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Consumers Want More: How the Metaverse is the Next Stage of Retail

This time last year, most people didn’t know what the metaverse was, but now it has become a common term referring to a highly immersive virtual world where people can gather to socialise, play, and work; an embodied internet that you are inside of instead of just looking at. Most of the internet is about buying items or consuming information, but the Metaverse is all about having experiences and spaces.

Consumer behaviour has shifted over the last few years to a more digital focus, aided by the pandemic and its restrictions leaving online the only way many could shop and showing no signs of slowing down with global e-commerce sales expected to hit $5.5 trillion in 2022. However, as online consumption continues to dominate and grow, businesses need to develop more engaging and social experiences to foster consumer connectivity, shoppers demand more sophisticated digital interactions meaning fashion brands must optimise the online experience and channel mix while finding ways to integrate the human touch.

shopping online on laptop

The customer experience is important as customers return to brands that provide value and remove friction from their shopping journey. When consumers have an emotional connection with a certain brand, they have a 306% higher lifetime value and are more likely to recommend them to friends and family showing the importance of the customer experience. However, as we move to a more digital world, the majority of customer experiences will be delivered online where it is more difficult to gauge sentiment and interpret reactions. This is where brands need to utilise virtual reality and metaverse-style technology to elevate their online customer experience.

Too Faced Virtual Store

Fully immersive and creative virtual environments are a natural evolution of how people use technology and how they shop online. Statistics show that consumers are 8 times more likely to purchase within a v-commerce environment rather than a standard e-commerce site.

One way to provide new experiences for customers is through social commerce such as live streaming and augmented reality try-on. An amazing example of social shopping comes from BrandLab360, a virtual reality company, that has partnered with Too Faced to bring customers a fully branded and immersive beauty world. This first-of-its-kind retail experience includes interactive gardens filled with hero products, brand mascots to interact with and the opportunity to play games to capture discount codes. The virtual environment also allows users to invite their friends to meet them in the metaverse and enjoy the experience together.

Have you experienced a virtual shopping environment recently? Let us know below!

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