How The Metaverse Is Transforming The eCommerce Landscape
Metaverse is changing the eCommerce industry. The last few years have seen a tremendous increase in online shopping, largely thanks to the internet. According to Statista, the number of digital shoppers increased globally by over one billion between 2014 and 2021. This growth is anticipated to continue. Our lives are now easier than ever thanks to the successful entry into the digital age, where technology is growing and replacing old operations. Blockchain, NFTs, virtual reality, and virtual money are recent technological breakthroughs anticipating a more immersive internet experience—the so-called “metaverse.”
As we enter web 3.0, it is just around the corner. This article focuses on the Metaverse and how it affects the online retail industry, two things that every owner of an eCommerce company should be aware of.
What Is The Metaverse?
Over the past two decades, the internet has evolved from simply displaying boring pages to enabling users to engage, create content, and communicate with one another. Due to the internet, it is now feasible to FaceTime with pals, share hilarious memes, and leave terrible reviews for pizza restaurants you didn’t like.
Now, what next? We are moving toward a metaverse that will be more immersive than any virtual experience the human race has ever had. Extensive realities, blockchain, NFTs, and other cutting-edge technologies are working together to create a virtual world that appears more genuine than ever.
The term “metaverse” combines the words “meta,” which means “beyond,” and “verse,” which means “universe,” and simply means “beyond the universe.” The phrase “Virtual Reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users” could be used to define the Metaverse.
Facebook, now operating under the name Meta, claims that the “metaverse is the next development of social connectivity.” It is a virtual environment where people can communicate with each other. Thanks to blockchain technology and extended realities, we can see beyond what is real. The term “metaverse” refers to the concept of an extended reality-enabled virtual world that exists on the blockchain. To put it simply, it is a 3D computer-generated simulation of the real world that enables users to engage with it through an immersive experience.
Benefits of Metaverse
Due to the enormous rise in telecommuting, people now primarily use online communities and video and web conferencing as their primary means of contact.
The Metaverse elevates the current digital experience by providing users with a wide range of real-world skills in a 3D immersive environment. The following are the main benefits that the Metaverse offers to us.
1. A World Without Limitations
The meta-reality in the digital sphere resembles the world they experience every day. Players create, drive, shoot, act out storylines, and live the lives of game actors while playing video games. Players can experience a real-time simulation in games like GTA 5 but cannot touch or sense the game’s environment. Players will experience a 3D virtual world in the Metaverse, where they can explore and engage in various activities.
2. Addressing the Issues with Remote Work
Most of those in the IT industry employed during the epidemic worked from home, but this eliminated face-to-face connections between employers and employees. Managers can communicate with their staff members just like they would in the real world via metaverse apps. Similarly, medical professionals can share digitally with their patients.
3. New Opportunities For Businesses And Marketers
Better social media platforms are being developed by Meta, which will increase prospects for businesses and marketers. Businesses can allow clients to engage in real-time with avatars to try on various outfits and accessories, bringing virtual reality closer to reality.
4. Great tool for healthcare professionals
Healthcare and medical staff that were previously unable to see patients owing to geographic restrictions are benefiting greatly from the Metaverse. They can interact with the patient and comprehensively understand their health state in the virtual environment.
5. Providing the experience of virtual tours
Although travelling might be adventurous, not everyone can do it. The Metaverse truly manifests there. People can virtually travel to places they couldn’t physically visit. A sophisticated virtual environment that gives viewers a first-person experience is being created using the combined power of Metaverse, AR, and VR.
The Metaverse, A New Beginning For eCommerce
Nowadays, users may communicate, participate, upload material, and perform other actions on the internet, making it more than just a platform to acquire information. And things are getting better. The way things operate, especially eCommerce, will alter due to the Metaverse. It will completely alter how people communicate online, from holding meetings to planning events.
With the growth of the Metaverse, the virtual world will take over nearly everything in the future years. Online firms must accelerate their marketing strategies and efforts to survive this massive shift from web 2.0 to web 3.0. Both opportunities and challenges will result from this for eCommerce businesses.
The Metaverse’s Basic Elements
Let’s take a closer look at the Metaverse’s core before going too far into it. Blockchain, extended reality, and NFTs form the building blocks of the Metaverse. Let’s look through each one to see how it contributes to creating the virtual environment.
When we discuss the Metaverse, we are referring to a synchronous and decentralized virtual environment where things happen in real-time, exactly like they do in the real world. Such a real-time, synchronous, and decentralized virtual ecosystem is not feasible without blockchain technology. This technology ensures that every event in a virtual environment is recorded in a secure, decentralized chain of records known as a block. Because these blocks are decentralized and cannot be changed by a single party, they offer a more secure and independent ecosystem. This will make it possible to trace ownership changes and changes to virtual assets and help stop crime in the Metaverse.
