The term “Metaverse” refers to the virtual world where digital characters called “avatars” can move freely and interact with one another in real time. Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology where users access to content from their computer by donning VR goggles.
More and more businesses are establishing an online presence in the Metaverse by opening virtual shops. Companies like Adidas, Burberry, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Samsung, Louis Vuitton, HSBC, and JP Morgan are included in this category.
Let us dive deep into this article, written by Hire Tech Firms to know how Virtual Stores In Metaverse can transform the future of shopping.
What Are Virtual Stores in Metaverse?
A new kind of digital store called a “virtual store” has emerged to immerse further and engross the customer. Virtual stores, in their most basic form, are immersive, full-page visual experiences on a brand’s e-commerce site and are rendered in three dimensions and a full 360 degrees. Online shoppers can peruse the selection in the same way they would a physical store—using only their computers or mobile devices. In a metaverse ecommerce store, customers can browse products and “pick up” them as they walk around.
Why Do You Need a Virtual Stores in Metaverse?
Virtual stores are about visual, artistic, contextual, and curated online shopping. In place of the traditional grid, the graphic user interface offers consumers a more engaging, discovery-based brand experience online. For any store’s products, regardless of category or collection, custom design is now a reality with the rise of e-commerce. By showcasing products in various settings, customers can better imagine how those products would function in their own lives. Computer-generated imagery (CGI) technology, similar to that used for movie special effects, is applied in real-time in virtual stores.
Many brands see young people under 30 as a valuable demographic to target through online stores. Customers from Generation Z and the Millennial generation expect the same kind of immersive, interactive, and visually stimulating content that they find in video games and social media.
Top Brands With Virtual Stores in Metaverse
In 2010, Microsoft spent $70 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard, the parent company of popular video game franchises like World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and Candy Crush. They claimed this action marked the beginning of the Microsoft metaverse.
CEO Satya Nadella revealed more information about Microsoft and the Metaverse’s potential future. Her prediction was that metaverse technology would function in the same way as virtual reality games. Concepts once exclusive to the gaming industry are gradually permeating other spheres, such as commerce and interpersonal relationships, making gaming a lucrative market.
She explained how avatars could be used in a virtual boardroom. While virtual meetings using avatars are novel in the business world, they have been commonplace in the gaming community for quite some time.
Microsoft is still investigating ways to incorporate the Metaverse into its existing offerings. One such effort was Microsoft’s Mesh platform, which facilitated a virtual meeting space with Microsoft Teams.
In the Metaverse, treasure hunts are a common type of Game, and Gucci has capitalized on this fact. The high-end fashion house has been testing the waters of the metaverse market for some time through several NFT partnerships. Gucci uses a hierarchical access system for exclusive NFT collections, such as the Superplastic collaboration.
The Sandbox is the virtual home of Gucci’s The Vault. The 10KTF Gucci Grail is the next venture for the fashion house, and it uses a treasure hunt mechanic to encourage participants to amass assets. NFT pieces designed by creative director Alessandro Michele and a mysterious Wagmi-san will be among the exclusive prizes at the end of the treasure hunt.
3. Louis Vuitton
The storied French fashion house Louis Vuitton collaborated with digital artists Beeple to release a mobile game in honor of the brand’s 200th anniversary last year. Louis the Game gives players a glimpse into the label’s history as they guide the protagonist, Vivienne, through seven environments based on real-world fashion meccas like London, Paris, and Munich.
The history of the illustrious fashion house was also revealed to players as postcards and other memorabilia popped up randomly during the Game. Players could further personalize their in-game characters with a wide selection of LV prints. Gathering monogram candles allows access to subsequent levels.
4. Snap x New Balance
The collaboration between Snap and New Balance resulted in the release of a lens that utilizes speech recognition and augmented reality to make suggestions for presents ranging from shoes to accessories. Users can experiment with several settings in the Holiday Gifting Concierge Lens. An augmented reality (AR) unboxing showing a suggestion is available in the worldview mode.
The 837 flagship store of Samsung, a South Korean technology company, is now available in Decentraland. The 837X online shop will feature the company’s newest products and announcements made at CES in Las Vegas. The three main parts are the Customization Stage, the Sustainability Forest, and the Connectivity Theater. Visitors had the chance to win exclusive digital clothing during the first few days of the event. In the future, Samsung intends to open more than 837X stores on platforms besides the Decentraland store, which will only be open for a limited time.
In October, Hyundai Motor Company unveiled Mobility Adventure, a virtual world on the gaming platform Roblox that showcases Hyundai Motor’s current and future mobility offerings. Users can interact with one another and experience Hyundai’s mobility solutions in a shared virtual environment where they can also create and personalize their avatars.
