Since the technology to purchase goods over the internet was first introduced, there has been a divide between the real world and the digital world.
Buying goods in traditional brick-and-mortar stores gives shoppers the ability to physically touch or try on products prior to purchasing. E-commerce shopping forgoes the physical aspect of traditional brick-and-mortar shopping, but it offers unprecedented convenience, speed and access.
The Metaverse is where these two previously separate worlds of commerce converge to create an experience that will redefine e-commerce forever.
What Is The Metaverse?
The metaverse is the combination of several technological innovations that all operate seamlessly together. From NFTs to social commerce to augmented and virtual reality, the metaverse brings technology out of the digital arena and into the physical world.
While we are still only just beginning to discover the ways these technologies will impact our lives, the metaverse has already begun to establish itself as the next frontier in the digital economy.
It’s Already Started
The very early stages of e-commerce in the metaverse are already here.
E-commerce giant Amazon has incorporated early metaverse technology into its marketplace. Its newest AR shopping tool, Room Decorator, allows you to use your phone or tablet to see what furniture and other home décor will look like in your space. You can view multiple products together, and even save the AR snapshots of your room to review later.
Warby Parker has a virtual try-on app that allows you to try on every pair of frames in its product catalog before buying. This enables you to buy its products online without having to take a leap of faith as to the product’s fit for your face.
As these emerging technologies develop, they will continue to reshape the way we think of e-commerce.
Merging Offline And Online Commerce
E-commerce in the metaverse is certain to accelerate in the coming years. As the technology and adoption of the technology grow, it will usher in even more new features that merge offline shopping with online shopping.
The growing popularity of augmented reality technology allows consumers to be fully confident in the quality and fit of a product prior to purchasing. This helps shoppers from a convenience standpoint, but it also helps merchants reduce returns and broaden their customer base.
Product discovery and personalization will also accelerate. Metaverse technology will allow brands to offer shoppers a highly personalized digital experience. The metaverse will be a seamless experience that makes it easier for shoppers to find exactly what they want, exactly when they want it. And unlike the current limitations of personalized digital shopping experiences, the metaverse will enable brands to customize the shopping experience at scale to reach more shoppers than ever before.
The divide between social media and e-commerce will continue to close in the metaverse. Social proof is already at the core of e-commerce, as seen in the importance of Amazon reviews and other online product reviews. In the metaverse, brands will be able to take social proof beyond just a star review by building engaging communities that allow customers to engage with the brand itself and other fans of the brand.
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are another key element to the metaverse. Brands will be able to use NFTs for several unique purposes to improve the shopping experience. NFTs will be used to create entirely new digital products. They will also be used as receipts, an access pass to special events or even early access to new product launches. NFTs can be used for an array of VIP opportunities for a brand’s most passionate customers and brand advocates.
We’ve just scratched the surface of the ways technology will reshape e-commerce. As these technologies evolve, and the lines between the physical and digital world blur, e-commerce as we know it will begin to exist almost entirely in the metaverse.