How Will Metaverse Transform The Future of eCommerce?

Navneet Singh, Founder

Metaverse Ecommerce

The Metaverse is entering the e-commerce market in a big way, and the public knows about it now.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said all about why they want to rebrand this social media as Meta for altering their focus to build the Metaverse. The Internet has just exploded with new ideas as of now. We all have seen memes and read the reaction pieces for enjoying and musing at Zuckerberg’s videos, stating things he hopes will take place in the coming times.

However, What does it Mean for eCommerce?

The vital idea is that Metaverse will help you in the virtual world by complementing the physical world. It means that eCommerce will be part and parcel of the Metaverse. The way we buy and sell things in the “real” world, you can also do the same on the Metaverse. And indeed, when a company like Facebook, now Meta, wouldn’t invest so heavily and publicly in the Metaverse if it couldn’t render any buck.

Therefore, it is fair to assume that eCommerce has a prominent place in the Metaverse, but what will it look like exactly? We searched a lot on the Internet for Digital Marketing and Ecommerce SEO experts opinions on the issue.

What is the Metaverse?

As you find the proper definition for new technology, it is necessary to speculate on things that will work or get used. However, this may become tricky with the Metaverse. This is primarily because Metaverse is not in its full-blown form at present. We have several definitions related to the slightly different versions of Metaverse in the future.

Moreover, you have a great way to get the conceptual meaning of Metaverse as “it will bring the internet to life. This has also been rendered in 3D”. It may get a bit more technical as one can check it with technologists and capitalists such as Matthew Ball. Metaverse will be persistent, synchronous, and live. It does not have any user cap to offer users a sense of “presence.” This is what Zuckerberg emphasizes while discussing Metaverse.

So, you need to get the seminal essay to understand that metaverse notes are “a fully functional economy.” It has excellent prospects for anyone who is involved in online commerce. This means you get another channel to sell the physical products. You must understand that it will be a critical omnichannel. This means you are going to sell top-quality products in your Metaverse. You may be buying a Ferrari. But, you may now buy the Ferrari NFT for your Meta avatar to drive on the platform?

You need to understand at this time that Facebook has been very loud for its goals in Metaverse. You need to spend about $10 billion a year. There are so many companies that will be a part of your marketing development. For example, Epic Games had incorporated Metaverse elements into the popular Fortnite video game.

In an interview with Verge, Zuckerberg had said, “About future, if you are asking if a company is building a metaverse will sound as ridiculous as asking a company the way their internet is going.” In coming times, companies are going to be automatically interoperable and connected.

E-commerce in Metaverse

Zuckerberg and Meta are clear that shopping and commerce are essential for your digital revolution, especially when you can check things properly.

Metaverse is related to the best themes we are working on. Determine the things like the community and creators at first and digital commerce like a second. Look forward to building the following set of computing platforms including virtual and augmented reality which renders people a sense of presence,” he told Verge.

Also, words including “commerce” or “shopping” are mentioned about 13 times by Zuckerberg and the different leaders. The name change in Metaverse showed the company’s plans. 

In short

  • The Metaverse is a collaborative and virtual open space. It has been formed due to the convergence of virtually enhanced digital and physical reality. It is highly physically persistent and allows for immersive experiences.
  • Activities occurring in secluded environments (such as buying digital land and constructing virtual homes, and participating in a virtual social experience) in the end only occur in Metaverse.
  • Metaverse technologies are at an early stage. Therefore, business leaders do not like to limit their investments. 

The Estimates

As per estimates, it is expected that by 2026, 25% of people are likely to spend an hour daily in the Metaverse for various purposes such as:

Work

  • Shopping.
  • Education.
  • Social media.
  • And entertainment. 

However, Metaverse is a collaborative virtual space involving the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. Additionally, it is device-independent and not owned by a single vendor. Moreover, it is highly independent of the virtual economy, which is enabled through digital currencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

The Metaverse as we know it now is a combination of several technological innovations which operate together seamlessly. The Metaverse is bringing the technology of the digital arena into the physical world in the form of NFTs social commerce to augmented or virtual reality. 

