Our daily life is closely connected with technology. This fact is confirmed by 76% of global consumers, according to a report by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence. But only 38% of them have heard of the metaverse. The trend of companies moving into the virtual world is only in its infancy, but is rapidly gaining momentum. Big brands were the first to break in: Gucci, Nike, McDonald’s, Samsung.
For some people, this trend seems to be something complicated and incomprehensible. In fact, the global goal of the metaverse is to simplify our life, to make it more comfortable. For each of us, it will open up many additional opportunities: remotely try on clothes, check goods, meet friends, or earn money.
A person transfers his physical daily habits to the digital world. The virtual avatar wears clothes, uses a smartphone, drives a car. All this can be used, bought and sold. Things in the metaverse take on real value. This means that brands have the opportunity to integrate their products into the virtual world. Below are 6 reasons why they need it.
- Show product
Before buying, the customer needs time to study the product. It must be seen, tried on, tested in work. Manufacturers understand that it is difficult for a customer to make a blind buying decision. Therefore, they use augmented reality - AR.
AR-retail helps to test the product in real time. Augmented reality is becoming the norm in online stores. Sephora, Ikea and Samsung are already implementing this technology. AR investments in retail are expected to exceed $12 billion by 2025, according to ABI Research.
Home appliance brand Dyson has created a virtual store. In it, the user can view products and test them using Oculus VR glasses. While the service is available in test mode in Australia. Going forward, Dyson will develop a simplified 3D platform that anyone can use.
2. Check item
Trying and testing the product is great. The fact that the company tests demand first in the virtual world, and then produces a real model.
A great example is the production of sneakers in the game Aglet. The creators have released a virtual model of shoes "Aglet 1". Users liked them and quickly became the most popular. After that, the company created their physical copy. That is, the brand can test, quantify the demand and decide on the launch of the product in production. The feedback will help decide whether we should create it, in what quantity, and where to sell it.
Well-known brands can expand their product line by collaborating with 3D artists. Imagine that an unknown artist has created a virtual collection of clothes. It became so popular that users wanted a real copy of it. Here, on the way from a virtual concept to physical production, difficulties can arise. Then well-known companies come to his aid. Brand as a service is an interesting new business model. When a company provides access to its production infrastructure to new brands. And so the Adidas Yeezy was born. The brand gave Kanye West the opportunity to create a unique line of sneakers.
In addition to testing a new product, a company can create a unique product that cannot be produced in the real world. Clothes made from non-existent fabrics or a motorcycle with fantastic details will arouse the interest of the audience and will itself make a good advertisement for the brand.
3. Increase sales
The brand will increase profits through the sale of virtual goods. Here are some striking examples:
- NFT marketplace RTFKT sold 600 pairs of digital sneakers for just seven. A Gucci bag is on sale on Roblox for $4,000. It is only available in the digital world and is priced higher than a real bag.
- In the Aglet mobile game, users can buy rare sneakers from Chanel, Nike, and Balenciaga. One such pair of shoes was bought for $15,000.
- Virtual clothing maker The Fabricant has sold its digital dress for $9,500. The company creates virtual clothing with well-known mass market brands: Adidas, Puma and Tommy Hilfiger.
The Metaverse doesn't just sell clothes. McDonald's opens a virtual restaurant: users will be able to order food both for their avatars and at home. And the developers of the Domino’s brand added a chain of pizzerias to Decentraland. Now users can order pizza directly from the game. Samsung has opened a virtual version of its 837X store in New York on Decentraland. The company not only sells NFT goods. She announces new products in the metaverse, organizes quests
4. Promote company values
In the virtual world, first of all, there are living people. So, they are concerned about the same problems. Brands can use the metaverse to colorfully demonstrate their values and solve global problems.
Cosmetic retailer Procter & Gamble has developed its BeautySphere virtual world. The brand translates the principles of responsible beauty. The project tells users about the composition of cosmetics and how they are produced.
The Coca-Cola brand created NFT, an avatar kit in the Decentraland metaverse. The collection was released for the International Friendship Day. The Coca-Cola Friendship Box set consisted of a 1965 soda machine, branded jacket, card, and bottle opening sound. Such a kit was sold by auction on the OpenSea marketplace. The proceeds were donated to a charitable foundation to support sports for people with disabilities.
The world famous American festival Coachella also released NFT collections. After the purchase, the user receives a lifetime access to the festival.
5. Expand your audience
By 2026, 25% of the world's people will spend at least an hour a day in the metaverse. They will work, get an education and have fun in the virtual space. Let's add to them the owners of cryptocurrency, who are also potential buyers of digital goods.
The Metaverse is the source of a new audience. First of all, these are young users (16-30 years old) who are easily versed in virtual goods, game products, and avatars. They do not need to explain the value and benefit. They will become target buyers, permanent residents of the metaverse, so virtual shopping is natural for them.
Competition in the real market of goods and services encourages brands to move quickly into the virtual world. The presence of the company in the metaverse will be as important as the presence of offline outlets. In July 2021, Fendi launched a virtual replica of its New York store where you can view and try on the handbag.
6. Increase the value of the company in the market
With the growth of recognition and increase in demand, large companies will be able to increase their capitalization.
An example of such growth was shown by the American clothing brand Gap. In 2022, Gap partnered with artist Brandon Sainz to release a digital collection of NFT hoodies. They were all sold at auction. The cost of clothing depended on the exclusivity of the model. A user could buy a simple NFT sweatshirt for $8, and a “one and only” sweatshirt for $415. After the NFT issuance, the company's shares rose by 5%.
Experts predict that by 2030 the total metaverse market will reach $8-13 trillion. It opens up new ways for brands to interact with customers. Now only a few of them are visible, which lie on the surface. Once we begin to understand all the interactive possibilities, the metaverse will go beyond mere entertainment.