How can Meta Change The Retail?
The concept Metaverse is a term that can be linked to the 1993 science-fiction novel “Snow Crash” which is believed to have drastically changed the viewpoint of individuals such as LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, completely altering his outlook on technological advancement. Simply put it is that Metaverse is Metaverse is the collective, continuous and parallel reality created by the joining of all virtual worlds to create an unimaginable universe that we can effortlessly traverse.
The word that is most crucial can be described as “persistent.” Similar to how the physical world does not cease to operate after you sleep. The digital world in the Metaverse will continue to change and evolve even when users are shut off. To understand this more clearly, think about that in contrast to the internet that we have today, in which everyone is pushing and pulling static data from servers in an non-synchronous manner, the concept of a metaverse will offer us the ability to go into an “persistent” (always constantly) alternate reality in which you can interact in a totally “synchronous” (real-time) manner and with other people, places and objects.
Imagine a world in which there are, for instance, thousands of students studying in the field of their studies about the American Civil War can be transported directly into the conflict in Fort Sumter and observe it directly. Additionally, we’ll be able to bring data and experience from the Metaverse and into the real world and overlay them on our physical surroundings.
The Metaverse is a world that exists in parallel in which we are a part of, and play with, and interact. However, to be clear this is not just an alternative to the internet that we are using nowadays. It is the Metaverse. Metaverse is what takes over the current internet completely.
The idea of an alternate world has been discussed for over two years, our experiences with the pandemic going through locks, social distancing, and the overwhelming feeling of isolation and disconnection that they caused have only increased our collective imagination about the possibility of a new world where people can communicate in real-time in any moment, with others (potentially thousands or millions) and share experiences. A world in which one is able to travel, without restrictions at any time and anywhere they want to. A world in which any experience is accessible and possible.
Who will create the Metaverse ?
In the present of companies working on the foundations for an exciting new world. For instance, Fortnite, developed by Epic Games in 2017, allows players to play three play modes including the “battle royale” mode, where as many as 100 people compete to the death in a last-person-standing battle free-for-all. When asked in the year 2019 whether Fortnite was an actual game or just an online platform, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney responded, “Fortnite is a game. However, you should ask this question in the next twelve months.” Over the next twelve months Epic started to address this question by transforming Fortnite into a universe that is it’s own and blurring lines between virtual and real experiences. For instance the singer Travis Scott delivered a five-concert concert series in Fortnite which attracted nearly 50 million people. Also, Epic isn’t the only one who sees gaming as a means to access the Metaverse.
Roblox is another gaming online platform that, as per the company, “over half of all US teenagers younger than 15” played on in 2020. The main difference between Roblox and other games platforms is the fact that games on Roblox’s Roblox marketplace are created by the users of the platform with a basic developer toolkit that is available through the platform. This community-driven method is that over just a short time, Roblox has amassed millions of gaming and experience. In reality, Roblox has become its own little economy, in which creators of content can make money off their creations through the development of games with virtual items and enhancements that are available to gamers, with the profits being divided equally between Roblox along with the developer of the game. In certain instances, top creators are earning up to $1 million or more per year in real-world dollars.
Facebook is also clearly investing in possibilities of the metaverse and has demonstrated this through its acquisition in 2014 of VR headset maker Oculus and most recently, its development of Facebook Horizon, a virtual reality platform that is currently under closed test. Its current version Horizon lets individuals and small groups engage in a variety of experiences. The idea is to allow users to enter an actual, real-time model of Facebook. Similar to Roblox, Facebook believes that the content experience in Horizon will be created by users and not Facebook and its users, but by the organizations and users.
The central idea here is the fact that the Metaverse is not being developed by a single company or group of individuals , but more collectively from all of us including brands, individuals, technology companies, government and non-governmental organizations — anyone and everyone of us.
While companies such as Facebook, Google, Disney and Amazon are all working to create their own distinctive presence and experience platforms in the Metaverse, they will all have to settle on the same set of protocols to allow interoperability across domains as well as accessibility to all devices. Since the real promise of the Metaverse is only going to be realized when all is a “worlds” -including Fortnite, Facebook Horizon and the future, millions of other worlds will be stitched into a unified universe in which it is possible to seamlessly transfer from one place or experience an experience in real-time.
The Metaverse of Retail
In the realm of retail There are some who envision the creation of shopping centers — shopping malls, stores and more in the metaverse. It’s probably a bit shortsighted. Simply transferring industrial age ideas and shopping habits to the metaverse would be not imaginative and unproductive. The development of the Metaverse allows us to escape the present industrial design and purpose of physical stores, and move far beyond the best online shopping experiences we have today.