Metaverse is a combined innovation requiring multiple technologies and trends for functioning. You need to understand tech capabilities such as:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) allows for flexible work styles.
  • Head-mounted displays (HMDs).
  • AR cloud.
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • 5G
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) 
  • And spatial technologies.

You must dig deeper into the concept of the Metaverse. It is the next version of the Internet which started just as bulletin boards and independent online destinations. In the end, such destinations appear as sites with a virtual shared space; only Metaverse will develop.

The Hype Around Metaverse

Metaverse has a great deal of excitement surrounding it. Many of it is driven by technology companies claiming to be Metaverse companies. Also, there can be activities that can take place in closed environments and, in the end, occur in a single Metaverse. They include:

  • Buying outfits and accessories for online avatars.
  • Buy digital land for building virtual homes.
  • You can also participate to get a tremendous virtual social experience.
  • Always shop in virtual malls using immersive commerce.
  • Opt for virtual classrooms to get immersive learning.
  • You can also go for digital art, collectibles, and assets, including (NFTs).
  • You can interact with digital humans to onboard employees, customer service personnel, sales, and other business interactions.

Metaverse can offer you collaborative, persistent, decentralized, and interoperable opportunities and business models that enable organizations to look forward to digital business.

Business Opportunities in Metaverse 

Several individuals use the cases and products to create individual versions of Metaverse. All these opportunities are seen across multiple industries, including:

  • Higher education, military, medical and different kinds of trades can deliver you highly immersive learning experiences. Metaverse provides the right framework to such businesses for their work.
  • Virtual events are getting more and more popular in the past two years. Virtual events present you with several integrated offerings.
  • Retail will extend its reach to a highly immersive shopping experience allowing you to display highly complex products.
  • Enterprises can get a better engagement, collaboration, and connection with their employees through virtually augmented workspaces.
  • Social media can also transfer to the Metaverse letting users interact with three-dimensional avatars.

The Metaverse technologies are nascent and fragmented, and businesses may think that they need to refrain from using heavy investments in Metaverse. It is pretty early to find out the investments which will be viable in the long term. Learning, exploring, and preparing for the Metaverse will become a priority without getting things in excess through the implementation based on just a few cases.

Recommendations for Technology Innovation Leaders

  • Develop digital business strategies to leverage your built-in infrastructure and Metaverse participants.
  • Use ideas and innovation management focused on better opportunities and business models using the Metaverse. 
  • Also, recognize unique technology risks, privacy, and security implications using a new decentralized and persistent environment.
  • Determine the outcomes, opportunities, and hindrances covered in Metaverse as it becomes a part of the emerging technology wheel.

With technology to purchase goods introduced on the Internet, one needs to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds. Conventional brick-and-mortar stores provide the shoppers with an ability to touch and try the products before purchasing them physically. E-commerce shopping has crossed the physical aspect of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping. However, it offers you a lot of convenience, speed, and access. 

In the Metaverse, you have two worlds separated due to commerce converging to create the right experience for redefining e-commerce. 

Status of Metaverse

The Metaverse has now started to establish itself as the upcoming frontier in your digital economy. In the early stages of e-commerce, the Metaverse had been present on the Internet. Amazon has already incorporated the early metaverse technology into the marketplace. The AR shopping tool, Room Decorator, lets you use your phone or tablet to find out how furniture and other home décor look in your space. You can look at the different products together and save your room’s AR snapshots to review later.

With the development of emerging technologies, we can think again about how we perceive e-commerce.

Metaverse- Merging Online And Offline Commerce

Metaverse E-commerce will inevitably accelerate in the coming years. With the adoption of the new technology, you can get a higher number of new features that merge offline shopping with online shopping.  A highly popular augmented reality technology helps consumers get highly confident in the quality and fit of the product before they purchase it. It gives the shoppers a convenient standpoint letting merchants lower the returns while broadening our customer base.

