Online shopping is getting closer and closer everywhere, too one in four individuals on the planet shopping online right now. With this in mind, and the reversal that is spinning on our horizon, e-commerce will enter a period of transformation.
The rise of e-commerce, with its inherent ease and convenience, is constantly surpassing the physical brick-and-mortar business we once loved.
Sure, it’s wonderful to go shopping with friends and be greeted with a real smile and human touch. Still, how often do we experience real smiles and high quality customer service?
The reality is that it can be stressful and uncomfortable to go shopping for something, it takes up a large part of your valuable time and is often rather uncomfortable – especially when you are in the chaos of weekend shopping.
As a result, the era of e-commerce has removed much of this burden. Go to a virtual store and a few clicks later, on a very optimized website or application, you are done. Your shopping is on the way and you have not sweated from it.
Enter the metaverse, which is coming at a perfect time when the integration of technological innovations, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are revolutionizing our customers’ experience.
Now, as we reach new frontiers of immersion in our digital shopping journey, metaverse will build a bridge between the physical and virtual experience we enjoy.
In fact, human touch will be discussed in the meta-verse. We will receive a personalized experience in a comprehensive 3D virtual environment, with friendly avatars assisting our needs and we will be able to shop online with friends.
We will sail around various virtual islands from our comfort seat and look for products in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by a sea of possibilities.
You may be thinking: what a minute, the meta verse does not exist yet! In fact, we are not there yet. We are far from achieving a seamless, cohesive virtual world that allows us to explore 3D environments indefinitely.
Currently, metaverse is under construction. We know that many large companies are heavily invested in metaverse, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Meta. In addition, we know a little bit about what’s going on, we’ve seen Meta and Microsoft video pitchers.
It would be more realistic to say that we are in the metaverse stage of development. We are entering a period of increased presence and communication with our favorite brands online. Therefore, in the coming months and years, we will experience an entirely new virtual world, characterized by exponential technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and unchanging symbols (NFT).
Brands are beginning to recognize the opportunities they have in the meta lab. If the age of the Internet and social media has been transformative for brands, imagine what brands can do in the vast 3D virtual worlds, with increased presence and realism.
Gucci built Gucci Garden on Roblox last year, a 14-day experience on the popular gaming platform, which was a great insight into the future of online shopping. The Virtual Garden repeated their Gucci garden in the real world and created a visually stunning display, which also included a Gucci store, where you could buy limited edition digital clothing for your avatar. Demonstrated Gucci bag sold for over $ 4,000 USD.
Similarly, last year, Sephora hosted a virtual event called “SEPHORiA: House of Beauty”, which invited guests into its “real 3D gaming environment” with an interactive beauty “house” with many rooms to explore. For example, the “family room” allowed for social interaction and dialogue with brand leaders in the industry.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg as we approach an unprecedented consumer experience in the digital world – driven by dramatic advances in technology.
At the forefront of the metaverse online shopping revolution will be a built-in gaming experience.
Charlotte Tilbury, a popular skincare and makeup brand, founded the VR online store in 2020 and then built on this experience with “Shop With Friends” in 2021. This new feature, available on PC and mobile phones, allowed users to invite their friends into the virtual store and enjoy an interactive 3D shopping experience together.
What’s more, Charlotte Tilbury built a game feature that invited customers to search for hidden keys in the store. Thus, customers had a reason to stay there longer and hang out in the virtual store. As we have seen in popular games like Fortnite and Roblox, games are both very addictive and encourage players to spend money. When brands can perfect this gamification in metaverse and build a meaningful experience in their virtual stores, they will reap the rewards.
Games will be all around us in the meta-studio, where we go through various platforms with our own, personal 3D avatars. Retailers will inevitably create enticing plans or activities to keep us locked into their home. In the past, retailers have encouraged us to return to their stores through a loyalty point system. Now imagine the possibilities when you can build your own custom 3D virtual experience for customers, which is customized.
Louis Vuitton entered the metaverse by creating ‘Louis: The Game’. In this experience, you explore six different worlds with the protagonist, Vivienne, where she has to collect 200 candles to commemorate Louis Vuitton’s birthday.
