It is hard to imagine our daily life without online shopping. Once a privilege of big brands, virtual storefronts are now a necessity for businesses of all sizes. However, the metaverse is here to elevate online retail to a whole new level.
The metaverse technology continues to evolve and attract thousands of users looking to upgrade their experience in various domains, from gaming and entertainment to education and resource management.
Given the ongoing fascination with this digital realm, the global metaverse market size is expected to reach $936.6 billion by 2030.
Thanks to its distinct qualities like high-level immersion and interaction, the metaverse opens up great retail opportunities. It enables brands to reach a broader audience and enhance engagement with their current customers.
Continue reading to explore the motivations behind companies starting metaverse retail, discover use cases, and introduce yourself to real-life examples of brands embracing this soaring trend.
Looking for a detailed overview of the metaverse technology? Here it is
Why do brands engage in metaverse retail?
Businesses reap numerous tangible benefits by starting retail in the metaverse. These include wide audience coverage, the ability to personalize shopping experiences and achieve deeper customer engagement, opportunities for launching innovative marketing campaigns, and additional revenue streams.
Let’s take a look at each metaverse retail benefit in detail.
Wide audience coverage
No geographical barriers exist for the metaverse, so brands can connect with a global audience without the constraints of physical locations. This borderless accessibility fosters inclusivity, and enables brands to cultivate a loyal international following and capitalize on emerging market opportunities, regardless of their physical headquarters.
Plus, the metaverse enables social interactions while shopping. Customers can shop together with friends, family, or strangers, creating a sense of community around a brand. This encourages word-of-mouth promotion and fosters a viral buzz.
Personalized shopping experience
By analyzing user interactions and behaviors within the metaverse, companies can dynamically adapt their virtual spaces and curate personalized experiences that resonate with individual tastes. This level of customization fosters deeper engagement and establishes a stronger emotional connection between the brand and the consumer.
Deeper customer engagement
The metaverse itself is quite a futuristic and thrilling concept, arousing interest in a wide audience. When showcasing products in this virtual environment, brands provide their clients with a novel and captivating experience and allow them to visualize and interact with products before making a purchase.
Innovative marketing campaigns
By leveraging metaverse retail, companies can carry on unconventional marketing campaigns. They can host virtual events like concerts and fashion shows, make airdrops, hold lotteries, and create play-to-earn games — the scope of activities is only limited by the marketers’ imagination.
These innovative approaches harness the metaverse’s interactive nature and create memorable experiences for customers, captivating them in ways that traditional marketing methods cannot.
Additional revenue streams
The metaverse boosts brands’ profits since it serves as an additional retail channel where they can offer both the existing product line and new products and services, including avatar accessories, skins, collectibles, digital art, and more.
Find out the best marketing practices that will help your brand stand out in the metaverse
Metaverse retail: top use cases
Metaverse retail offers a wide range of use cases that can upgrade the shopping experience. Here are a few examples:
Companies that start retail in the metaverse have the opportunity to considerably expand their product offering by launching digital assets that users can purchase and use within the metaverse and other virtual environments. The range of items is diverse and includes:
- Avatar accessories: outfits, jewelry, hairstyles, skins, etc.
- Emotes and gestures
- Virtual furniture and decor
- Virtual vehicles
- Digital art and collectibles
- Virtual pets
- Virtual tickets and experiences
These items enable customers to personalize their avatars and virtual spaces and engage in various metaverse events.
In the metaverse, brands can create immersive 3D virtual showrooms allowing customers to explore products as if they were in a physical store. Brands can exhibit both digital replicas of real-life products and create brand-new digital items.
Showroom visitors have the opportunity to examine goods from every angle, zoom in for close-ups, and even have virtual try-ons. This heightened level of visualization not only boosts customer confidence but also fosters a deeper engagement in contrast to that achieved by traditional online browsing.
Interactive product demos
Brands can leverage the metaverse to attract customers’ interest in their physical goods as well. It can be achieved by creating interactive demonstrations of products, which allow customers to interact with and test items before buying them in real life.
This strategy is particularly advantageous for customers who can’t visit an offline store and physically inspect products firsthand.
Virtual shopping assistants
AI-powered virtual assistants can help customers navigate the metaverse shops and find products, enhancing the shopping experience and contributing to the atmosphere of in-person store visits. In addition, such digital helpers may be especially beneficial for customers who don’t feel comfortable in real-life social interactions.
Metaverse brand events
Brands can significantly strengthen their customer base by organizing captivating metaverse events like product launches, fashion shows, concerts, and workshops. Such events not only help enhance brand loyalty but also encourage a wider audience to participate in the company’s activities, resulting in amplified brand recognition and customer engagement.
Add innovation to your business solution with our AR/VR development services
5 brands in the metaverse retail
Even though the metaverse is still developing and maturing, some companies already unlock its potential for enhancing their retail activity. Among them are brands such as Clinique, Valentino, Lush, Tommy Hilfiger, and Blackpink.
Here is an overview of how they use metaverse retail.
Clinique, a renowned skincare and cosmetics brand, provides its customers with an immersive journey through its metaverse, The Clinique Lab. There, visitors can customize avatars and explore six different zones to learn about the brand’s history, products, and skincare science.
Once users find the products they need in the Clinique metaverse, they can buy them either within The Clinique Lab or on the brand’s website.
Moreover, Clinique provides their clients with an opportunity to win sample-size editions of their products by collecting bubbles, facilitating greater engagement in their virtual space.
