Updated: Oct 19, 2021
The word 'metaverse' has been associated with games, as that is the window of all virtual reality experience that has been known to people out there. Products and brands out there have been using different kinds of marketing strategies to engage with their untapped customers through games, but the true commercial potential of metaverse cannot be fully catered by games. More recently, people get used to remote channels more than ever due to the prolonged pandemic and these virtual worlds have become popular for social interactions among Millennials and Generation Z.
As more users migrate into virtual worlds and communities increasingly get bigger, brands are quickly applying such trends to their marketing strategies. Capitalising upon high user engagement, products & brands can effectively get closer with younger consumers who are less likely to respond to traditional marketing campaigns. Especially Generation Z, prefer to be associated with the brands they like. In this sense, it is the best place for companies to provide personalised customer experiences.
The concept of using virtual worlds as an extension of marketing strategy works just like how offline store experience would offer, users can now experience first-person experience of the store in virtual worlds, where they can virtually roam around the store, browse products, and engage with brand activities inside. In a nutshell, it allows your brand to create an interactive experience through an enticing 360° shopping environment.
By creating a near-identical virtual twin for your retail store, we can create a similar shopping experience across both stores where the customer will get a retail experience at any time and from anywhere. You can also engage with your customers at a deeper level through virtual sales channels, as well as an interactive virtual store. While art aficionados can explore the digital representation from the artworks in a virtual gallery, a virtual commerce experience can push the boundaries of visual customization and metaverse interactivity. Such levels of hybrid experiences allow one to alter products on the virtual retail racks in a way that is impossible in reality - by adding their name on a storefront, to altering the colours of a plate as they wish.
To create an engaging virtual storefront story, brands need to consider these factors
Build an immersive and intractable world. Your customers can pick up items as they would in reality! This is a pain point that many customers have while shopping online in 2D. They cant see the size and look of the item accurately. This will also reduce the return rate as the customer's expectations can be adequately pegged.
Showcase your brand. Build a space that is aligned with your brand spirit and story. You can visualise the brand beyond construction budgets and the restrictions of the physical world. Is your brand exemplified by a giant floating crystal? That would be difficult to achieve in reality but in virtual reality, builders can design it for you without needing to be concerned by 'gravity' and material costs amongst many others physical concerns.
Virtual serendipity! Since the experience will be similar to a retail store, customers will be exposed to more items as they walk around the store and they may pick up an item that catches their eye. Bringing back the aspect of retail shopping has been lost in the era of online shopping but Virtual Reality brings it right back!!!
A Virtual Reality Storefront concept for an Apple store "I think the virtual reality storefront is a powerful platform for retailers to use to sell their products. Although some people still like the feel of going into a physical store, browsing, and the products, the demand for shopping online keeps increasing every day," says Matty Boy, one of the world builders. "For example, you could have an unlimited amount of products and even the size of the store could be almost infinite. And this could work for everything from clothing to electronics," he continues. It shows on his Apple store replica in AltspaceVR that shows the possibilities. He also added that it is interesting to watch people come in, walk around, look at the items - as it's in a real store. - Well, Mission accomplished Matty 🤓 Another famous example, is a personalised studio for your podcast / portfolio 👀 Imagine having an extension of your product / services that you can invite people in to watch live in first person experience and showcase some your other product offerings 👀
Galaxy Panel Broadcasting by Matt C Undoubtedly, marketing in virtual worlds will bring new opportunities for products, brands and services that are looking into tapping a new or extension set of customer base. Understanding the platform and user’s community will go a long way in getting advice on what and where to have these virtual worlds should be placed.
With a community of diverse builders experienced in a variety of platforms, here at UPWorlds, we believe VR Storefronts are one of the future on metaverse, and will be inextricably linked to brands’ marketing. If you own a brand, product, or services and are looking for a way for your brand to go beyond physical space and transcend into the metaverse. Get in Touch and we are ready to sit with you ( virtually 👀😆 ) and advise you on your needs using world renting or a personalised custom build ❤️