Finally, the metaverse has arrived. In a vision of the metaverse, it has.
Everyone was talking about this glitzy introduction to the metaverse, whether it was floating in a spaceship with our friends in avatar form (according to Zuckerberg, the “new profile picture”) or attending concerts by their favorite musicians.
However, will the metaverse replace the Internet as we know it? What does this mean for well-established online-only industries, such as eCommerce?
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Examining the recently created metaverse and the ways in which eCommerce is already utilizing the concept of virtual connectivity.
What Is the Metaverse?
It makes sense that both businesses and consumers find the metaverse difficult to comprehend. This is because, in the opinion of evangelists such as Mark Zuckerberg, the metaverse does not yet exist.
In addition, unlike many other emerging technologies, the metaverse lacks a widely accepted definition.
According to commentators, the metaverse is the culmination of such innovations as augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and social commerce, to name a few. A constantly expanding network of 3D-rendered, real-time virtual environments that serve as both additional sales channels and an independent economy.
The metaverse is best characterized as the ultimate blank canvas.
The building blocks of the metaverse
Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
The fact that Meta’s Horizon VR platform has already attracted 300,000 users demonstrates their intention to dominate this market.
AR and VR are quickly becoming indispensable for retailers who sell goods that are typically difficult to purchase online due to their vast array of applications throughout the shopping experience. Home furnishings, cosmetics, footwear, and clothing typically have a high rate of returns because it can be difficult to judge the suitability of a product online.
It is not surprising that Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) was selected by Collins Dictionary as the word of the year for 2021 given the industry’s hype.
These blockchain-based digital assets have given rise to memes, collectibles, popular culture, and fashion, among many other things, and there are still a plethora of astounding new developments in the works.
NFTs are a sophisticated innovation, but their secure ownership authentication method makes them indispensable to the metaverse. Brands and consumers can use NFTs to expedite transactions or even to create new digital products with enhanced value propositions.
Typically, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of immersive digital environments is video games. Customers are attracted by gamification through the use of risks and rewards. As we progress, both risks and rewards increase in size.
It is not surprising, given the formula’s success, that gamification will have a significant impact on the metaverse.
The metaverse and ecommerce: What the metaverse means for merchants
It is not difficult to find instances of e-commerce embracing the metaverse’s potential. Their goal is to create more seamless and engaging shopping experiences that reduce friction and increase customer loyalty.
Breaking down the silos between offline/online channels with virtual shopping
Due to virtual shopping, which has transformed ecommerce from static product catalogues to real-time experiences, customers can now “walk” around a store while viewing 3D-rendered store displays made possible by augmented reality and virtual reality technology. It is a crucial first step towards truly bridging the gap between the convenience of traditional retail and online shopping.
Providing greater personalization
Eighty percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a company that offers customized experiences, and seventy-five percent of consumers find the concept of “living customer profiles” to be beneficial to the shopping experience.
However, personalization in e-commerce frequently concludes with product recommendations or discounts.
Given its longstanding reputation for innovation and leadership in digital connectivity, it is not surprising that Nike was one of the first businesses to invest in the metaverse. Nike is advancing with personalized virtual experiences in addition to registering a number of trademarks for digital sneakers and clothing (and thereby paving the way for the foreseeable release of NFTs).
What does the metaverse’s future hold? It remains uncertain whether we will ever be able to physically travel through the metaverse and live elsewhere. We can therefore anticipate that Ready Player One-style experiences will become more prevalent in e-commerce as a whole, albeit not immediately.