Italian luxury fashion house Valentino has recently collaborated with Meta and presented a collection of six avatar outfits inspired by the brand’s latest collections. The digital clothes are available for purchase on Meta’s Avatars Store for less than $10 and can be used to dress up avatars throughout Meta’s portfolio of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Lush, a cosmetics manufacturer, is also among the brands that investigate the capabilities of metaverse retail. In particular, Decentraland users can visit a digital twin of one of the Lush physical stores to explore products, learn about the brand, meet with other visitors, and participate in virtual events.
For now, users can’t shop directly from the Lush metaverse store, but they can interact with digital replicas and make an informed decision on whether to buy them in real life.
Tommy Hilfiger fashion brand has created a multi-metaverse hub across various virtual platforms, including Spatial, Roblox, and Decentraland. The hub was opened during the second Metaverse Fashion Week, with the brand introducing both digital and real-life clothing. Thus, users can decide if they want to buy the digital variant of the piece or wish for a physical item as well.
A world-famous South Korean music band Blackpink soon enters the Roblox metaverse. The band will have a dedicated venue called Blackpink: The Palace, where fans will be able to take photographs with the avatars of performers, dance signature choreography, interact with fellow supporters, and buy custom outfits and emotes for their avatars.
What to consider when starting retail in the metaverse?
There are several crucial factors to consider when planning an entry into the metaverse retail, including target audience, platform, offerings, user experience, technology, security, and monetization.
First of all, you need to define whether your target audience understands the concept of the metaverse and is tech-savvy enough to use it. If they do, you can delve into refining the specifics of your metaverse retail strategy.
There are quite a few metaverse platforms, the most popular being The Sandbox and Decentraland. Each platform has its unique features and strengths, so you need to compare them and choose the one that aligns with your audience’s preferences and empowers you to achieve your metaverse retail objectives.
The key aspects you should consider when choosing a metaverse platform include:
- User interface — the metaverse should be intuitive and user-friendly, allowing your clients to navigate it easily.
- Accessibility — compatibility with various devices and operating systems is a must to cater to a wider audience.
- Scalability — assess whether the platform will be able to handle an increasing user base as your community grows.
- Features and capabilities — look for platforms that provide a versatile pool of user engagement opportunities, for example, real-time communication, virtual events, collaborative tools, etc.
- Technical support — evaluate the quality and availability of customer support and technical assistance provided by the platform.
Devise your metaverse retail product lineup: will it encompass digital copies of your physical products, revolve around entirely new digital goods, or both? Whatever strategy you choose, remember to maintain alignment with your brand’s identity and values while also keeping up with the style and culture of the chosen metaverse.
Focus on providing a shopping experience that’s both user-friendly and deeply immersive, featuring products and activities that genuinely resonate and captivate your audience. Prioritize seamless navigation and embedded payment options, ensuring your customers encounter no obstacles while exploring your metaverse stores.
Since the metaverse is a web3 entity, to successfully integrate your brand in it, you need assistance from blockchain developers experienced in metaverse infrastructure deployment, smart contracts, tokenomics, APIs, etc.
Furthermore, it will be essential to have skilled UX/UI designers on board. They will be responsible for creating a visually captivating metaverse environment and attractive virtual assets to perfectly represent your brand.
Our UX/UI design team will deliver a beautiful and intuitive interface that your users will absolutely love
It is a must that you define and maintain strong security measures within your metaverse space to ensure the integrity of your customers’ data and transactions. Employ advanced encryption techniques to protect sensitive information, and conduct thorough testing and audits regularly. These measures assure the continuous strength of your security infrastructure, keeping potential vulnerabilities at bay.
To successfully implement monetization in metaverse retail, begin by defining the pricing structure for your virtual products or services. This may involve one-time purchases, subscription plans, or multi-tiered pricing based on varying features or access levels.
Next, carefully consider the payment methods you’ll offer. You can use a metaverse-specific virtual currency, providing users with a seamless transaction experience. Additionally, think about integrating support for widely recognized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and others, expanding the range of options available to your customers.
Metaverse retail in action: Glasshouse opal trading platform by PixelPlex
Our blockchain development team is very familiar with the metaverse, having already put our expertise to work in crafting a retail solution within this digital domain.
Glasshouse is a blockchain-powered NFT marketplace for opal gemstones. The solution aims to foster fruitful interaction between opal fans and domain experts and lay the foundation for an entire opal metaverse, Opalverse.
After thoroughly discussing all the specifications and objectives of the project with the client, we have delivered a sophisticated platform that empowers opal collectors to mint, auction, and trade 2D and 3D representations of precious stones.
Apart from possessing unique images and videos, Glasshouse NFT holders can also get physical stones delivered right to their doorsteps. Plus, we implemented a special shareholder NFT functionality that makes it easier and less time-consuming to gain permission to mine opals on a particular site.
All in all, we came up with three NFT types: art NFT, hard asset NFT, and private shareholder NFT. Each type caters to the individual needs of Glasshouse users, ensuring a comfortable user experience.
Now, we are working on delivering a full-fledged opal metaverse, which will allow gemstone enthusiasts to display, view, and interact with stones in virtual showrooms, set off on exciting virtual gem hunts, and take part in thematic workshops and meetups.
Get acquainted with top metaverse business opportunities
There are lots of opportunities brands gain when expanding their retail activities to the metaverse. This digital space allows companies to reach customers all over the world and provide them with immersive shopping experiences.
Many prosperous brands already hit the headlines with the announcement of entering the metaverse. Wish to be among the trendsetters? Reach out to us!
The PixelPlex blockchain team has gained substantial expertise in crafting diverse web3 solutions, including metaverse development. Whether you’re looking to seamlessly embed your brand within an established metaverse or construct one entirely anew, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us and let’s step into the thrilling world of metaverse together.