In the metaverse, retail will be different.
As interest in the metaverse increases, retailers in the real world and in virtual worlds will step in. How do we know? It’s already happening!
In these early days of the metaverse, we are seeing trends and hints at what the technology will grow into. And, in retail, metaverse technologies are starting to shape customer experiences.
There are two ways to consider the future of the metaverse and retail. Let’s explore them.
The Metaverse in Retail
First, let’s look at how we’ll see the metaverse in retail in the physical world. A growing number of retailers are utilizing a metaverse building block in their physical stores in the form of augmented reality tech.
A great example of AR in brick-and-mortar retail is Nike. As Forbes explains, “Nike uses augmented reality and virtual reality in their physical stores. Customers can scan items like shoes or clothing to view information, or they can enter a VR world to experience the different steps in Nike’s supply chain so they understand how and where items are being made.” The use of AR can create a more immersive experience in an in-person store.
Other retailers are utilizing AR in their online retail stores. Ikea, Sam’s Club, and a number of luxury brands are working with metaverse platforms like Ocavu to allow customers to visualize items in their own spaces.
The ability to blend real-world shopping experiences with e-commerce sites will likely continue to be a part of the future of retail.
Retail in the Metaverse
As consumers increasingly adopt metaverse technologies, like AR and VR (virtual reality), retailers will continue to move online shopping into the metaverse. Already, some retailers are offering real-life goods in virtual showrooms that can be accessed with VR headsets.
CNet describes one such project: “Luxury fashion house Balenciaga teamed up with Fortnite to sell not only virtual skins (outfits players wear in the video game) but also limited edition (and not cheap) Fortnite clothing.”
We also can’t ignore the potential to sell (and buy, of course) virtual products in the retail metaverse. Several major brands have jumped on board, selling virtual goods for metaverse money. As we explain in our blog, “Within games, for example, users can buy virtual clothing, collectibles, or home furniture through in-game purchases. And this trend is expected to grow exponentially as the metaverse comes into focus.”
Finally, there’s the potential for metaverse technology like NFTs. Increasingly, retailers like Pac Sun are understanding the potential of exclusive digital content to help create community and drive sales. NFTs are an ideal way to sell access to those experiences.
Make no mistake about it—there will be retailers in the metaverse and we will undoubtedly see the metaverse driving innovation in real-world retail as well.