E-commerce gears up for the metaverse

The metaverse is predicted to enjoy massive uptake as soon as two years from now. In the future, it will likely influence our lives in many ways, some of them currently unfathomable. Is e-commerce set to profit from it?
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E-commerce gears up for the metaverse
posted 16.01.2023
Sergiu Iscu
Sergiu Iscu
Article Author

Meta, the new company that Facebook has become, pitches metaverse as being the next evolution in social connection and the successor to the mobile internet. Whether that will turn out to be the truth, and in which timeframe, remains to be seen. The potential of this development though, cannot be denied.

The whole idea of metaverse is to provide an immersive social interaction like no other platform has done until now. Inside the metaverse or Web 3.0, society can go even further and make communication (especially long-distance communication) more participatory. Users, or should we say, citizens of this new, parallel society will be (and already are) able to interact much like they do in the real world thanks to immersive technologies like VR glasses and sensory gloves. Of course, this presents huge opportunities not only for social interaction, but also for the commercial side of things. And of course, e-tailers are beginning to prepare their customised offerings for this brave new world.


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What does metaverse bring in terms of consumer behavior and shopping expectations?

To begin with, the metaverse will become just another sales channel for many online sellers. But eventually this can become so much more than that. More than a new trend, it has the potential to become the go-to platform for selling online. And there's a good reason for that: consumers might cnonsider it to be the next big thing.

Data syndication platform productsup.com analysed data from a Censuswide research, where 5,698 consumers aged 16+ across Europe and the US were asked about expectations for the metaverse, sustainable shopping, and other hybrid shopping experiences.

Reading this, ee will try to discover how today's buyers think a possible new metaverse experience and what they expect from brands and e-tailers. This report reveals how product experiences are falling short of customers' expectations. It is taken from a broader analysis made by Productsup and named 'The commerce shortfall report'.

Metaverse as a global marketplace for marketplaces has huge potential. Revenues here are expected to reach $800 billion by 2024. As uncharted territory, it creates immense opportunity for brands, retailers, marketplaces and service providers to experiment with never-before-seen experiences and innovative products that have great potential in expanding their customer base, improving brand engagement and driving more sales.

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One of the report's conclusions is that "almost half (46%) of consumers said experiencing life-like features virtually, such as seeing a digital painting in their home using augmented reality glasses, is the leading factor that would entice them to make a purchase in the metaverse. This is closely followed by a faster return  processing time (45%) and the ability to place an order in the metaverse for a physical product that is delivered in the real world (44%). While the metaverse is still in development, these are the types of products and services companies should be building toward."

Top 5 consumer expectations in the metaverse:

"Consumers might not know how the metaverse will differ from the real world, but they do expect it to be bigger and better." (productsup.com)

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Generation Z: growing up in the metaverse

"How will Gen Z’s (ages 16-24) purchasing behavior be affected now that they are coming to age at the same time as the rise of the metaverse? Gen Z shoppers are almost twice as likely to make a purchase in the metaverse compared with those aged 55+." (productsup.com)

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Sergiu Iscu
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