2. Extended Reality
Extended reality (XR) is a spectrum term used to cover immersive experiences like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Through XR, the Metaverse offers an entirely new level of virtual experiences. Without extended reality, the Metaverse would only be a science fiction concept. By placing immersive virtual world experiences in front of our senses, such as 3D visuals through Augmented Reality and 3D surround sound, these technologies elevate immersive virtual world experiences to a whole new level.
3. Non-Fungible Tokens
The acronym NFT, or “non-fungible token,” has skyrocketed in popularity during the past several years. It alludes to digital assets that are registered on a decentralized blockchain that keeps a very accurate record of who owns what. Non-fungible coins can be made from digital assets, such as beautiful music or outstanding artwork. The blockchain will be used to store Metaverse’s digital assets as NFTs, which may be traced and duplicated as needed.
The Current State Of The Metaverse
While we may not be aware of it, virtual worlds have actually been there for more than ten years. Whether you call it Minecraft or Pokemon GO, all virtual worlds offer experiences that are somewhat similar to those of real life. Blockchain technology has been extending the boundaries of virtual worlds and encouraging people to consider the idea of the Metaverse. Decentralized virtual worlds that are synchronized with reality and trackable through the blockchain are now possible to develop.
A few projects for virtual worlds are already under development for the future of virtual reality. One such Ethereum-based virtual environment where users may purchase virtual properties and digital assets in the form of NFTs is The Sandbox. There is a tonne of other virtual world examples that are also available. Metaverses are expanding quickly, and there is a great need for digital resources like NFTs. With time, the adoption rate of the virtual world is likewise increasing and may eventually rule the real one.
The Metaverse For Online Merchants And Customers
Nowadays, virtual worlds are not simply a sci-fi concept. The widespread use of the virtual world will fundamentally alter everyday operations, including internet commerce and business. This has a lot to offer both retailers and customers. Here are some implications for online shoppers and businesses from the Metaverse.
1. Virtual Shopping
The virtual world will elevate the purchasing experience through more engaging product encounters. Virtual stores will exist in the virtual world where customers can interact fully with the goods. Because they are digital assets, the retailers can put up identical shops in other virtual worlds. Even Facebook offers the option to use Facebook Shop to sell goods on Facebook. Customers will have a more engaging shopping experience if they can explore and experience things in several dimensions. The distinction between physical and internet shopping will almost disappear.
2. Personalized Shopping
For businesses, personalization is the secret to success. Customized items are extremely popular with consumers. Customers may already modify products thanks to a variety of tools. The eCommerce behemoths are already utilizing product personalizations, enabling clients to personalize and adapt the products per their needs. The Metaverse will create new opportunities and advance the level of product customization. Customers can customize products and interact with them in real-time through virtual experiences. This will fundamentally alter the way online firms operate.
3. Customer Interaction
Individuals’ engagement with virtual objects will undergo a significant upheaval thanks to the hyper-real alternative virtual world. The way that customers interact with brands and products is just one aspect of the online business landscape that the Metaverse has the potential to revolutionize. Today’s boring 2D product sites will be replaced with a 3D virtual environment where users may interact with virtual objects and other users. This will raise customer contact with brands and products to a nearly comparable level to in-person shopping. Such an intensely immersive product experience will significantly influence customers’ purchase decisions.
Through different new virtual touchpoints, it will also improve the customers’ pre-and post-sale purchasing experiences. For instance, companies can use virtual items in the Metaverse to demonstrate their products in use.
The Metaverse For Luxury Brands
It is anticipated that the introduction of virtual worlds would impact billions of individuals and their online presence. In these virtual environments, 3D avatars can play. Individuals care more about the appearance of their avatars in the virtual world in a scenario where most things have changed from real to virtual. In the Metaverse, avatars will depict people’s movements and gestures through more robust interactions, according to Mark Zuckerberg. Rich brands are already profiting greatly from this. Limited numbers of virtual assets are being sold in the virtual world through non-fungible tokens. This is how premium businesses have also begun establishing themselves in the online space.
- Gucci sold a virtual bag in Roblox via NFT for 350,000 Roblox currency, which is equal to $4115.
- In December 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT, a well-known online sneaker retailer that, in less than 7 minutes, sold 600 pairs of sneakers worth $3.1 million.
- Coca-Cola and Tafi collaborated in 2021 to produce virtual treasure boxes with NFTs, making over $1 million.
Virtual worlds aren’t just for science fiction anymore! Through blockchain, NFTs, and extended reality, the Metaverse is set to bring about a fundamental change in the eCommerce environment. The shopping experience will become much more engaging, immersive, and individualized as a result. Some well-known corporations, including Nike, Gucci, and Coca-Cola, have already begun to deepen their roots in the Metaverse. The current situation shows that virtual worlds will rule the future, necessitating the participation of eCommerce companies in the big game.
Edited by Prakriti Arora