The more we approach the post-pandemic age, the more we become accustomed to buying, working, playing, and learning online. As a result, the "metaverse" has become the hallmark of boundless digital prospects welcomed and propelled forward by tech giants and startups alike in 2021, from being jargon featured in sci-fi novels.
We have already witnessed how digital marketing methods have changed the game for many firms in this new era of digital reliance. We can see the metaverse, blurring the boundaries between actual and virtual reality. Digitisation has become the new standard.
Let's take a look at the prospects of the metaverse in the ever-changing landscape of the e-commerce industry.
The metaverse is essentially a confluence of several technology advancements that work hand in hand. The metaverse moves technology out of the digital space and into the physical world, from NFTs to e-commerce to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
The metaverse has positioned itself as the digital economy's next frontier, even though we are merely starting to grasp how these advances will affect our lives. The metaverse technology aims to engage users with an immersive and online experience of the parallel world by utilising sophisticated technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality.
As a result of the commonly used Blockchain technology, virtual currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), there has been a lot of conjecture and debates in the metaverse. Meanwhile, there have been numerous advances, including metaverse interfaces, frameworks, networks, and multiple service providers. These service providers are trying to improve the metaverse's experience for customers and make it a reality in today's world as quickly as feasible.
The e-commerce industry in the metaverse will undoubtedly grow in the following years. Technology and its more novel features that combine physical and online purchasing will become available.
Due to the rising prevalence of augmented reality technology, buyers may be utterly confident in the quality and efficacy of a product before purchasing it. Naturally, this phenomenon benefits the customers in terms of efficiency. However, it also helps merchants reduce returns and expand their client base.
Researchers also expect the rate of product discovery and customisation to increase. As a result of the invention of metaverse technology, brands will now be able to give customers a more personalised digital experience. The metaverse will provide shoppers with a smooth experience, helping them identify what product they want and when. Despite the present constraints of individualised digital shopping experiences, the metaverse will enable marketers to tailor the buying experience at scale, allowing them to reach a more significant number of customers than ever.
According to the Google poll, over 66 per cent of individuals would be willing to utilise augmented reality (AR) glasses to assist them in making a buying choice. According to a Shopify analysis, items with 3D content interactions have a 94 per cent greater conversion rate than those that do not. We have witnessed how serious Facebook is about establishing the metaverse. They've even changed its name to Meta to emphasise how much they trust in this potential of social networking.
1. AR and VR Innovations
Brands are experimenting with augmented reality and virtual reality as new forms of interactive content to create creative experiences. According to forecasts, the worldwide augmented and mixed reality industry would grow at a CAGR of 79.2 per cent. For instance, Amazon recently launched a Room Decorator service that allows users to see furnishings in their own homes. However, we have yet to see the full potential of AR and VR, partly due to the bulky and expensive hardware and technology necessary to engage.
Companies like Meta, on the other hand, are now developing VR headsets and other associated technologies at lower prices, signalling that these technologies would become more accessible, leading to critical mass acceptance. In addition, as virtual reality becomes more mainstream, companies will look for new methods to communicate with their customers.
2. Gamified Buying Process
Giving customers the potential to receive loyalty points with the help of a treasure hunt in your store is an excellent way to increase your e-commerce business. Additionally, accumulating NFT badges for simply checking out different products and redeeming rewards and special offers by performing tasks are examples of how Metaverse eCommerce could satisfy and connect with customers on a whole new level. In addition, businesses can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty by promoting various gaming experiences in the eCommerce journey.
3. Building a community - Expanded social commerce
The gap between e-commerce and social media will narrow in the metaverse. As clearly shown by the prominence of Amazon reviews and other online customer feedback, user-generated content and testimonials are already at the heart of e-commerce. In addition, companies will be able to do more than a star rating in the metaverse by creating attractive communities that empower customers to interact with the brand and other admirers of the brand.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are another critical component of the metaverse. Brands will use NFTs for various objectives to improve the purchasing experience. NFTs can help to develop modern digital goods. They are likely to be used as invoices, passes for special occasions, and early availability of new product releases. In addition, businesses can use NFTs to provide various VIP experiences for a business's most loyal consumers and brand champions.
Customer need for tailored experiences is increasing. As shown in a poll conducted in 2021, 71% of customers demand individualised backgrounds from businesses, and 76% will be utterly disappointed if they do not receive them. As a result, brands are experimenting with strategies to provide targeted promotions, appropriate product or service suggestions, one-on-one conversations with employees, and engagement possibilities such as live shopping.
The metaverse will undoubtedly raise the bar for tailored customer experiences. Customers may connect with companies in a digital realm without the constraints of the physical world, such as space, gravity, or territory. They may go to online shops whenever and whenever they choose. Brands are also exploring new kinds of experiences, such as virtual gaming.
The metaverse is building the e-commerce future, where conventional shopping and digital purchasing collide to create a whole new environment. Furthermore, the metaverse is poised to drive innovation out of the digital realm and into the physical realm, thanks to the rise of augmented and virtual reality, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and social commerce.