What’s the point of creating the illusion of the Canada Goose store when in the Metaverse I can purchase a brand fresh Canada Goose coat from inside an Arctic exploration trip which is led by Iditarod champion and Canada Goose spokesperson Lance Mackey? Then I’ll gain first-hand information about the coat’s technical and performance, then order it and have it shipped to my actual home. I can buy my dream car from the Metaverse but rather than from an empty display of cars, but rather take an adrenaline-pumping drive at the track that I prefer. I can seek advice on my appearance from a personal adviser that I bring directly from my own Metaverse to my home. In a world in which any experience can be created and attainable, why would we use our industrial-era model that we have of shopping as a model that will be obsolete in the next decade? Store designers, marketers, merchandisers and many more will need to start thinking differently about what”a “store” is.
Value of the economy is a key element in the Metaverse
In the world of physical objects the worth for an object’s worth is determined by a handful of key factors that include its authenticity, scarcity and ownership. Up to now, the internet was, due to its very nature, infinite in its size and in the amount in terms of content. However, it’s the same limitlessness that has made it possible to sell a lot of digital goods. The internet was created as a method of file sharing, not purchasing files.
For example, what is a highlight clip of LeBron James? In the event that I take it off YouTube there’s nothing to be gained. There’s no thing that is inherently exclusive or authentic about it. Anybody can get the exact video, but no one has the right to own it. But, at least one LeBron James highlight video is available for sale at a price of more than $200,000 through NBA Top Shot, a platform that lets investors and fans purchase or sell officially licensed sports highlights. In all likelihood it’s not much difference between the bogus LeBron video from Google as well as the $30,000 video that is available through Top Shot, with a few notable exceptions. Top Shot authenticates every clip and grants exclusive ownership to the unique assets with blockchain technology.
In addition, thanks to blockchain technology, any digital asset such as clothing, art, LeBron James photographs or experiences themselves can be verified as authentic, legally limited and only attainable for ownership. This is why these rare and exclusive assets, commonly referred to as NFTs may actually have an intrinsic value. Take the example of Pokemon cards. They have nothing of value in themselves. It’s the rarity and authenticity of particular cards that propel their value to new heights. The same principles that drive value are now being used to create digital assets for the very first time in recorded history.
How can one make money in an infinite, digital universe?
As I type this, nearly one-quarter of a trillion dollars changed hands thanks to the purchase and sale of NFTs. The majority of this is accounted for by the auction of art digitally created and collectibles.
In the future, most of us spend our time doing work, studying, socialising and enjoying ourselves in the metaverse. Some might choose to spend all of their daytime time there while observing the real world as dull, limiting and unproductive in contrast. With increasing spending time in the metaverse the proportion between physical and virtual possessions that we own will grow dramatically. It’s like, who would want to wear the exact same outfit to two distinct virtual events on the same weekend?
As we continue to spend more time in the metaverse, status icons like the virtual house you have as well as the virtual clothes and jewellery you put on or the cosmetics that you apply to your skin will become just as significant as the real-world items and purchases are today. Brands will capitalize on this need by creating the ever-growing variety of virtual goods at real costs. Indeed, the length of time you are able to spend within the Metaverse instead of reality, can be considered an indicator of status.
There is no way to be certain but what experts agree on is the fact that Metaverse, even though it may be years or even decades away will come into existence, it is a crucial step towards the convergence of mankind and technology , and an evolutionary integration of virtual and real. Although the Metaverse could take decades to evolve, there will be more significant investments being made today and in the days coming, from organizations creating the future.
Scuti is one example. It is a startup that focuses on “bringing to the world’s first online retail marketplace using games and permitting brands to sell directly to gamers.” Obsess is another startup that is building CGI spaces and user experiences to top cosmetics and fashion brands. Companies such as Ikea are already using Augmented Reality technology to enable users to design their space through the Studio application. The beauty giant L’Oreal has developed a whole collection of virtual cosmetics. Additionally, Gucci has started selling virtual clothing, and has launched it’s Gucci Virtual 25 sneakers, created by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, for $12.99 per pair.
Each of these items, despite being constrained by the technologies and protocols that we are using in the present, is a tiny step towards the Metaverse. It will grow slowly and gradually until, as was the case in the case of the internet, the infrastructure developers, users and developers create an epoch.
Smart brands will definitely invest in real-world virtual property and hire builders to build their brands’ presence and experience which will allow them to sell physical and digital products to people who divide their time between the two. Brands and organizations that are not up to speed remain on the ground, and even more so, in the ghetto the internet of old will turn into.