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3 ways retailers are preparing to thrive in the metaverse

November 18, 2022 in Manufacturing | 7 min. read
3 ways retailers are preparing to thrive in the metaverse | Hero and thumbnail image
3 ways retailers are preparing to thrive in the metaverse | Hero and thumbnail image

In response to the uptick in consumer demand for more engaging experiences, the retail industry is rapidly evolving beyond traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Today, brands are harnessing real-time technology to explore new ways to transform their business strategies and create more immersive, interactive shopping experiences for their customers.

The metaverse offers much untapped potential for retailers to do this – but how do brands ensure they’re set up for success in this new frontier?

In our latest e-book, Retail’s Big Shift: Real-Time 3D and the Metaverse, Unity industry experts Sara Oberst and Jordan McPhee dive into how metaverse tech is reshaping retail and how brands can create a metaverse strategy that’s nimble enough to withstand the ebb and flow of changing buyer behavior.

In this blog, we draw on insights from our e-book and explore three ways retailers are preparing to thrive in this emerging virtual space.

1. Creating meaningful brand experiences

Already a significant driver in the transformation of the retail industry, e-commerce accelerated further as companies pushed to keep up with customer demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, as e-commerce growth increased, it highlighted conventional digital marketing’s lack of customization and engagement possibilities. Brands quickly realized that they needed to do more to attract new customers and retain existing ones, sparking a digital revolution that saw many retailers upgrading their technological infrastructure and laying down frameworks for metaverse use cases.

Metaverse experiences can provide consumers with an all-access pass to their favorite brands. From participating in product design and R&D to exploring products virtually – just as they would in person – the options for creating interactive, engaging shopping experiences are endless. Going forward, retailers must continue to build upon the foundations they’ve laid and merge the digital and physical into consistent and meaningful brand experiences if they are to excel in the metaverse.

Here are some examples of how retailers are using metaverse tech to accelerate consumer engagement, boost conversion, and strengthen their brands:

Virtual try-on

Deckers virtual try-on

Though many retail locations are open again, consumer spending in online channels continues to grow. With a virtual try-on experience, consumers can use a digital avatar based on their own measurements to select clothing and accessories, enabling them to purchase appropriate sizing and avoid having to return items.

Product configurators

Video courtesy of SmartPixels and Globe-Trotter

3D product configurators allow retailers to provide their customers with the ability to interactively explore and customize products.

When searching for a more engaging way to turn shoppers into buyers, luxury travel and lifestyle brand Globe-Trotter delivered a 3D web configurator that boosts customers’ confidence in purchasing custom luggage that they haven’t seen in person.

Virtual retail spaces

Digital twins of retail spaces and showrooms recreate the in-store experience on mobile devices and in virtual reality (VR), offering retail customers new, immersive ways to shop. Using metaverse tech, consumers can participate in runway shows from their game consoles, and even get the latest fashion collections delivered directly to their smart mirrors.

2. Increasing customer trust

As we move toward a decentralized Web 3.0, retailers are realizing the importance of building authentic relationships with the self-made communities that make up the newly formed, dispersed internet.

Gaining access to these communities isn’t always easy. Customer-brand relationships are becoming more personalized, and expectations are on retailers to use the interaction and interconnectivity of the metaverse to create a defined path between themselves and their customers.

Image courtesy of SmartPixel
Image courtesy of SmartPixel

With this change, the demand for personalized content – especially 3D content – is growing rapidly, and many retailers looking to keep up are automating the production of photorealistic 3D assets using virtual photography infrastructure. To streamline this process, Unity offers an easy-to-use tool that generates 3D assets at scale for use in marketing and sales content.

3. Becoming data rich

By leveraging more connected and dynamic digital twins, retailers can unleash the full power of their data to quickly make informed decisions through sales and marketing insights and to produce increasingly better products, services, and metaverse experiences for customers.

Digital twins are the building blocks of the metaverse – their power comes from connecting real-world assets with extensive amounts of real-world data. They help companies understand the past, view present conditions, and prevent future problems.

How do brands navigate the challenges of filtering the extensive data collected from digital twins and transforming it into information that makes sense? They use real-time 3D. A digital twin that’s powered by real-time 3D can curate, organize, and instantly present consumer data as lifelike, interactive visualizations.

The metaverse is a new and exciting frontier for retailers, and those who take initiative to plan for the future will be best-positioned for success. How prepared is your company to set up shop in the metaverse?

Retail’s Big Shift: Real-Time 3D and the Metaverse | E-book promotional image

If you’re looking for more tips and advice on achieving metaverse retail success, check out our latest e-book, Retail’s Big Shift: Real-Time 3D and the Metaverse. And, make the first move towards metaverse-focused marketing with our 3D marketing starter pack.

November 18, 2022 in Manufacturing | 7 min. read
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