The impact of metaverse in retail, fashion, and luxury lifestyle goods have been reported widely. Although the technology has been around for a while, the adoption has been tepid. The COVID-19 outbreak caught us all off-guard and had a significant impact on retailers and brands, yet the current investments in immersive technology are minimal, and the outlook seems bleak. So, what exactly are we missing?
From the outside, it appears to be a no-brainer to display products in aesthetically rich 3D experiences with virtually unlimited combinations on smartphones, especially when viewed in-place of product photographs. However, quite a few elements get neglected as a result of this viewpoint. Take the product experience as an example, the key to the adoption of 3D is “rich”. The 3D experience should be comparable to the existing richness of marketing collateral before brands think of a transition. The same applies to real estate experiences as well (everyone has been talking about VR in real estate for ages).
Retailers and brands tend to go wherever their target groups (TGs) are most active. If my loyal customer base prefers to make a purchase in person, I will make sure my physical store is well-stocked and offers the finest customer experience possible. The same is true for eCommerce and any other retail models. And so, if the retailer/brand wants to create a new target a new demographic/TG, that’s when they will look at other formats like eCommerce, phygital, metaverse, etc. It is very difficult to wean away customers to different channels since it’s a behavioral change, and brands risk losing the customer altogether.
For example, shoe buyers never buy a shoe just by looking at its design. They want to envision what does the shoe goes well within their wardrobe (discover your drip). The same is true for accessories and most apparel. In the case of apparel, there’s the challenge of fit & that’s a different ballgame altogether.
And in most instances, the metaverse experience is not comparable to the experience customers get when they enter a flagship store yet. That said, metaverse still provides an immersive experience for all the products of a brand and doesn’t limit to the physical availability of products in-store. Let’s look at some of the brands that have taken the first steps in the metaverse, Coca-cola in Decentraland and Nikeland in Roblox. In both instances, brands are merging limited edition NFTs that are flaunted in the metaverse to real-world merch that users stand to win. They definitely have not touched on the points of richness and comparisons that we mentioned earlier but focused on creating customer experiences that increase the brand value, and seeds an association within the customer’s mind between the brand and cutting edge technologies of progressive beans that customers of different generations can relate to.
The richness of products for comparisons is essential but not deal breakers, the key is experience.
Fabrik is a no-code metaverse platform that enables enterprises to develop high-quality Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) & Virtual Reality (VR) user experiences for your products. We aim to unlock all the potentials of the metaverse while also making it an easy-to-use immersive and interactive experience.
Find out more about the retailverse here!
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Founder of Fabrik and an oblivious jargon-ridden semaphore, you can spot him using flags during zoom calls. His best friend is Google, and he is as funny as the Fermi Paradox.