Retail and Metaverse: Virtual Showrooms are the Future of Retail Industry


For now, brands are experimenting. They are using the early metaverse to develop awareness, engagement, loyalty, and learning. The potential for retail in the metaverse, once the technology is better, is to make online shopping more engaging and useful. Around 21% retail market uses metaverse with a US $9.807 Billion annual revenue in 2021. Luxury brands like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, and Gucci are using NFTs to generate interest. Nike has submitted a bunch of patent applications, including one for a Metaverse Studio, launching Nikeland on Roblox, and buying a virtual fashion startup RTFKT that creates virtual shoes and collectibles.

Virtual showrooms and stores have come a long way since 2016, these are not only convenient and time-saving for consumers, but they decrease returns for sellers and can help expand the customer base. Online shopping lacks the visualization and engagement that the metaverse can offer. However, the experiences would play a major role in driving the popularity of metaverse clothing. Users could interact with products in the form of digital avatars in the virtual worlds of the metaverse.

A metaverse is a tool that would allow consumers to explore and discover better than they can bringing online shopping closer to what consumers can accomplish in stores, without ever leaving home. Through it, customers can explore different features and try out different models while the time spends in stores also increases.

According to research, 77.24 percent of shoppers stop at just ‘add to cart and end up buying nothing. The immersive nature of the metaverse is crucial to how this experience can be improved. The Metaverse will allow online users to shop and engage with products in the virtual world using a digital avatar. The future of retail in the metaverse would also allow you to not just shop with your avatar but also shop for your avatar. Many e-commerce platforms already offer some of the AR and VR features that will be part of the retail metaverse.

According to some studies, almost 59% of consumers like to purchase clothes, shoes, and accessories online. Therefore, it is completely unreasonable for players in the retail space to ignore the prospects associated with metaverse. At the same time, brands should also take note of the fact that digital-ready consumers want more than just online experiences. It would also have an enormous impact on the viability of many physical stores.

Top 3 retail companies working on metaverse:
  • Nike: Nike initiated metaverse linking its retail operations with the purchase of RTFKT, a virtual sneaker company that focuses on fashion.
  • Balenciaga: It establishes a metaverse unit aside from having developed a video game for a new collection and partnering with Fortnite on virtual clothing.
  • Gucci: It has been a leading and early adopter of metaverse technologies.

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