More than one in two consumers worldwide believe that everyday life and lifestyle are increasingly moving towards the virtual world. The vast majority of commerce managers expect big brands to expand the virtual world to make it more realistic. But what exactly is the metaverse? What is the role of NFTs and digital fashion in this context? And what is the potential of “metaverse e-commerce” for brands and retailers?
The term Metaverse has been on everyone’s lips, at least since Mark Zuckerberg renamed his Facebook group to Meta and proclaimed the Metaverse the next big thing for the internet. The term Metaverse is related to the term Web 3.0, the next generation of the Internet, in which people are to become an integral part of the Internet. Currently there is no single metaverse, but multiple metaverses.
Among the best-known metaverses are virtual worlds such as Decentraland or The Sandbox, where people gather to play games, shop, meet colleagues or attend concerts. Users today take the form of digital avatars. But in the future, the metaverse could evolve even more into a mixed reality, where our avatars resemble us as real people and where our real goods are also present in the virtual world.
Virtual courts for millions of dollars
In this context, a craze has arisen for digital fashion and virtual countries, which have become commercial goods. For example, reports have recently been circulated that virtual countries on Decentraland and The Sandbox have changed hands for millions of dollars.
For example, virtual real estate Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of Tokens.com, recently purchased 116 virtual lots for $2.43 million. These plots were purchased in the Fashion Street district in Decentraland to develop digital fashion and certainly to hold catwalk shows there and to sell digital clothing such as NFT.
But what are NFTs? These are non-exchangeable digital certificates of authenticity. Designers are using this phenomenon to release limited edition digital clothing that users can use to dress up their avatars. Companies such as Adidas, Dolce & Gabanna or Nike have also already sold virtual clothing in the form of NFTs.
So we are already at the heart of the “Metaverse E-commerce”: virtual land and digital fashion are in fact just two examples of the most diverse things that can be traded through the Metaverse, which is what makes this phenomenon so relevant for brands and shopkeepers. There are already platforms for digital sports cards such as Fanzone, while the company Timeless, for example, makes it possible to invest with NFTs in real physical collectibles, such as valuable sneakers, luxury watches or cars.
It is now also possible to share your NFTs on Instagram. In other words, the platform allows thousands of people to share, for example, a classic Porsche car and hope for an increase in the value of the real vehicle. The BlockBar platform makes it possible to invest in NFTs of virtual minds that have a real equivalent. If necessary, the NFT can be exchanged later for, for example, a real drinking whisky.
The last two examples also show that the virtual world and the real world are already intertwining and that NFT technology is not only suitable for e-commerce in virtual worlds such as Decentraland, but also makes it possible to market tangible products. bring. It is also possible for merchants and brands to open virtual stores on Metaverse platforms, in which it is possible to purchase not only digital products, but also goods for home delivery.
When the two worlds come together, especially in the fashion field, this could involve a preliminary virtual fit to verify that the garment really fits our virtual twins, which could simultaneously lower return rates and reduce environmental impact. . of unnecessary transport. More complex products could also be sold very well in the metaverse, such as real cars that can be virtually configured and tested there in an environment that we like.
If e-commerce and the metaverse move in this direction, the stores of Decentraland, The Sandbox, Roblox, Fortnite & Co. new shop windows become for brands and retailers. For example, the need for a flexible commerce infrastructure, which can link virtual objects on such platforms as additional storefronts alongside online stores, apps and brick-and-mortar stores, is expected to continue to grow.
Of course, no one knows yet what the evolution of the Metaverse will be in the coming years. But now it’s time to familiarize yourself with virtual worlds and develop an idea of how your company could participate.