The Meta Store just opened on the Burlingame campus of Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook). It is a living lab where people can experience Metaverse for themselves and where programmers and developers at Meta’s Reality Labs headquarters can learn from customers.
“Once people experience the technology, they can appreciate it better,” said Martin Gilliard, who runs the Meta Store. “With the store here in Burlingame, we have more opportunities to experiment and put the customer experience at the heart of our development. What we learn here will help shape our future retail strategy. †
The store is on the cutting edge of hardware and sells essential tools that enable interaction in the virtual world, such as the $299 Quest VR headset. Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses will also be on display, allowing wearers to share photos and videos. and listen to music while they go about their daily lives. Glasses must be ordered directly from Ray-Ban, although Meta sellers help customers place their orders.
Despite its small footprint of 1,550 square meters, it also has a demo room where guests can don helmets to experience virtual golf, fishing, sports and dancing with lightsabers.
All in all, this promises to be an eye-opening and mind-blowing introduction to the Metaverse for consumers, but even more so for businesses.
The Meta Store is more of a B2B metaverse showroom than a retail store. And for that, it does a great service to businesses that need to understand how it will transform their industries.
With this, Meta will claim its leadership position in the metaverse and control its development, as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did in the early days of personal computing.
“One of the reasons we’re investing so much in augmented and virtual reality is that mobile phones came out at the same time as Facebook, so we haven’t really been able to play a big part in developing these platforms,” Mark Zuckerberg shared with The edgeby Casey Newton.
“The Metaverse is a vision that spans many companies – the entire industry. You can see it as the successor to mobile internet. And it’s certainly not something that a single company is going to build, but I think a lot of our next chapter will hopefully help build that, working with many other companies, makers and developers,” he continued. †
In essence, The Meta Store is more of a B2B metaverse showroom than a retail store. And for that, it does a great service to other companies.
Shaping the future of the internet
The metaverse will have applications in virtually every area of life and business, the future of work, travel, health and fitness, entertainment and gaming, communications, education, worship, finance, marketing and purchasing.
The metaverse exists at the intersection of the real and virtual worlds and is the natural evolution of the internet, online shopping and social media. Like Alice Through the Looking Glass, instead of just seeing something on the screen, the Metaverse will bring people in where they can interact with others and businesses.
Yet the metaverse is still in its infancy, with only 13% of the more than 4,500 senior executives surveyed by Accenture say it will have a “transformative impact” on their respective industries. The other 87% can catch up better.
The Metaverse is more than just incremental change or even breakthrough technology. It will touch businesses and people’s lives in ways unimaginable, but at the virtual speed of light.
There is confusion
Like business leaders, consumers have equally low levels of awareness of what the Metaverse is and how it affects their lives, several recent studies suggest.
A CommerceNext survey conducted in collaboration with Bizrate Insights and The Commerce Experience Collective (CommX) of more than 500 consumers found that nearly half (48%) had never heard of the term metaverse, and an equal percentage (47 %) had some fame, but that’s about it. †
An Ipsos survey of 1,000 consumers found a slightly higher level of familiarity (14% were very familiar and 24% were somewhat familiar), but nevertheless, about 31% had only heard of the term and 31% said they were not aware of it. to be.
After Ipsos filled in the blanks for all respondents: “Metaverse is a term that describes digital spaces where you can interact with other users and activities [e.g. socializing, playing games, watching concerts, shopping for digital and non-digital items] using virtual or augmented reality” – about 26% thought this was the future of technology, but 30% said it wasn’t as good as real life.
Many remained skeptical: 23% said it’s just another way tech companies are trying to make more money and 20% say it’s a significant privacy risk. While 33% were curious about the Metaverse, about 27% were disinterested and 23% suspicious.
And a strong 1,000 Harris Poll respondents found that two in three American adults (62%) were unfamiliar with the concept of a metaverse before taking the survey. When reading a description of it, more than half (52%) said they felt overwhelmed by the concept, and 60% said they still didn’t understand the purpose of the Metaverse.
In a battle of competing surveys, Accenture found an incredibly high level of consumer interest in participating in the virtual world among more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries surveyed.
About 83% said they were interested in making purchases through the metaverse the following year, and 64% had purchased a virtual good or participated in a virtual experience or service in the past year.
Since I don’t have access to the survey questionnaire, I suspect that Accenture’s survey presented a broader definition of “virtual life” to its audience than the other surveys.
Nevertheless, the interest in buying virtual fashion to wear in virtual environments was high (51%), as well as buying virtual looks to wear makeup or hair on one’s avatar or virtual self (48%) and participating to a virtual consultation on health, makeup and hair (53%) next year.
Additionally, 52% said they visited a retailer in the virtual world for advice, to make a payment, or to browse a product line when purchasing a physical item.
Call to action
No matter how low or high the awareness of Metaverse among consumers or business leaders is, the Metaverse ball is rolling and gaining momentum. Too soon it will be impossible to ignore, so every company should better understand how they want to play in the metaverse.
“The era of the metaverse has begun, so for consumer-facing businesses it’s not a matter of deciding whether to enter the metaverse, but deciding how,” said Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Retail Industry. for Accenture. group “Retailers and brands will have to reinvent and experiment with what new immersive and consultative experiences can mean for consumers.”
A visit to the new Meta Store should be first on the leader’s list to explore the metaverse opportunity.
About Pam Danziger: Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally renowned expert specializing in consumer insights for marketers targeting the affluent consumer segment. She is president of Unitary Marketing, a boutique marketing consultancy she founded in 1992, where she leads research to give brands actionable insights into the minds of their most profitable customers.
She is also one of the founders of Retail Rescue, a company that provides retailers with advice, mentorship and support in Marketing, Management, Merchandising, Operations, Service and Sales.
She is a prolific writer and author of eight books, including Shops that POP! 7 steps to extraordinary business success, written about and for independent retailers. She has contributed to the Robin Report and Forbes.com. Pam is often asked to share new ideas with audiences and business leaders around the world. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.