Product discovery and personalization will help you to accelerate your technology change, allowing brands to give shoppers a genuinely personalized digital experience. The Metaverse offers a seamless experience that makes it easy for shoppers to find what they want exactly. Additionally, the present-day limitations are related to providing consumers with a personalized digital shopping experience. Metaverse assists the brands in customizing their shopping experience while scaling themselves to meet the demands of an increasing number of shoppers compared to the earlier ones.

Community Building

You will experience a huge divide between social media and e-commerce, which is moving ahead and close to the Metaverse. You already can delve deep into understanding the social proof of things present at the core of your e-commerce. Having varied online product reviews helps make metaverse brands give you social proof, which is much higher than a starred review for creating communities that give you better brand and user engagement. 

NFTs (nonfungible tokens) also act as a crucial element of the Metaverse. Brands can use NFTs for different purposes and give you a better shopping experience. NFTs are utilized to create entirely new digital products. They are also used as receipts for the right access pass to several events or give you easy access to the latest product launches. NFTs are used for different VIP opportunities for highly passionate customers and brand advocates. 

It’s essential to check on the surface for the different ways in which technology reshapes e-commerce. The evolution of technologies will blur the lines between the physical and digital world. E-commerce is present in an entirely new way in the Metaverse.

Taking your imagination further gives you better options, such as considering the instant delivery concept that allows customers to experience and use a product they click to buy. If you are not thinking in the correct terms, it will not occur in the upcoming future. You can spend a lot of your time in the Metaverse.

It’s a new channel that will give you a high potential to improve present-day e-commerce practices that change the way things are purchased online. We’re now moving from “click and buy” to “experience and buy.” These best practices enable customers to experience your product virtually before purchasing it.

Getting into the detailed Metaverse needs you to explore this new world that has arisen in the past couple of months. It is necessary to brainstorm how you can go for the promises of the Metaverse. Find how companies can create better shopper experiences than what occurred in recent years in new marketplace launches for creating top-performing CX designs for highly prominent e-commerce bigwigs.

It’s essential to keep your post focused on various commercial benefits of the Metaverse. It’s not easy to understand the true Metaverse without getting the blockchain and NFTs in the form of web3.0 that form the basis of the Metaverse. Metaverse helps to dive deep into the opportunities that E-commerce offers. 

Metaverse Customer Behavior 

Gartner, in specific research, has mentioned that, by 2026, one-fourth of the global population will spend at least an hour a day in Metaverse for different purposes such as:

  • Work
  • Education
  • Shopping
  • Social media 

And Entertainment.

Consider that you’re working from home with your AR glasses on and inside your company’s Metaverse office while attending a meeting with your colleagues. Yes, this is what Metaverse will bring in front of you soon. Microsoft has announced its decision to launch its enterprise, Metaverse, in 2022. So, users can access business tools such as MS Excel and PowerPoint.

Therefore, you will find yourself jumping into the Metaverse for your business meeting at noon and catching up with an old friend to get a virtual coffee afterward. As you spend a great deal of your time in the Metaverse, your iGlasses will replace your iPhone and computer. It’s not difficult to find out you want to do your daily shopping with the same experience, which follows wholly immersive gaming. 

Some fundamental customer interactions will change in the virtual world as we build replicas of the physical world in the Metaverse.

Consider that this transformation will be disruptive for some highly well-established Web2.0 e-commerce and retail giants, especially if they don’t adapt. Find out about the data retailers need to consider seriously to adjust to Metaverse from a Google survey displaying that 66% of people accept that they need to use AR to get help in shopping. Shopify reveals product interactions with only 3D content giving you a 94% higher conversion rate than those without having the same.

