Photo credit: Canva
The rise of virtual reality and the metaverse will enable consumers to engage with businesses in entirely new ways, blurring the boundaries between real-world and in-metaverse experiences. We are seeing a shift from physical products shipped through postal services or parcel shipping companies to a world where products are provided in the metaverse. This shift allows people to explore and interact with virtual products rather than just seeing them in catalogs or on social media. Brands can offer customers a more immersive brand experience and gain consumer feedback before creating the product or service in real life.
As more businesses shift their attention to the metaverse, virtual services and products will become more important in the coming years. Brands will have to stay ahead of their competition for customers’ attention by providing a more immersive brand experience than ever before.
The Role of the Metaverse in the Virtual Landscape
What Is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a term used to describe a digital space representing the physical world. In the metaverse, users can interact with each other and objects in the virtual world just as they would in the real world, creating immersive experiences.
Other platforms such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), have also been described as metaverses, allowing users to interact with digital objects in a simulated or augmented reality.
The Transition from Physical to Virtual
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a surge in interest in shared virtual reality spaces wherein users can move around, transport, teleport in a virtual area, or even buy virtual land. In addition, they can interact with virtual community spaces such as conferences, art galleries, and virtual malls. Subsequently, an interconnected web of virtual worlds has grown in popularity.
In a metaverse, individuals' virtual identities stay independent from the virtual worlds they visit, and users can enter and interact in the different virtual worlds with the same identity. As a result, there has been a surge in creating virtual experiences that mimic real-world experiences, allowing businesses to provide enhanced consumer experiences. For instance, Somnium space allows users to create customized virtual avatars. Users can attend virtual funding meets like Shark Tank and participate in virtual cafés, such as Art & Coffee. Decentraland will enable users to purchase virtual real estate to build homes, galleries, conference centers, and in its shopping mall, The Genesis Plaza. The social media platform Meta (formerly Facebook) has also entered the metaverse space with its metaverse for work Horizon Workrooms, a solution to hold virtual offices. Furthermore, brands can sponsor virtual conferences which can be an effective way for brands to reach customers who are not in physical proximity.
Photo credit: NFT Plazas
The picture above is an example of a coffee shop art gallery on Somnium Space, where users can rent the virtual building for corporate events and shows.
Photo credit: Decentraland
Pictured above is the Decentraland Genesis Plaza.
Photo credit: Somnium Times
The Shark Tank virtual funding meeting is featured in this photo, with an entrepreneur pitching an idea in the Somnium Space.
Photo credit: SkarredGhost
Here is an example of a VR metaverse for work meetings in Horizon Workrooms.
An entire ecosystem of virtual designers, such as virtual fashion designers and real estate architects, are burgeoning to create virtual products and experiences in the metaverse. However, with virtual products, people can use the physical world branded products in the metaverse to seamlessly migrate their physical identity to the virtual world. Brands can use virtual products and their usage experiences to further the brand image and association in customers' minds. For example, users' wearables like Oakley brand eyeglasses can be worn by the virtual character in Horizon Workrooms.
The use of virtual product NFTs paves the way for virtual shopping, virtual branding, virtual marketing, and virtual service, creating an entire virtual economy in the process. The use of virtual reality technology in this digital economy will also help companies save money on shipping costs by creating completely virtual products.
As the metaverse continues to grow and more people begin interacting in VR and AR online, we will see a shift in eCommerce to virtual fulfillment. Businesses that utilize virtual reality technology and the metaverse will be able to provide a much more immersive brand experience than ever before, enabling brands to bring their products to life before creating them in the real world and allowing businesses to become more competitive.
How Nisum Can Help
eCommerce is changing, and virtual reality is the future. This transition is relatively new, and this innovation presents a considerable unique market opportunity that will inevitably be accompanied by experimentation and failure. However, there will also be opportunities to do business in a whole new way by inventing new shopping experiences for customers, building supply chains in the metaverse, and more. At Nisum, we specialize in digital transformation and blockchain technologies and can help you avoid common pitfalls and achieve your goals. If you're thinking about how to position your company at the forefront of new technologies such as the metaverse and artificial intelligence, contact us today.