If a brand/company wanted to reinvent itself it must first take a serious note of changing consumer behaviours and recognise that inertia is firmly in the hands of today's digitally savvy consumer.
For the e-commerce industry, the future is all about personalization and understanding their consumers.
As such, it is not surprising that almost six in ten (59%) consumers prefer at least one metaverse experience over its physical alternative. But again, this would also depend on factors like age demographics, connectivity, markets, and products.
For now, these certain types of activities stand out for being most preferred in the immersive world. They are:
- shopping—purchasing physical or virtual goods (79%)
- attending virtual social events or playing social games (78%)
- exercising using virtual reality (76%)
The reality is though, if e-commerce drives the metaverse, other industries will eventually follow suit as well. It’s not something that can happen over a few months. But business leaders are already seeing the metaverse’s potential to drive impact and margin growth.
In the 1940's early 1950's the everyday items we buy today from our supermarkets and fashion retailers were most definitely out of reach, and for folks back then many of those items were most certainly unheard of.
Then of course came the retailing supermarket and US inspired homogenized mass market retail revolution we have all got to know.
We now purchase goods and services from all over the world, and even fresh food produce that at one time would never appear on the shelves because they were deemed to be 'out of season'.
If you take a look at today's retailers and ponder the Covid impact along with todays fiscally enforced changes in behaviour we have to ask the question is retail really transforming, incrementally adapting, or is 'change' still being enforced on them by external forces?
Daily there are more brands/companies (your current suppliers) electing to go where they never went before which is to build a direct relationship with 'your' customer' and look to cut you out.
As the business world looks to wrestle with what this thing called 'Metaverse' is its important to recognise that as with mass market retailing and the rise of the Supermarket model prices and creativity tend to go one way which is down!
Mark Zuckerberg has just announced that Meta is launching its Avatars Store on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger.
While these avatars will be available in Meta’s metaverse as well, Avatars Store is basically a digital store that sells branded digital clothes for an avatar.
Simply put, you have a virtual avatar on these platforms.
And you can now spend real money to buy virtual clothing from brands like Prada, Balenciaga, and such and dress them up. Just to highlight this point again, users will be buying virtual branded clothing from branded digital stores for their avatars with real funds.
Which begs the question around the luxury sectors current approach to the Metaverse.
High quality design creativity and scarcity has been the strategic weapon of choice for the luxury sector to be able to command loyalty and hugely inflated prices.
Virgil Abloh knew how to get people talking.
In 2012, when he launched his first fashion brand, Pyrex Vision, Abloh bought deadstock flannel shirts from Ralph Lauren for $40 a piece, screen printed them with the word “Pyrex” and the number 23 (an homage to Michael Jordan), priced them at $550—and sold out his stock in minutes. The shirts became an instant lightning rod, setting the internet ablaze with debates about design ethics, streetwear’s bootlegging tendencies. source Time.com
For social media platforms, dressing up avatars with real clothing is simply highlighting the potential the industry has to offer. This is why it is not surprising why the McKinsey report states that e-commerce will be the largest economic force in the metaverse.
Whilst social media will move on from its current centralised custodians of our access to the world and Web3 looks to decentralise this ownership of said access will the desire to innovate the customer experience for the luxury sector be its undoing by providing access to their high end labels to the masses?
Social commerce doesn't require a consumer to be 'driven' to your website, it doesn't require a consumer to spend an age going through your funnel today, that was yesterday!! The reality is you could be buying your next car from social platforms like 'TikTok', Instagram, Weibo, WeChat, Alibaba or others that are constantly evolving the commerce landscape.