Recently, they added two new levels of expansion to the game, allowing players to collect ten new NFT (non-fungible tokens) tokens as they travel the virtual world and learn about Louis Vuitton’s rich history. This indulgence of the brand in games is very calculated and allows the brand to take advantage of previously unused demographics: Gen Z consumers.
Furthermore, this experiment with NFT is only the beginning for big brands.
E-commerce with NFT
NFTs will pave the way for the metaverse economy and e-commerce will benefit significantly from this technology. The NFT craze started with a digital art gallery last year, but now we’re gaining insight into the possibilities as brands become more involved.
First, NFTs are very powerful and can be of great utility in the real world and the digital world. Because digital symbols are stored on a transparent blockchain, with underlying, irreversible code, authors can embed any tool for those who desire their imagination.
This must be a dream from a merchant’s point of view. They can build product promotions with NFT promotion, assign rare points to create growing demand and work with trendy, cool artists who have their own entourage.
What’s more, as the creator of NFT, you can write into the “smart deal” (underlying code) the material world and the virtual world benefits, building a bridge between these two areas.
Retail brands that recognize NFTs
Nike realized the potential of this technology when they acquired RTFKT Studios last year, the creators of stylish metaverse sneakers and wearables.
RTFKT Studios launched an NFT collection that combines reality, enabling customers to redeem real, physical sneakers as well as digital sneakers. From this presentation, RTFKT Studios earned $ 3.1 million, selling the museum in seven minutes.
Nike’s first collaboration with RTFKT Studios, entitled ‘RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CRYPTOKICKS ‘, broke through with the community and one pair sold for an incredible $ 160,000.
Adidas also released the NFT collection ‘Into The Metaverse’ in collaboration with the Bored Ape Yacht Club back in December. Holders can claim physical products such as iconic Adidas sportswear and hoodies, as well as “an open-world experience created in collaboration with the community”. Therein lies the future of e-commerce, where your favorite brands offer real-world and virtual world benefits.
The future of brands in this space is incredible considering the scope of what is possible. In fact, Gap did something similar to Adidas in January of this year, when they teamed up with artist Brandon Sines to launch an NFT collection on the Tezos blockchain.
Their NFT images were infrequently rare, as the “Epic” NFT image contained a limited edition physical hoodie, as well as digital art by Sines – the creator of the cartoon character Frank Ape.
As a result, brands are becoming creative and this will inspire a new era for e-commerce.
Ownership and empowerment
What makes all this possible is the immediate confirmation of NFT, where everything is stored on a distributed, public blockchain. This makes everything seamless for traders and they can take advantage of large, new market shares as they adopt the new technology.
For consumers, NFTs empower and give a sense of ownership like never before. NFT are not just collectibles, they are assets and could increase in value over time. Indeed, as an absolute owner of NFT, you have a choice: you can keep it, sell it, exchange it, or even give it as a significant gift.
Therefore, NFTs intend to support the metaverse economy and future digital societies. They have opened up a new world where authors are suddenly at the forefront, empowered and able to participate in their communities like never before. In fact, the distributed blockchain is a haven for authors, who can keep all their profits from NFTs – cut out middlemen.
For consumers and e-commerce, embarking on a virtual shopping experience with your favorite avatar, exploring a comprehensive 3D environment and buying NFT devices will become increasingly common over the next 5-10 years.
The future of e-commerce
Consumers, your online shopping experience will never be the same! The birth of the metaverse is upon us and in the coming years we will see all of our favorite brands participate with their customers in a 3D virtual environment.
It is inevitable that our experience in these virtual worlds will play out and the number of brands participating in NFT will increase as the adoption of cryptocurrencies increases.
What’s more, the growing market for fashionable digital products for use in metaverse will continue to grow, as brands follow the lead of Nike, Adidas, Gap and countless others who have invested in this field.
We are slowly saying “good luck” with Web2 internet time and “bonjour” with Web3 technology. It will soon be obsolete to stare at a screen and click to buy products online. Instead, brands will invest in meta-verses and create comprehensive homes for us to enjoy, play and participate in – and ultimately spend our money. Metaverse will need a secure, secure, transparent method to verify transactions and true ownership, and this is where distributed blockchain and NFTs can begin to rob traditional, centralized payment methods.
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