Leading brands are beginning to set foot in the metaverse by offering their customers revolutionary new experiences. They are helping consumers navigate this brave new world through new technologies like virtual and augmented reality.
The metaverse merges the physical and virtual worlds, allowing users to access virtual environments through cutting-edge digital technology
The metaverse, in theory, is an online 3D space where users can interact with computer-generated objects and avatars. It adds a layer of immersiveness to everyday digital experiences through virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and augmented reality (AR) technologies. In practice, this could involve watching a soccer game in a virtual stadium, or attending a music concert remotely using a VR headset.
In its current form, the metaverse is analogous to earlier versions of the Internet. The key difference is that instead of simply being a connected hub of computer networks and websites, the metaverse is a collection of independent, immersive experiences created directly by metaverse companies.
A metaverse company builds the tools that brands need to form a virtual presence in the metaverse
Metaverse companies create immersive experiences for their customers. They build the virtual infrastructure, human interface, discovery and interoperability tools, and creator economy systems to create and facilitate lifelike virtual experiences. Brands can then use these tools to create their own environments within the virtual world (metaverse) of the company.
Meta, Microsoft, and Roblox are leading the pack in building the infrastructure and tools for creating immersive experiences in the metaverse
In October 2021, Facebook rebranded to Meta, foreshadowing the tech giant’s key role in building the metaverse. The company now aims to transform how users interact, play, and shop through its virtual-reality vision of the future.
Since the announcement, Meta has focused on developing affordable VR headsets and investing in content creation. It is also in the process of advancing hardware to make interactions in its metaverse more immersive. It has also been a prominent voice in enabling the development of large-scale metaverses.
Another popular metaverse player to watch out for is Microsoft. The company focuses on creating MR experiences through Microsoft HoloLens. Recently, Microsoft acquired the video game publisher Activision Blizzard to help build its metaverse.
Along with gaming, Microsoft is actively developing applications for its metaverse that will work on the Mesh platform. It also plans to include metaverse concepts in existing applications to improve usability.
Finally, Roblox is a popular gaming platform that allows users to create their own fully-immersive virtual gaming spaces and generate unique player avatars. The company has already partnered with brands like Nike to build metaverses on its platform.
Gartner predicts that by 2026, 25% of people will spend an hour every day in the metaverse. Unsurprisingly then, brands are scrambling to expand their metaverse presence
Customer behavior shifted dramatically after the pandemic. For instance, a recent Bazaar survey showed that 49% of people shopped online more after the pandemic. Over 32% of customers used AR for shopping, and 33% of customers have already purchased a physical product through the metaverse.
Customers want the experience of buying products digitally to be immersive and personalized. And brands can cater to these demands by building a virtual presence in the metaverse.
The metaverse allows brands to provide engaging experiences to their buyers, no matter where they are physically located. Consider the case of Bloomingdale's new virtual store. Customers can virtually walk into the store with just a few clicks. They can then interact with virtual products and shop for goods just like on a traditional webstore.
Bloomingdale's virtual store also engages potential buyers by incorporating gamification into the shopping experience. For example, buyers can play a virtual game to travel to different stores on their website. Development here is still ongoing, but even in its present form, it offers more interactivity than traditional online shopping experiences.
The metaverse also allows brands to be creative with marketing and sales campaigns in order to reach out and engage with potential buyers. It is also helping brands sell products in novel ways. They can market not just physical or digital products, but also customer experiences like live concerts. Roblox currently does all of this currently through its own metaverse.
Metaverse allows brands to be creative with marketing and sales campaigns in order to reach out and engage with potential buyers
Setting foot into the metaverse can seem intimidating, but with the concept still in its infancy, there are no rules. Smaller brands could start with integrating WebAR technology on their websites to improve shopping experience. Companies like Enhance are already helping brands create 3D models and virtual product simulations to do this. The future of business is likely to be conducted more and more in these virtual spaces. and the e-commerce sector is already gearing up for it.
Web 3.0 will make the metaverse more accessible for shoppers. Decentralized technology will allow brands to experiment with new ways of connecting and interacting with customers
Brands that partner with metaverse companies currently rely on the tools created by them to build immersive experiences. This limits the ways they are able to interact with customers.
With Web 3.0 decentralizing digital technology, metaverse brands have access to all the technology needed to create unique virtual experiences. So, a brand that used Roblox's digital tools to create its virtual platform can theoretically use Meta’s tech to create more immersive customer journeys.
Web 3.0 will also make the existing Internet more accessible. This means shoppers will not have to log into specific platforms to access a brand’s virtual universe. They can simply log into the metaverse, search for their desired brand and interact directly with them, no matter the time or location.
If your brand is looking to add a layer of immersiveness to the customer journey, Enhance can help you create high quality 3D and AR projections of products that customers can access through WebAR.