Check brands such as Samsung, Coca-Cola, Gucci, Nike, and others about everyday things they do as they will be the early movers into the Metaverse space. And the latest shopping trend in Metaverse may appear faster than you know it!

The Next Paradigm in the E-Commerce: Metaverse

Ecommerce (Speed & Convenience) + Physical Retail (Personalization & Experience) = Metaverse Commerce

So, E-Commerce now has Metaverse Commerce!

As seen in Walmart’s 2017 prototype, Metaverse shopping will transform e-commerce from 2D static product catalogs into real-time experiences, enabling consumers to ‘move’ around a store using 3D-rendered store displays. This is a huge step to close the gap between the immersiveness of physical retail and the ease and convenience of shopping online.

So, what can you expect?

Microsoft’s Vice President, Jared Spataro, said, “If you can experience the Best Buy store in the Metaverse and find several displays and devices.” We are not very well connected to the physical reality of things when we think of shopping from a website.

Metaverse is likely to fill the gap the customers in the Metaverse get to ‘walk’ when they are around in the store. If they can enjoy product displays and carry out purchases as they would typically do in a store. And all this from their home’s comfort. In this way, you get a one-of-a-kind fusion of the immersive nature of physical retail and how you can shop online.

Several applications can give a higher level of convenience with the right shopping experience. In this way, Metaverse offers excellent potential for a better practice of current e-commerce practices. It gives you highly unique customer experiences. Here are a few aspects that the Metaverse can revolutionize.

Personalized Experience:

Personalization in e-commerce will generally halt when you start getting product recommendations and discounts. Metaverse allows the brands to offer customers highly personalized experiences without being concerned about the various barriers in the physical world.

Higher Profitability:

Studies show that consumers will pay you as much as 40% higher for a product that can get tested in 3D. Metaverse provides the most advanced product visualization capabilities, letting consumers make highly-informed decisions leading to higher brand profit margins.

Stronger Community Engagement:

As you empower customers to participate actively in your brand’s activities. It helps you build a highly symbiotic relationship by being in touch with things fans look forward to from your brand. This lets you go for a better product launch in the Metaverse, available to your highly passionate fans with special access to the product.

Better Customer Insights:

Marketing is related to understanding your customers better. Marketers like to create the best content to get a higher customer engagement. Consider how things can be exciting when people can discover or interact with a virtual collection. Metaverse also lets the brands test the product penetration without manufacturing. If customers love the products they experience in the virtual world, brands can understand how they can manufacture them.

Customer Experience:

You can also create a true-to-life digital experience in the Metaverse, distinct from the 2D interface of traditional e-commerce experiences. Closing the gap between the physical experience and the virtual world makes customers love the experience of checking physical products, which will be their favorite part of an in-store experience.

Global Reach:

The best part is that metaverse stores are available for virtual shopping to the customers present anywhere across the globe right from the first day! This is where E-commerce SEO Experts want to gain an advantage with.

Lower Return Rates:

You need to build virtual experiences, which are essential to allow the merchants to sell products that are traditionally difficult to buy online and typically see high return rates because of a bigger ambiguity to judge the suitability of a product online; this can include businesses such as: 

  • Home furnishings
  • Cosmetics
  • Footwear
  • And fashion, to name a few.

You need to build an excellent customer journey in Metaverse, which is like duplicating the retail and online store into a virtual one. Instead, leaders taking to this new form of commerce need to think out of the box and, at this time, also embrace the opportunity to create a better brand experience for the communities (customers).

You need to have a big chart to cover both on-chain (blockchain) & off-chain companies which can build the Metaverse. Several on-chain personal favorite metaverse companies like Sandbox and Decentraland give a great true on-chain Metaverse experience.

Boson Protocol, Sensorium also offers you unique brand experiences in Metaverse. Alethea is a company building the Metaverse using Artificial Intelligence NFTs to reach the ultimate human-level intelligence in the Metaverse.

What is Virtual Shopping?

