The Metaverse is an evolution of the internet, enabling us to move beyond ‘browsing’ to ‘participating and inhabiting’ in a persistent shared experience. In a webinar titled Demystifying the Metaverse Continuum for Retail, tech company Accenture said that we will soon have a spectrum of experiences available to us, which will span from our real world to an entirely virtual world, and points in between.
The Metaverse is an exploding market expected to grow to $800 billion in revenue by 2024, and users under the age of 27 make up the largest audience in the Metaverse today. This growth helps to explain an increasing number of retailers that are beginning to tap into the Metaverse as another platform to reach potential customers by offering retail experiences beyond their physical stores.
Retailers are using the Metaverse creatively and getting ‘Phygital’ to connect with shoppers and strengthen their brand loyalty. For example, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Selfridges are teaming up with fashion designer Jonathan Koon to create physical garments embedded with a redeemable NFT (non-fungible token). Users scan a QR code that takes them to Highstreet, a retail-focused world within the Metaverse where they can create an avatar and obtain a digital version of the garment they purchased in-store.