▷ The Virtual Future of Commerce in the Metaverse

More than one in two consumers worldwide believe that everyday life and lifestyle is increasingly moving into the virtual world. The vast majority of commerce executives expect big brands to expand the virtual world to make it more realistic. But what exactly is the metaverse? What is the role of NFTs and digital fashion in this context? And what is the potential of the “metaverse e-commerce” for brands and retailers?

The term Metaverse has been on everyone’s lips, at least since Mark Zuckerberg renamed his Facebook group Meta and declared that the Metaverse would be the next big thing for the internet. The term Metaverse is related to the term Web 3.0, the next generation of the Internet, in which people must become an integral part of the Internet. Currently, there is not a single metaverse, but multiple metaverses.

Among the most well-known metaverses are virtual worlds such as Decentraland or The Sandbox, where people gather to play games, shop, meet colleagues or attend concerts. Users today take the form of digital avatars. But in the future, the metaverse could evolve further into a mixed reality, where our avatars look like us as real people and where our real assets are also present in the virtual world.

Virtual Courts for Millions of Dollars

In this context, a craze for digital fashion and virtual lands emerged, which became commercial goods. Thus, reports have recently circulated that virtual lands in Decentraland and The Sandbox have changed hands for millions of dollars.

For example, virtual real estate company Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of Tokens.com, recently purchased 116 virtual land for $2.43 million. These lands were acquired in the Fashion Street neighborhood of Decentraland to develop digital fashion and certainly hold shows there and sell digital clothing like NFTs.

But what are NFTs? These are non-interchangeable digital certificates of authenticity. Designers are using this phenomenon to release limited-edition digital clothing that users can use to dress their avatars. Companies like Adidas, Dolce & Gabanna or Nike have also sold virtual clothes in the form of NFTs.

NFT style monkey
Image by Freepik

We are, therefore, already at the heart of the “Metaverse E-commerce”: the virtual terrain and digital fashion are, in fact, just two examples of the most diverse things that can be traded through Metaverse, which makes this phenomenon so relevant to brands and retailers. Thus, platforms for digital sports cards like Fanzone already exist, while the company Timeless, for example, makes it possible to invest with NFTs in real physical collectibles such as valuable sneakers, luxury watches or cars.

It is now also possible to share your NFTs on Instagram. In other words, the platform allows thousands of people to share a classic Porsche car, for example, and expect an increase in the value of the real vehicle. The BlockBar platform makes it possible to invest in NFTs of virtual spirits that have a real equivalent. If necessary, the NFT can later be exchanged for a real whiskey, for example.

The last two examples also show that the virtual world and the real world are already blending and that NFT technology is not only suitable for e-commerce in virtual worlds like Decentraland, but also allows to market tangible products. It is also possible for retailers and brands to open virtual stores on Metaverse platforms, where it is possible to buy not only digital products, but also goods for home delivery.

If the two worlds converge, this could be accompanied, especially in the fashion field, by a preliminary virtual fit to verify that the garment really fits our virtual twin, which can both lower return rates and reduce impact. unnecessary transport environment. More complex products could also very well be sold in the metaverse, like real cars that could be configured there virtually and tested in an environment we like.

If e-commerce and the metaverse make headway in this direction, stores from Decentraland, The Sandbox, Roblox, Fortnite & Co. could become new showcases for brands and retailers. Thus, the need for a flexible commerce infrastructure capable of linking virtual objects across platforms such as additional storefronts alongside online stores, apps and physical stores is expected to continue to grow.

Of course, nobody knows yet what the evolution of the Metaverse will be in the coming years. But now is the time to familiarize yourself with virtual worlds and develop a sense of how your company can participate.

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