Metaverse allows for ‘Virtual shopping’, which describes the VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) growth which gets assisted in e-commerce experiences. In place of browsing through the static product catalog, we have things for virtual retail whereby one can reimagine an online shopping experience through 3D renderings of an in-store real-life environment. 

Having new value-added services with offerings like:

  • Live video chats 
  • Store associates
  • Interactive quizzes and games
  • Social shopping with friends 

All these will make your online shopping experience very smooth.

Why Now is the Time to Start Investing in Virtual Retailing

You can tend to dismiss virtual shopping, thinking of it as a fun novelty. However, in reality, Metaverse is a great tool to improve customer experience. Virtual retailing is an upcoming trend related to virtual shopping experiences belonging to top-notch brands which allow you to experiment with the latest retail ventures.

VR and AR technologies are getting highly popular, with shopping from brick-and-mortar stores being disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, virtual reality shopping is a long-term offering all retailers need to pay attention to.

It not only increased from so many years in advance. Before this, the early VR/AR experiences were too complex. Also, VR headsets have a high price tag. Such experiences are limited due to the cost of their development. Several high-profile failures from Google Glass can occur, which show that many consumers did not find a role for AR in their routine lives.

The picture seems to be very different from the last year when the consumer sector had the largest share of VR and AR spending at 53%. Due to the increase in Snapchat and games such as Pokemon Go, AR has now gained widespread acknowledgment as a currency from consumers. 75% of the global population requires frequent AR users. It is estimated that by 2025, 94% of AR shoppers want to plan this, keeping the future in mind. 

Virtual retailing is more or less related to consumers’ willingness to experiment with the latest shopping technologies. We can combine it with the increase in mobile shopping for better omnichannel connectivity. It is always best to check why virtual retailing is the next thing in experiential retail.  

The Benefits of Virtual Shopping

You can close the gap between e-commerce and in-store shopping. Ecommerce is witnessing fast growth as today it has become a highly convenient and self-directed way of shopping. Consumers order at all times the day or the night. They also do not require to be in long queues or have busy sales assistants. 

The most seamless e-commerce experience is a tough match to browsing in person. You require one-on-one engagement with the customer care representatives to get a great brand experience that feels great. It is also designed to give you a high efficiency which is not only meant for enjoyment.

Therefore, based on an increase in online retail sales, consumers like to carry out their shopping in-store. A recent study found that 70% of consumers consider the ability to see, try on, and touch physical products as an essential part of their in-store experience. Moreover, you must follow up with several in-person interactions through our sales associates (41%). 47% of respondents in another study found that they’ve spent more than 51% of their shopping budget in various physical locations across the year. 

Virtual showrooms also allow the brands to go bride between their experience as a utility and a recreational activity. This provides the consumers complete convenience to purchase through an online store with a human touch one can associate for an in-store experience.

Resilience to COVID-19 or Other Similar Disruptions

Brick and mortar retail has produced a rough hand in 18 months. Lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic also led to many store closures. With new variants of COVId 19 coming forth now and then, there are a lot of restrictions that will now get imposed now and then on physical shopping. 

The huge pandemic success stories in the retail industry come from brands centered around e-commerce. Thus, retailers must discover the latest ways to connect with their customers for an enhanced shopping experience. This is what will further support your offline efforts.

Virtual shopping also allows the customers to get a fresh retail experience that combines responsive customer service with digital connectivity, making it a brilliant way to engage customers and achieve a true omnichannel experience.

Reduced Reliance on Store-based Fulfillment

The pandemic accelerated online shoppers using alternative delivery methods to home delivery and curbside pick-up. There’s also been a rise in ship-from-store fulfillment strategies, which has put a high strain on physical retail stores.

The store-based fulfillment can lower the last-mile delivery times for their local customers. It also has several serious drawbacks, like fulfillment activities on your shop’s floor may hurt the in-store customer experience. When you do not have a purpose-built area to carry out the fulfillment activities, you may have a very costly and inefficient system in the store.

