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What is the future of the Metaverse in retail?

What is the future of the Metaverse in retail?

Retail News Jun 21, 2022 at 3:33pm

The term ‘Metaverse’ is becoming a more general term used to describe virtual platforms created to curate hyper-reality experiences, but what exactly is it? And what is the future of the Metaverse in retail?

Read on to explore how retail incorporates the Metaverse into their brand identities. Moreover, how will it continue to impact the current retail landscape?

Read on to hear more about our discoveries. 

Thoughts on the Metaverse

In their latest video blog, CBRE ventured into the Metaverse with Dr Jane Thomason, Award-Winning Thought Leader in the world of Technology for Social Impact.

They explored questions such as how do we reimagine the boundaries of what it means to be online or offline? Along with, whether virtual real estate will impact our need for physical space?

The Insights brought to light by Dr Thomason are intuitive and highly thought-provoking when considering the future of retail and significant societal developments. 

When asked to define the Metaverse, Thomason notes; "The Metaverse is hard to describe, it’s more of a concept, and we’re all on a progressive journey to see how it will expand into our daily lives."

Watch the full interview below

What is the future of the Metaverse in Retail ?

Thinking of a virtual space in the unknown can be quite a daunting concept for the majority. However, the more we delve into the Metaverse, the more we see how vast the possibilities are.

Not all the possibilities involve the total emersion into the unknown realms of virtual reality. An example of a minor VR application is Amazon's concept of experimenting with augmented reality through a new feature called 'Virtual Try-On for Shoes'.

This attempt is amazons way to create more immersive experiences for its' fashion shoppers online. This new concept allows customers to visualise how a pair of new shoes will look using their mobile phone's camera. The shoe feature will initially launch in the US and Canada in the Amazon shopping app on iOS.

What is the future of the Metaverse in retail?

Fashion Retailers exploring the Metaverse

Zara retuned to the virtual universe after their first positive experience a few months ago in the partnership with Ader Error. 

See below advert from their initial Metaverse debut with Ader Error.
Lime Glam

'Lime Glam', their first solo attempt at VR, comprises a series of Instagram-friendly pieces inspired by "psychedelia, endless nights and futuristic sparkles".

The Lime Glam range was available as limited editions both in the Metaverse and in their physical stores.

Zara decided to opt for this dual mode of purchase to expand the customer experience as much as possible. They state that the project reflects a new way of thinking.

Specifically, a community that aims to expand boundaries and embrace its own unique identity and personality.

Their Offering

This new 'phygital' collection is made up of a vibrant colour palette revolving around lime green, with slight hints of raspberry pink invading accessories. Woven straw bags, platform sandals, eye shadow palette and nail polishes add these hints to the assortment.

In addition to accessories and clothing, users will also be able to purchase a branded wall, a floor and a photo booth.

Furthermore, they can test their styling skills by creating three outfits and entering the Zara X Zepeto competition. Up for grabs for 50 lucky people are 10,000 coins to use inside Zepeto.

Zara's Lime Glam collection is already available on the Zepeto app, the Spanish brand's stores and their website.

What is the future of the Metaverse in retail?

More from Zara

 Zara decided to take its virtual retail efforts one step further by creating the world’s largest ‘physgital’ or experiential establishment.

Located in the Plaza of Spain in Madrid, it has a total area of ​​7,700 square meters, with 3,800 meters of this being commercial space. 

Like the recent Amazon model, known as AmazonGo, Zara aims to make payment effortless. Instead of having ATMs, cameras detect everything the user wants to buy. Payment is then done simply through their application.

By doing this, all products chosen will be added directly to your receipt in the app. Making the process seamless, since the application would have the customers banking details loaded prior to purchase.

Ultimately, you will enter the store, buy what you want, and leave the store without having to communicate with anyone.

What is the future of the Metaverse in retail?

How Forever 21 are utilising the Metaverse

A recent article published by Vogue business showcased Forever21’s Virtual fashion application in the online game Roblox. 

The article highlighted how Forever21 doesn’t sell beanies in their physical stores or website, but it does through the Roblox gaming channel.

In a matter of months their digital black beanies with the word “Forever” had become a massive hit on the virtual world platform.

How does it convert ?

Roughly 2,000 units are sold a day at 50 cents each, and on track to sell 1.5 million units by the end of this year. Forever21’s Roblox world is managed by Virtual Brands Group(VBG), which paid to exclusively license Forever21 in the Metaverse. VBG also shares revenues with the fast fashion retailer.

Now, Forever21 is working with VBG to create physical versions of the best-selling beanie, and to potentially create an entire line of items inspired by its virtual Roblox world.

CEO of VBG stated how the model guarantees zero refunds and returns and costs them almost nothing to implement. This sounds like a pretty good business model don’t you think?

A key part of his strategy is driven by 'Y Pulse data'. This Data suggests that what young consumers do in the Metaverse will dictate their interests in the physical world.

Whether 'dipping their toes' into the Metaverse, or fully submerging themselves in it, it is evident that brands are seriously considering how to grow their virtual presence.

We're certain that in time you can expect a lot more brands experimenting with the world of Virtual reality. We can't wait to see what interesting applications come to fruition.

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