the year of Metaverse for brands? – MMAF

January 2022. The future of the Internet has not yet been born, although much has been said about it in recent months. In fact, the word “Metaverse” has been on everyone’s lips since Facebook renamed itself Meta, thus positioning itself as one of the main players in this new virtual world.

Is this a fashion phenomenon, or are we facing a new world that opens up wide investment opportunities? Experts from Tiendeo.fr, the platform specializing in the digitalisation of the retail sector, have assessed the potential of the meta-verse and its potential for the retail sector.

2022 will be Metaverset’s year

Metaverse is a set of virtual experiences generated by augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, where the individual can interact with other people and / or objects and even acquire virtual goods through an avatar.

“Into the metaverse” study by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence explores what the metaverse is, how it can change consumers’ lives, the new opportunities it creates, and why brands and retailers should pay particular attention to this new way of interacting with consumers.

According to the survey, brands and retailers will have to keep asking themselves the right questions. Listening, observing and understanding their audience will play a key role, as well as following a strategic plan that will be the subject of an in-depth data analysis.

Metaverse, a new marketing channel?

In continuation of the current media strategy, the meta-verse appears as an additional channel that must be integrated into the marketing team’s media plan.

Relying on metaverse thus means to a large extent adapting to the population’s consumption trends. This new means of communication sets new boundaries for the retail sector and announces “gamevertising”: virtual worlds destined to become real advertising battlefields. Thus, brands will be able to take advantage of the available ad slots in the meta version.

Some advertisers argue that in order to be successful in this new environment, the metaverse must be seen as a virtual world into which the individual enters in order to escape from the reality of the world. This means that brands must at all costs move away from the advertising model as we know it today.

In addition, it will be necessary to understand a necessarily complex universe that does not consist of one, but of dozens of metavers. In the US, for example, four major companies are vying for the top spot in the race for metavers dominance: Meta (Facebook), Roblox, Fortnite and Microsoft, along with other technology giants that will lead the industry in the coming months.

Metaverse and its conquest of the retail sector

Retail in the broadest sense has undergone a profound digital transformation in recent years. This one, however, could experience its great revolution through the Metaverset.

The ambition to master these new virtual spaces is not in vain, to master them is to some extent to control the way people interact. This new technology announces a new way of connecting with the consumer, where retailers and brands will need to “be present” in order to better communicate with the younger generations, whether it is Generation Z or Alpha.

Through the meta-verse, consumers can view and review products in a virtual environment before making a purchase. Retailers can reach new audiences and encourage real-world buying. With immersive technology blurring the line between offline and online worlds, these new shopping experiences are an opportunity that will appeal to retailers of all types and sizes.

Some companies are already promising to launch a product by 2023, and others are already exploring the possibility of creating virtual malls, stores and shops where digital avatars can buy NFT products and pay in cryptocurrencies. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that the meta-verse is already worth 500 billion euros and estimates that it will reach 2000 billion by the end of the decade.

According to the American inventor Raymond Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google since 2012, “by the end of the decade – in 2030 – we will be spending more time in the metaverse than in ‘real life’.

Brands and retailers at the helm of Metaverse

The retail sector is one of the most interested in Metaverse because of the great potential it offers to create experiences during the decision-making process and create a deeper connection with customers.

For example, Gucci has already started selling its own virtual clothing with Gucci Virtual 25 sneakers and H&M recently launched its first virtual collection through Nintendo’s social simulation game “Animal Crossing”. Ikea has also created an app that allows customers to virtually decorate an entire room using augmented reality.

Some brands go even further and do not hesitate to clearly invest in Metaverse. This is the case with Nike, which has created its own virtual universe, Nikeland. A space that provides access to several sports fields, as well as a showroom where users can equip their avatars with Nike shoes to participate in competitions.

Nikeland is not only a way to present itself to children, but also serves as a test site for the brand, where the younger generation can try out new products with their avatars before buying them in real life.

In summary, the metaverse revolution promises a unique digital experience where the virtual world and the real world merge and merge into a single reality. It is now up to brands and retailers to find their place and explore its full potential.

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