Ever since we first clicked ‘buy’ online there emerged a split reality between physical world commerce and digital ecommerce.
When it comes to buying goods in traditional, physical stores, we as shoppers have the ability to touch or try on products before we buy them.
On the other hand, ecommerce foregoes the physical relation and presents digital shoppers with unparalleled convenience and access to goods as well as services.
Then there is omnichannel commerce, which combines the two experiences, such as brands messaging special discounts to customers when they are close to a store.
Then there is the metaverse, where these two worlds (the physical and digital) converge to create enhanced experiences that are likely to reshape ecommerce forever.
The metaverse is the culmination of multiple innovations in technology from social media commerce and NFTs to augmented reality and virtual reality. And the metaverse is expected to be thrusted into the frontier of ecommerce.
As new technologies, we are only just beginning to experiment with how to use them and how they are impacting our everyday lives.
We are living in the birth of the metaverse. Some brands and retailers have begun to incorporate the tech into its operations.
For example, Amazon’s new artificial reality tool, Room Decorator, lets users use their phones to see what furniture (as well as other home décor) would look like in their living rooms or other spaces.
Offline and online merger
We can expect the acceleration of metaverse ecommerce in the coming years as retailers and brands get used to the technology and figure out new and creative commerce experiences.
When it comes to personalization and product discovery, their acceleration will parallel that of the metaverse, given that the tech lets companies better provide more personal experiences.
If the current connection between social media and ecommerce acts like a bridge, then the metaverse can act as an unparalleled playground for ecommerce, letting companies scale beyond what was possible.
Brands and retailers, instead of simply enabling star reviews as social proof, can build beyond that and architect engaging communities where users can better engage with other users as well as the brand itself.
Another aspect of the metaverse is going to be non-fungible tokens (NGFs), which are unique digital tokens that cannot be replicated. Brands and retailers will be able to use NFTs for multiple purposes in order to enhance the customer shopping experience – such as being used for access passes for events, access to new product launches, etc.
And all of this will evolve. The points I’ve made now may become mundane soon enough as more exciting prospects of the metaverse unravel.