Moreover, O2O (online-to-offline) retail again has a lot of pressure on your store locations to carry out high volumes of stock to meet the demands of online orders. It may make accurate inventory reporting difficult while increasing the chances of stock-outs and excess inventory piling up.

Virtual shopping also takes off the pressure from the store network as it allows the consumers to check products like they would do it in-store. This also includes getting more outstanding help from store associates. If the customers are highly comfortable opting for home delivery, it will take away the requirement to maintain loads of inventory.

Greater Use of Appointment Shopping

Appointment-based shopping earlier belonged to the luxury retailers’ domain and offered one-on-one customer service. But, after COVID-19, three has been an increase in apprehension in consumers for crowded stores. So, consumers prefer to go for appointment shopping to avoid overcrowding and improve customer satisfaction.

 

Virtual shopping is all about a highly manageable alternative for customers that require to connect online for shopping using a white glove customer care approach. Customers can also opt for a live chat or video call with their representatives if they have questions about a product.

More Opportunities to Gather Customer Data

A drawback of in-store shopping is related to a situation when data is not available before your point of purchase. The sales history may prove helpful, especially if it doesn’t explain what makes a customer decide to purchase from you. You cannot find out the several other products you can consider or the number of store visits they make before buying a product.

Sometimes, retailers can’t personalize their in-store experiences. Ecommerce can be a game-changer that lets you track your entire shopping journey from start to end. Merchants can also track the so-called ‘foot traffic’ in real-time when customers move around a website to track the products which will end up in the shopping cart and let them create customized recommendations. Nearly 50% of them say they made an unintended purchase due to a recommendation.

When it comes to virtual shopping, data gathering provides you opportunities to enhance your reach much more. The three-dimensional environment helps you find out how customers go for merchandising efforts in ways you cannot track offline. The service offerings like virtual shopping assistants, including AR tools, get mapped highly effectively as they’re integrated into your shopping experience in place of being scattered in different interfaces or apps.

Your Ability to Experiment with Various Store Concepts

Regular retail activities include refreshing merchandise and changing mannequins which are amazingly time-consuming. You can achieve the same with virtual retailing is only a few clicks to get a high dynamic storefront.

The way you change your retail space is an important thing. As you get top-class audience research on your side, it becomes hard to understand the way the customers respond if they can experience it by themselves.

Virtual shopping also allows you to carry out a comparative test such as an A/B test for different store concepts with your customers. You don’t need to spend a lot of time or do a lot of expenses to get changes for your actual storefront.

You can also go for a better customer survey in your virtual store that asks customers to rate all their experiences. You can also for a virtual store remodel using the pop-up teaser campaign that requires you to wait at your physical stores. It lets you drive more online traffic. 

Charlotte Tilbury

This is a digitally native beauty brand known as Charlotte Tilbury that uses highly engaging e-commerce experiences. These are some of the first to adopt virtual shopping, which is an excellent tactic for handling the ongoing issues present in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It was launched in the 2020 holiday season for the first time. It became the first virtual storefront that was brought to you by powering the virtual reality platform Obsess, which became an exercise in branding just like commerce.

Apart from the usual e-commerce shopping capabilities, customers also get guided in the 3D store environment with the ‘Charlotte’ avatar to access personalized advice and product recommendations through virtual consultations. COVID-19 has also invited friends to shop while making a video call, and this helps you create a perfect social commerce experience.

Conclusion

Having and designing an E-commerce store empowered by Virtual Retail is essential, and it is necessary to give customers an immersive experience and convenience. As customers get a great experience, it helps them find significant revenues and sales for their e-commerce store.  

The Visibility Gurus Ecommerce SEO Experts team likes to be aware and make the most of the latest trends in the industry that help you to go forward. Reach out to the best brains with us to learn more about we can make the most of the online retail experience.