4 considerations for brands thinking about entering the metaverse
When we asked 3,000 consumers across the UK if they’d like to shop for their favorite brands and products in the metaverse, the response was clear.
While that’s not to say that the virtual world won’t become the next popular shopping destination, it’s clear for retailers that there are few questions that need to be answered before opening up shop in the digital world.
Here are three takeaways from our consumer poll:
- More than half of people (58%) have no idea what the metaverse actually is
- 96% of people aged 25 to 54 say they don’t plan to spend their cash in the virtual universe
- Plus, even the young aren’t interested: 93% of people aged 18 to 24 said they too wouldn’t shop in the metaverse
So, why should brands care?
Well, remember the internet? Many naysayers thought that the world wide web was nothing more than just a flash in the pan. Now, of course, it’s at the center of everything we do. And especially in the last decade or so—it’s how we shop.
If you’re on the fence about having your brand join the metaverse, here are four considerations for you to think about.
1. There’s no need to dive in immediately
The gaming and entertainment industries are making giant waves within the metaverse—and it may be tempting to want to go all-in with your brand. But the fact that more than half of people we surveyed have no idea what the metaverse actually is should give you some pause. For online retailers, a more considered approach is recommended.
The day when consumers carve out a significant chunk of their household budget to use real money to buy virtual goods may be a ways off. But there’s an opportunity for retailers to give their customers an option to try a digital version of their product. These digital trials may result in fewer returns, and ultimately—less waste.
2. Educate your customers first
The overriding feedback from our survey was confusion—unsurprising considering that almost two-thirds of those responding have no idea what the metaverse actually is. People are often reluctant to participate in something that’s unknown to them. Companies that want to do business in the metaverse need to help their customers overcome those fears.
A good place to start is to explain the benefits of metaverse in a way that’s honest and transparent. Educating your audience is key, and understanding the root of their hesitation is just as important. The metaverse is growing at an exponential speed—and may not be for everyone.
3. Adapt to what your customers want
The metaverse is a creative melting pot of many things, including social media, gaming, and crypto currency exchanges. It’s a broad spectrum of virtual products and services. This means your approach should be tailored for your audience, but also flexible enough to be able to change, grow, and adapt. Some fashion brands excel at this. The ability to be nimble and quickly change look books, campaigns and mannequins in a digital-first space is a distinct advantage.
4. Experiment with assets in a new dimension
Traditionally, most brands rely on 2D assets, like photos and videos of their products. In the future, 2D assets may not be enough. While it’s impossible to predict exactly what the metaverse will look like in the coming months, we know that there will be an increased demand for 3D assets. These assets can be deployed across the metaverse and shared through various experiences, from fashion to real estate, and eventually—to retail.
To prepare for this shift, brands need to consider creating 3D models of their products and imagine how they could exist in a digital world. Give your existing 2D assets a refresh and incorporate them with your 3D—and increasingly 4D—assets in a new marketing mix.
Feel like your brand still isn’t quite ready for the metaverse? That’s OK—check out these 3 current behavior trends that matter more to consumers.