungible) token is a digital asset that enables trading, e.g. For example, stocks, real estate or commodities. On the other hand, non-fungible tokens (NFT) are different: these virtual tokens are not interchangeable and unique. Digital certificates of authenticity can be purchased in the Metaverse, among other places, and stored in digital wallets.
Brands and retailers have brand new presentation options for their products through VR devices such as Meta’s Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. Customer meetings, chats and other social connection technologies within the metaverse are also forming new touchpoints for marketing and sales:
- Stores or showrooms: Brands and brand manufacturers can create their own virtual department stores in the metaverse, where they can virtually and individually advise their customers, sell products or create their own events.
- Product presentation: In virtual stores, retailers and brands can showcase their analog products in 3D.
- Product range: In addition to the virtual presentation of physical products, fully virtual products are also traded in the metaverse, e.g. B. Sneakers or watches for your own avatar, which can also be linked to NFTs.
- Setup and customization: Many products can be individualized based on customer needs on interactive touchpoints in the metaverse.
This distinguishes the metaverse economy from traditional e-commerce in two crucial respects: on the one hand, retailers can speak directly and immediately to their customers, in a way that is otherwise only possible in the analog world; on the other hand, they can explain their products and services in detail and in full, as in physical retail.
How Blockchain Digitizes Favorite Brands and Status Symbols
Established brands such as Balenciaga, Disney or Ferrari are already exploiting the existing potential of the Metaverse with virtual products. After all, the more time users spend in the metaverse, the more important virtual status symbols become. Anyone who relies on brands in real life will also not want to do without their favorite brands virtually – ideal conditions for generating sales in the digital and virtual world. For example, customers can try on virtual fashion in virtual stores and dress up their avatars with it. If you buy a favorite physical product in the Metaverse, you can sometimes buy it with an NFT of the product. It remains protected indefinitely by being stored on the blockchain and is your own property.
But not only the very big ones are already active in the metaverse: small brands and retailers are also taking the first steps towards a presence in the parallel world. For example, Juwelo, a supplier of genuine gemstone jewelry sold through its own TV channel and online, offers physical jewelry in individual collections as well as an NFT of the certified gemstone that customers can load into their wallet. since 2022.
Whether jewelry, luxury brands or fashion: the Metaverse offers unimaginable potential for retailers. Bloomberg estimates the market volume of the metaverse economy to be around US$800 billion in 2024 alone. A Shopify survey shows that interactions with products embedded in a 3D or AR environment convert almost twice as much as products presented in a conventional digital way. So it pays to be brave and venture into new worlds.
The author Wolfgang Boyé is co-founder of jooli.
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