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Facebook Meta Rebranding Signals for Ecommerce – WWD

Facebook The rebranding of Inc. to Meta Platforms Inc. highlights how urgent it is for retailers and brands to build experiential e-commerce into their business strategy today to establish a distinctive presence in tomorrow’s supermarkets.

Often described as the next generation of the Internet, the metaverse is a connected 3D virtual world where consumers, through their personal avatars, can interact in real time with the digital environment. digital, everything and everyone in it. In this emerging virtual universe, users will engage in activities such as shopping, gaming, studying, working, and attending concerts and events – but they will also use Time to hang out and socialize with each other.

That means, basically, the metaverse is a new mall.

Today, the biggest metaverse platforms are Roblox’s Fortnite and Epic Games – with 45 million daily active users and 350 million monthly active users, but the metaverse will grow rapidly and new services will not be concentrated. entirely focused on the game will emerge, engaging a community of users based on their own intent.

Forward-thinking brands and retailers have been creating rich e-commerce experiences, such as 3D virtual pennants and pop-up stores, and envisioning how their brands and products will look. they appear in the metaverse. Technological advancements have enabled a richer, more dynamic and interactive online shopping experience than anything we have seen before.

Over the next decade, the spending power of today’s teens will increase dramatically, and this cohort’s expectations will define the future of experiential e-commerce in the metaverse. As digital natives who grew up interacting online and living most of their lives through mobile devices, they will expect the entire shopping journey to be personal, interactive, and customizable. .

Here are four factors that will play a major role in defining the future of experiential e-commerce.

1. Metaverse is forming

Brands will create their own environments on metaverse platforms for shopping, and spaces will allow consumers to do more than just browse and buy. Shoppers will be able to interact with each other and with their brands and products, as well as design, clothing and accessories their digital avatar; attend events and fashion shows, and participate in other activities.

The emerging product class that bridges the physical and digital worlds will take center stage in the metaverse. Brands ranging from luxury leaders to CPG makers have been selling digital assets as NFTs and giving consumers the option to purchase physical versions of some virtual items. Dolce & Gabbana, for example, recently sold a collection that included NFTs and physical items at auction for the equivalent of $6 million in crypto.

Metaverse will be enabled by advances in computer hardware and software, including the ability to enhance the representation of digital interfaces in immersive 3D graphics that mirror the real world, as opposed to a “page” look. “2D is still commonly seen on most e-commerce websites. Brands need to start defining how they will represent themselves in the metaverse because shoppers – especially younger demographics – will expect to interact seamlessly with every aspect of their online lives. them in the connected virtual world we will live in.

Neha Singh

Neha Singh
Polite

2. E-commerce will become more natural and more social

Technology is driving a more futuristic e-commerce experience, but it’s also allowing online shopping to be much more natural, social, and intuitive – in essence, like what we usually do in our stores. real life, where we shop in three dimensions and often in the company of others. Shopping in a real, 3D virtual store with a few friends who can give real-time advice via live video on a particular coat or lipstick color in the fall will soon become the norm . Shoppers and their avatars will be able to see, hear, and follow each other in virtual stores, providing each other with inspiration and feedback.

The ability to shop on this social network will go beyond what consumers expect from an in-person shopping experience. Participants will be able to choose who they want to invite to a private shopping outing in a virtual store and interact with influencers and collaborate selling via video or avatar in an import environment shoulder.

3. The line between gaming and shopping will disappear

The biggest gaming platforms have built-in player communities where brands can find new audiences for their products. The younger generation of consumers who have grown up playing multiplayer video games and watching esports have come to expect to be able to interact with others and with brands everywhere they go online. line. In the future, these consumers will expect the entire shopping journey, including virtual stores, to be customized and dynamically displayed to them in real time – because that’s what they’re used to. in the game world.

Brands ranging from Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Burberry to MAC Cosmetics and Gillette have allowed players to buy or win virtual clothing, accessories and skins that they can use to personalize their avatars in different games. The next step is to fully integrate e-commerce shopping and gaming. And that won’t be limited to luxury players, as brands across price ranges have seen strong consumer engagement with their immersive virtual store experiences.

4. VR headsets will make shopping irresistible

Virtual reality headsets like the Oculus, which is owned by Meta, faced some difficulties in consumer acceptance when they first hit the market, but the technology has rapidly improved and expanded. Translation has proven a breeze for the device. Consumers flocked to multiplayer video games and online fitness platforms like Peloton and Lululemon-owned Mirror while stuck at home during the lockdown, and now there’s a growing audience. Completely new readers know firsthand how realistic and more interesting the virtual world can be when experienced through a VR headset.

Statista forecasts that more than 26 million AR and VR headsets will be sold each year by 2023, and a recent survey by Emerging Tech Brew and The Harris Poll found that nearly a quarter (23%) of Americans are now use one of these devices. VR headset ownership is still skewed towards men, but with a large number of women continuing to join online home fitness platforms, that percentage is changing.

Several brands have been building headset-enabled experiences into their e-commerce and in-store strategies. Shopping in a virtual store environment using a VR headset is an amazing immersive experience that cannot be reproduced on a laptop or mobile phone.

Carried away

As retail companies experiment with new ways to sell, reach new consumers, and drive sustainability, interactive shopping experiences will become an opportunity for brands in every category. We are rapidly transitioning to an online store environment that will feel even richer and more engaging than a physical store environment and can be personalized to shoppers in real time. Companies have been building and hosting branded, 3D virtual worlds on their own websites, and these spaces will be part of the metaverse platforms in the near future. By creating virtual planets, islands, shops and more in terms of their own unique visuals, these brands are presenting products in a way of discovery that has never been available online before.

One of the things that sets these futuristic companies apart is that they are thinking about organizing virtual sales and creating specific line items for the e-commerce experience within their budget. It’s important for all brands to have a 3 to 5 year plan for experiential e-commerce and aggregation initiatives. With technology enabling these experiences to evolve rapidly, all brands will have to monitor the space closely to see which developments best align with their values, business model, and target audience. them and invest in those areas accordingly.

At some point, the word “metaverse” itself will fall out of common usage, just as “cyberspace” will over time. We would all just think of – and call – this immersive virtual space “the internet” rather than a separate part or next generation of it. For brands, having a well-groomed presence in this virtual world will be as important as having a simple e-commerce website today.

Neha Singh is the founder and CEO of Obsess, a leading experiential e-commerce platform that enables brands to create shoppable, interactive online stores and galleries to drive engagement, conversions, and loyalty.

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https://wwd.com/business-news/business-features/the-outside-view-what-facebooks-meta-rebrand-signals-for-e-commerce-1235000539/ Facebook Meta Rebranding Signals for Ecommerce – WWD

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