Imagine a world where the physical and virtual merge flawlessly into one experience, pushing the boundaries between interacting with the virtual sphere to living in it. A world where there is the possibility to digitally enter your favourite malls to shop and to take ownership of your virtual shopping cart, but in real life. This mental picture is no longer just inside your imagination. Today it is a reality, where the virtual world becomes the real world - Welcome to the era of the Metaverse.
How the Metaverse may Shape your Business
By Trevor Goott – Director: Africa - Unlimint
The concept of the ‘Metaverse’ is more than just a buzzword. It is proof of how rapidly our current reality is shifting from the physical to the digital domain. This global phenomenon will soon merge into every facet of our daily real-world interactions that we know today, especially with retail and e-commerce. Therefore it is crucial to stay on top of this trend to understand how it could impact individuals, businesses, your world and my world.
Commercial transactions in this new virtual realm
Trade and commerce has always been at the heart of any society. It is not different in the digital domain – or - the Metaverse as we call it. According to the CEO of Obsess, (a virtual store platform for experiential e-commerce), brands will have the creative freedom to express themselves and attract more customers in virtual spaces, which will comprise much more functionality than the usual e-commerce platforms. Shopping would be more immersive, with customers being able to either buy virtual or physical products that could be used in the digital or real world.
Currently, digital goods and service transactions are already being exchanged through peer-to-peer (P2P), business-to-business (B2B), and peer-to-business (P2B) transactions – just like your NFTs. Of course, these transactions will require digital payment methods because a large number of people and businesses now accept payment in digital assets such as tokens and cryptocurrency. With this in mind, there might be a future where generations would no longer know what cash or other forms of traditional payment methods are. Although these innovations are still in their infancy, many indications suggest that in the near future, commercial transactions via the exchange of digital assets for digital value will be more common than we think.
What does the future of retail look like in the Metaverse?
Our take on this is that future shoppers will be able to fully immerse themselves into malls and stores from the comfort of their homes (or anywhere for that matter) in the form of a virtual avatar. They will be able to interact deeper than before with their favourite items, before purchasing them virtually. With 3D technology, consumers will have access to virtual homes where virtual wardrobes, clothing and jewellery could all become status symbols. Ralph Lauren’s CEO, Patrice Louvet recently shared how meta-shoppers have already started dressing some of their avatars in his brand’s apparel, selling more than 100,000 pieces in only a few weeks of the rollout.
In order for retailers to remain current and not get left behind, they must start to think about how they can build their meta-presence and offer a multi-dimensional shopping experience in the metaverse. This experience will replicate real-life where the avatars of their customers can try on new outfits virtually to see how it may fit them in real life, or they could try on a virtual makeup foundation to see how well it blends with their respective skin tones. Retailers must embrace this new technology and uncover newer ways to navigate these dimensions so that they stand out and can continue to generate revenue; this is the intersection of Retail and Technology.
Navigating the Evolving Digital Ecosystem
Without a doubt, there is an urgent need to stay relevant in our rapidly changing world. From businesses to individuals - our needs are constantly evolving, which means that solutions must change too. Solution providers must continuously finetune their offerings to meet today’s demands. To be able to transact effectively in this digital ecosystem, the exchange of value for assets has to be supported by easy, secure, and trustworthy platforms, such as Unlimint, to enjoy speedy levels of growth and innovation.
Payment Service Providers that wish to remain relevant in the Metaverse must be able to continually innovate and accept the newer methods of payment that will come to exist, so as to ensure that every shopping experience is as seamless as possible. A payment platform that can provide real-time confirmation and settlement of payments backed by the highest level of security and trust will help these retailers and metaverse entrepreneurs to continue to innovate and be successful.
Before our eyes, we can see how the metaverse is transforming the world of e-commerce and payment systems, by eliminating limits and barriers to trade. Virtual shopping has taken away the constraints of borders for both customers and businesses and has shifted people and businesses from all backgrounds into a new parallel reality. It is exciting to anticipate how much tech innovations could potentially impact our lives as we know it, as the metaverse steadily begins to establish itself as the next frontier in the digital economy.
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