The wave of the metaverse has swept over the year 2022. This futuristic universe is the latest trend in the business world, but does it live up to the expectations of the public and brands?
Why is the Metaverse still in the headlines? During the pandemic, everyone relied on video calls and online platforms. Brands have turned to these online platforms to connect with consumers. According to a survey Voice of the Consumer ofEuromonitorthis period led to an increase in the use of the augmented reality (RA) and the virtual reality (RV) for product testing.
In a way, the metaverse is an extension of the virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies used today. However, the metaverse is more complex. It combines these technologies with social networks, livestreaming, cryptocurrencies and gaming platforms to create a more advanced virtual world where consumers dress up their avatars and explore the multiple possibilities offered by this world.
The promise of this better connected, shared and holistic 3D space could further transform brand experiences and take online shopping to the next level. Indeed, advanced metaverse technologies could add a new dimension to the online experience, including more faithfully recreating the interactions and emotions associated with a physical experience.
In fact, it is precisely for this reason that digital consumers are most interested in using virtual technologies. However, more recent applications of these technologies, such as the purchase of NFTs, are still in their infancy.
43% of respondents try a new product or service in a virtual world before buying it.
31% of respondents try a new product or service in a virtual world before buying it.
Source: Euromonitor International Voice of the Consumer: Digital Survey 2022
Companies are starting to take a closer look at the metaverse. This technology entered everyday discourse when Facebook announced massive investments to build its own metaverse. Shortly after, the social network changed its name to become Meta.
Almost simultaneously, other tech giants, like Microsoft and Epic Games, have announced investments of several million dollars in this virtual world. consumer goods companies, Nike to Coca Cola Passing by Gucci and Procter & Gambleare also embarking on a race to impose themselves on this emerging market.
Take advantage of the metaverse
Many brands are striving to establish themselves among the pioneers of the metaverse. Interest in digital assets and cryptocurrencies peaked in 2021. The brand Burberry has partnered with Mythical Games to create an NFT collection in the video game company’s flagship game. As for the Coca-Cola brand, it auctioned off its first NFT collectibles last year.
So far, beauty and fashion brands have been the biggest players in the metaverse. The products of these brands (makeup, clothing, accessories and others) naturally adapt to this digital environment, as advanced technologies improve the virtual fitting experience.
In the future, many brands plan to step up their online retail efforts, but the approaches are very different. If 2022 is the year of the pioneers, every brand will likely need a metaverse strategy within a few years.
Impose yourself in the metaverse
Brands will need to embrace the metaverse to reach Gen Z shoppers, who are moving away from traditional media in favor of gaming or social media. In fact, these consumers, who use online games and social networks, are paving the way for the shift to metaverse platforms.
Retailers and brands will have the opportunity to interact with consumers in these immersive universes. That said, brands don’t need to totally transform overnight.
Innovative companies must continue to integrate AR and VR technologies into their business strategies. First, focus on brand engagement, then pursue and invest in more complex uses of technology, such as replicating a physical experience online or creating a virtual showroom. This will serve as a natural precursor to more dynamic touchpoints.
When these technologies become more common, consumers will likely demand such experiences. However, to achieve results, retailers and brands must engage consumers on these platforms in meaningful and authentic ways.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Michelle Evans
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