ChicExecs Senior VP of Elevate, Lydia Vargo, shares how the metaverse is shaping consumer behavior on Forbes blog. Enjoy this excerpt from the feature.
One area where we’re seeing a lot of innovation is the metaverse. As of October 2021, the metaverse was already valued at $14.8 trillion globally. That’s impressive, considering the fact it’s still early in its infancy.
But what exactly is the metaverse? And what does it mean for retail brands? Let’s dig into how the metaverse works and three ways entrepreneurs can take advantage of it right now.
What is the metaverse?
Put simply; the metaverse is a digitized version of real life. If you’ve seen the film Ready Player One, that’s a fair representation of what the metaverse may eventually look like.
The metaverse is an interconnected, global environment with features like:
• Virtual reality (VR)
• Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
• Community and shared experiences
• Geo-enabled virtual locations
• Virtual commerce
In the metaverse, consumers can access a hyper-personalized experience that mimics leaving their home for a grand adventure—all from the comfort of their couch. Again, while it’s still in its early stages, you may one day be able to work, play, shop and game in the metaverse. You’ll be free to be yourself, or you can create an avatar to navigate the metaverse.
Aside from staying on the cutting edge of technology, the metaverse matters for retailers due to several reasons.
• It enables conversational marketing. Instead of shouting at your shoppers, the metaverse gives you an avenue to have two-way conversations with shoppers at scale.
• It’s trackable. Is the death of cookies getting you down? No problem. Rich data from the metaverse means you own all of your first-party data, which makes personalized marketing a breeze.
• It’s immersive. You’re competing for shoppers’ attention on social media. But it’s a lot easier to maintain someone’s attention during a branded game or in a virtual fitting room.
What are three strategies for entrepreneurs entering the metaverse?
The metaverse may be nebulous right now, but it’s clear that this is the way the world is going for immersive retail. If you want to get ahead of the game, you’ll need to market to avatars, create NFTs and embrace non-traditional selling platforms.
1. Market to avatars.
You’re probably following a business-to-consumer (B2C) model right now. But in the metaverse, you’ll see a B2A model: business-to-avatar. Incredible strides have been taken to create more relatable avatars and mirror day-to-day consumers.
2. Create NFTs.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) might sound complicated, but they’re actually pretty simple. They’re a digitized product that users own in the metaverse. Sometimes an NFT is a digitized version of a real-world product, but other times it’s a digital product by itself, like clothes for Roblox.
3. Consider less-traditional selling platforms.
In recent years many companies have comfortably embraced metaverse platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, but here are a few other platforms worth considering.
• Rec Room
• Microsoft Mesh
Read Lydia’s entire Forbes blog here.