The fortune awaiting retailers in the metaverse is immense, providing new and immersive methods to reach customers and stay relevant in the digital age.
The first half of 2022 has been just one example of how quickly this industry is evolving, with a value of $800 billion by 2024 due to a splurge of significant interest. That’s a big expansion of $47 billion since 2020.
The path to the metaverse varies from brand to brand. Retailers are still forcing their way to show up in extraordinary manners, digitally, and this is just the tip of that virtual iceberg.
For some, the question remains – whether it’s fashion brands or the beauty industry… how have retailers been putting their foot through the metaverse door, and what are the essential tactics and methods to keep in mind when doing it yourself? We’ve got all the answers here.
The online gaming world has proven itself to be a rapid-growth industry, with a market worth over $33 billion by 2026 and an annual growth rate of 6.46% between 2022 and 2026. This has provided two reasons for retailers to connect with the gaming community: A) The retail world can grasp the revenue opportunity and win over a new Gen Z audience. B) The gaming world is already virtually intelligent, understanding how to navigate their way through the metaverse and enjoy digital perks and products.
Roblox is a leader of its pack, enticing brands like Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, and newly Clarks. These brands have offered innovative gaming experiences, digital assets, and branded offers. On top of this, Decentraland has built connections with the fashion community once launching Metaverse Fashion Week, where multiple worldwide brands showed up with exclusive metaverse offerings.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are among the many strategies brands have used to make their mark in the metaverse. Since NFTs showcased their popularity during COVID with their capacity to securely provide ownership of digital assets, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands have not missed out on this opportunity.
An example of this is pairing NFTs with physical products. This concept connects the digital and physical capabilities, offering a digital-only asset once purchasing a physical product. For example, to celebrate its 55th anniversary, sneaker brand KSwiss partnered with Walt Grace Digital to develop an NFT of their Classic ’66 sneaker, which came with purchasing the physical pair of sneakers.
Virtual shopping is progressing to a more real-time, interactive experience all around. Brands are jumping at the opportunity to push forward an omnichannel presence while conveying a more intimate essence to their audience.
Virtual shopping experiences use AI technologies to track a customer’s activity, purchase history, taste, and demographic profile while using this data to provide new and more personalized clothes suggestions and prompt purchases.
An example of this is an award-winning virtual store by Burberry, developed by Emperia. Creating a cohesive omnichannel experience, Burberry’s requirement was for an ultra-unique, luxurious virtual space, which allowed global online clients to experience both the space and the new bag without making it to the store; all while interacting live with store staff, purchasing the bag online or booking in-store appointments.
Walking through a distinctively Harrods-like doorway, users would enter the ethereal world of Olympia. Surrounded by the statues of Elpis, which reflect Burberry’s campaign aesthetics in the virtual world, users were immediately met by the heavenly atmosphere of ancient Greece, a perfect setting for the placement displays of the new Olympia bags.
Digital brand concepts do not replace physical details. The future of retail is not physical vs. digital; we’re seeing omnipresence across the board. This means wholly connected retail experiences online and offline. For example, employing data, you receive through customer paths and virtual funnels will help you in your physical presence.
Whether it’s frustrations or pleasures, feedback from your customer will enable retailers to leverage their brand more effectively. This feedback comes from in-store experiences and digital experiences too, helping to level out the experience in the best way possible.
Before investing in the metaverse, whether it be an NFT launch or a virtual store, it’s important to understand your consumer in the digital era. Understanding your audience isn’t necessarily new, but it’s even more necessary online.
Brands have been pushing their digital investments onto Gen Z, a generation which luxury brands weren’t acquainted with in the past. The past year has opened up opportunities, but that also means a fresh new demographic too.
The metaverse is not a new concept but it’s never been as current as it is now. Providers who develop such experiences are limited, and it’s vital to produce outstanding results, helping your brand stand out in an already highly-competitive crowd.
Emperia streamlines your omnichannel efforts, developing a metaverse store that tells your brand story, so your loyal shoppers can find you wherever, whenever they are, in an exciting, yet familiar space that engages them and ultimately generates sales.
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