Shopping in the Metaverse
The combination of recent technological advancements and hybrid working practices has led to the increased use of technology in every part of our lives, from team video calls to online lectures, we are online more than ever. Our shopping habits have changed dramatically too, as online shopping continues to evolve at a rapid pace. There are exciting new ways we can shop online, providing us with a whole new outlook on our purchasing experience with the term “Metaverse” being a hot topic recently.
The term the ‘Metaverse’ has been defined in many ways, so, to give some clarity on what it actually is, we would describe it as a highly immersive virtual world, where people can gather to socialise, game, and work; an embodied internet that you are interactive in, rather than merely looking at. The internet is generally seen as a place to buy items or consume information, the Metaverse, however, is all about immersive experiences, taking part in activities such as games, social interaction, learning, training and exploring virtual spaces. The Metaverse is still in the early stages of development, however, we are beginning to see glimpses of the future of web 3.0 and how it will look and feel to shop in the Metaverse.
Many E-Commerce stores have pages of items with some complimentary images and information. In the Metaverse, however, the content and creative image possibilities are endless. Fashion brands are going digital to offer customers a fresh new perspective of immersive and interactive experiences. They are undergoing an experimental phase of evolving their customers’ interaction with the brand. This is not a prohibitive process of brand evolution as there are no restrictions in replicating a physical store in the digital world. Companies can sell and interact with customers in any virtual reality environment they can imagine. One major cosmetic brand embracing this pioneering opportunity of virtual reality is, Too Faced.
Working together with Welsh technology company, BrandLab360, they created Maison Too Faced, a bespoke online shoppable experience. This exclusive retail environment provides shoppers with a first-of-its-kind shopping experience, consisting of a 360° virtual environment with a fully functioning economy, and the transferability of avatars and digital assets. All events inside the virtual store occur in real-time and are fully accessible via a link, with no apps or downloads required. Created entirely by BrandLab360, with the latest innovation in CGI, the gamified beauty world is a visual cornucopia for the customer to explore, enjoy and purchase within.
While the Metaverse opens up an online opportunity to shop for real-life items in exciting new ways, it also presents digital garments modelled by online avatars, with many brands now creating virtual clothing, from D&G to Louis Vuitton. This experience is somewhat similar to shopping on a typical E-Commerce store, as digital garments are being sold on NFT marketplaces or in games/virtual worlds, on pages with images and descriptions. One existing issue is that there is currently no interoperability on the Metaverse, meaning that if you buy a digital garment in The Sandbox, your avatar in Decentraland cannot wear it. An item you buy in one environment is not transferable to another environment.
MetaTown by BrandLab360 however, is a whole new virtual world launching this year. This fully immersive virtual world allows anyone to shop, explore, transact and interact via a web browser. It is a secure environment to host and trade NFTs with a unique digital currency and the opportunity to purchase consumer goods in unique virtual shopping districts. MetaTown by BrandLab360 harnesses the power of web 3.0, which not only allows consumers to enjoy elevated, immersed shopping and social experiences, it also provides retailers and other businesses with a virtual reality platform to monetise the future of the internet. This will be the closest experience you can get to shopping in real life, virtually!
Have you tried any virtual reality shopping experiences yet? Let us know below how you feel about the future of shopping in the Metaverse!