Hyundai Mobility Adventure is the first piece of virtual experience content created by a global automotive brand for the popular online Game Roblox, and it’s aimed squarely at the generation of consumers who grew up with computers and video games. Long-term support from customers is fostered by Hyundai Motor’s Mobility Adventure, which introduces visitors to the company’s current and future products and services in the mobility sector.
RTFKT (Artifact) Studios, a prominent NFT-focused digital fashion label, was acquired by Nike in December 2021. Now Nike can tap into a leading digital fashion house and the CloneX avatars optimized for the Metaverse. RTFKT has already released several wearables, including NFTs, designed for use in Decentraland. Plus, they offered NFTs that could be redeemed for actual goods, and some groups were given access to limited-edition sneaker drops. All of this points to the fact that Nike has acquired one of the most powerful fashion brands in the Metaverse.
Adidas unveiled its 30,000-piece NFT collection, Into The Metaverse, in December 2021. The line was designed with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, the PUNKS comics team at pixel vault, and crypto investor Gmoney. Customers could buy the NFTs and the associated physical clothing, bridging the gap between the digital and the real world.
Items like tracksuits, hoodies, and Gmoney’s signature orange beanie are available in the real world. At the same time, the virtual wearables are primarily designed for use in The Sandbox, a metaverse-like platform. The venture is a part of Adidas Originals, a lifestyle brand that focuses on sportswear, and all digital assets are secured by the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Brands continue to use Fortnite as a gateway into the Metaverse. Balenciaga, the high-end fashion house, and the gaming industry make waves together in September 2021 when they release their first NFT wearables.
The collection includes various clothes, purses, and other accessories players can purchase and use to outfit their characters. Balenciaga and Fortnite encouraged their customers to create a signature look by promoting a lookbook campaign alongside developing a unique individual style. Participants were encouraged to walk the streets and buildings modeling their Balenciaga clothing for a chance to be featured on one of the many billboards. The highlighted NFT assets are also available for purchase at conventional retailers.
As the undisputed leader in the entertainment industry, Disney could not pass up the chance to further expand its empire by entering the Metaverse. Even more recently, they’ve established a brand-new position whose sole purpose is to shape the company’s narrative trajectory within the Disney metaverse.
Even though they haven’t made any official metaverse plans public, they already use technology and provide striking services similar to a streamlined and interconnected metaverse environment. One example is the MagicBand, a wristband that serves as a tracking device and data repository for a visitor’s entire visit, including admission tickets, hotel keys, payment information, and a photo pass.
Disney also released virtual tours of the parks and rides to keep their customers happy while the parks were closed due to the pandemic. These aren’t the same as what you’d find in the Metaverse, but they give visitors a taste of what they can expect from the digital world in the future.
Experiencing a Storefront vs. Exploring the Metaverse as a Customer
The need to recreate the in-store experience or build something similar in the Metaverse is real. Still, Estes maintains that “the metaverse was designed to create more engaging and enhanced experiences that provide a ‘wow’ factor for users beyond what in-store experiences can deliver.”
Even though the Metaverse is growing in popularity, she noted that stores shouldn’t get too comfortable with it yet.
Regarding customer engagement, “retailers need to also focus on strengthening those experiences,” Estes explains, citing the web, mobile, in-store, and social media examples.
Mason argued that brands shouldn’t try to replicate in-store experiences online because the two are fundamentally different mediums with different capacities for establishing emotional connections with consumers.
“The most important thing to remember is that metaverse experiences are experimental and voluntary,” he emphasized. You can’t expect users to find any value in them unless they’re entertaining and interesting. Indeed, it takes no more than a wave of the hand or a click of the mouse to switch to the metaverse experience of a competing brand. How well a company’s brand will fare in a different medium is an issue that needs careful consideration.
Companies need to plan for how their brand ambassadors will interact with customers. How serious, lighthearted, or cutting-edge will they be? How will their brand be represented visually, and what tone of voice will be used?
Furthermore, Mason suggested businesses ensure the security of their metaverse strategies.
He warned that “with any new medium, there are potential downsides. Brands should be careful that their metaverse experience is properly moderated and that people can feel safe inside that virtual space.
In sum, the Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize the retail sector by letting businesses personalize customers’ shopping experiences, streamline their supply chains, and monitor and react to shoppers’ actions in real time.
The retail sector is likely to feel the increasing effects of these technologies as they mature and gain widespread acceptance. Treedis’ e-commerce and retail solutions and the vrtual stores in Metaverse provide many possibilities for online retailers and brands alike.
There is a growing expectation that the Metaverse will play a significant role in the retail industry beyond 2023, and Treedis is positioned to assist brands in exploiting this emerging opportunity.