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The metaverse is well on its way to becoming an integral part of e-commerce. Through a series of several technological innovations all operating seamlessly together, the metaverse can allow brands to provide consumers with an unparalleled online shopping experience. Technologies such as NFTs, augmented and virtual reality and online gaming all present unique opportunities for your brand to reach new customers in new ways.
Seven ways your brand can thrive in the metaverse:
1. Sell virtual goods
In 2021, it was estimated that over $100 billion was spent on virtual goods in gaming platforms. This is real money that people have spent on virtual goods and forecasts show this number will continue to increase. Eliminating the manufacturing and transportation costs associated with physical goods is a major opportunity for every brand. From selling upgrades, to online avatars, to selling virtual versions of physical products, there’s no shortage of ways your brand can capitalize on selling virtual goods.
2. VIP access through NFTs
NFTs have become one of the hottest tech innovations on the blockchain. NFTs give you a one-of-a-kind digital asset that can be used to prove ownership of anything from real estate to digital art. One of the biggest ways that brands are currently using NFTs to boost their business is by using them to offer VIP access. Whenever a new product is released or an exclusive event is held, your brand can sell special NFTs to provide customers with exclusive access. Consumers can even use NFTs to attend events where they can provide input on new product designs.
3. Community building
Social commerce is a major part of the metaverse, and it represents a big opportunity for every brand. Brands can build engaging communities that provide a place for customers to participate with both the brand itself and fellow supporters of the brand. In addition to social media platforms, they can also use NFTs to offer VIP access to special events and conferences. This is similar to what Gary Vaynerchuck has done with VeeFriends — selling NFTs that provide a three-year access pass to VeeCon.
4. Virtual showrooms
Virtual showrooms are major assets for both brands and customers. They provide a way for customers to check out products in a more in-depth way prior to purchasing them. Instead of buying something sight unseen, consumers can interact with the goods in a virtual setting to see whether they like the look and feel of it. From fashion to furniture, these virtual showrooms reduce the number of product returns and bridge the gap between online and in-person shopping.
5. Product customization
Another way that the metaverse can help your brand is through product customizers and configurators. These live demos allow users to customize products to their exact specifications, such as vehicles or sunglasses. Users can also try on the product or see it in real-time, giving them the ability to explore whether their ideal product truly matches what they are looking for.
6. Reach a massive new audience
One of the biggest opportunities for brands to thrive in the metaverse is by leveraging the lack of geographical restrictions. Unlike a physical store that can really only reach a certain number of people within the area of its location, the metaverse is boundless. It also provides you with a built-in audience to which you can sell, such as the audience for the video game industry (which is bigger than that of the sports and film industries combined). Selling virtual products such as skins and other in-game goods is a great way to tap into younger audiences. They will be the ones most likely to become major players in the metaverse.
7. Gamification flywheel for the metaverse
Gamification takes the features of video games and applies them elsewhere. For example, the rewards system of a video game is an excellent way to encourage high levels of participation. When taken out of a video game and applied to e-commerce, this rewards system can involve strategies that encourage shoppers to engage with the brand or help disseminate important brand news. Brands can create their own metaverse flywheel by offering virtual rewards that are redeemable in other areas of the brand’s metaverse ecosystem.
As the metaverse evolves, the opportunities for your brand to benefit will continue to grow. Consider implementing these seven ideas into your e-commerce strategy to keep your brand at the cutting edge.