Is the future of e-commerce really in the metaverse?

Sam L'Honoré
May 16, 2022
4 min read

At the beginning of 2021, the attention of the retail industry is focused on buzzwords such as NFTs, metaverse and blockchain, many projects are emerging and most of the fashion brands propose digital assets to surf on this trend.

We notice a snowball effect, all brands want to release NFTs to support their digital communications, but what is the real interest behind these movements?

How can brands successfully convert this buzz into sales on their e-commerce platforms?

It is essential for fashion brands to prepare properly and put in place strategies with a clear purpose before jumping into the metaverse.

What is the metaverse and its purpose?

Since Thursday, October 28, the Facebook group is now called Meta.

This is an obvious reference to the meta-universe, called metaverse.

The metaverse is a parallel and virtual world in which the user can project himself. As an alternative to reality, it can be a Zoom conference with a VR headset, or a concert of Travis Scott in the game Fortnite.

The movie "Ready Player One" is a very good example of what our future phygital experience could be. In this Steven Spielberg movie, players immerse themselves in a virtual world with the help of helmets, gloves and treadmills to fully immerse themselves inside a world of infinite possibilities.

With the advent of this new virtual playground, brands can offer numerous experiences to seduce consumers.

The metaverse, new opportunities for fashion brands?

Many brands have already taken the plunge, including Gucci through The Sandbox platform, Nike in the Roblox universe and many brands on Decentraland.

Through these new platforms, brands benefit above all from a completely new visibility and communication.

Indeed these technologies being very recent and having quite young users, the entry on these platforms is a godsend for the fashion brands to gain visibility.

But beyond communication, how can fashion brands implement concrete actions to generate more revenue?

NFTs, a possibility for fashion brands to differentiate themselves in the metaverse.

In short, an NFT is a unique digital object based on blockchain.

These unforgeable objects have many uses, the art market was the first one to find new ways to express itself online, then gaming took over to exchange items.

Now it's the fashion world's turn to catch on to the craze and offer unique digital pieces:

  • For example, Prada and Adidas have collaborated to offer users the opportunity to participate in the creation of a unique mural.
  • Gucci also offered NFTs in collaboration with Superplastic, an initiative that allows customers to own a piece of digital art.
  • And finally Kenzo with an exclusive drop allowing buyers of the latest Kenzo collection to participate in a unique contest to win an NFT.
  • For this kind of operation, brands have taken up the codes of this universe, these coins could be bought in crypto-currencies, in ultra-limited edition to generate buzz and some revenue.

    However, many users do not identify themselves with these events, and most of them still have difficulty in identifying the real uses of these digital objects.

    Moreover, these new technologies do not contribute to improve the figures of e-commerce.

    Fashion brands only use these trends to get the word out quickly, when the hype of this universe fades, how can brands take advantage of all this?

    Virtual fashion, competition or new market?

    TheFabricant, DressX, XR couture, many are these new actors taking advantage of this craze to offer fully digitalized pieces to consumers while taking advantage of their notoriety to establish collaborations with fashion brands.

    But the problem remains the same! These players offering digital clothing are losing most of the consumers who do not adhere to this trend.

    Fashion brands then have a limited choice in this market:

  • Offer NFTs to their customers
  • Explore digital fashion through these new players
  • However, these solutions remain totally digital and do not bring any turnover for fashion e-commerce.

    How can fashion brands deliver truly innovative experiences to their consumers without engaging in metaverse?

    The Virtual Try-On, a revolution for fashion e-commerce.

    Currently, the metaverse is mainly centered around gamification, video games and avatars, the younger generations are seizing these topics with fervor, yet some consumers do not find themselves at all in these trends.

    There are other alternatives to these trends, digital experiences with real mannequins. Experiences where every consumer can find himself despite his age or his taste.

    Virtual fitting is one of these alternatives, a fun and engaging experience for consumers, tailored to the needs of each fashion player.

    Each shopper can choose the models they identify with, choose any piece from the collection and compose any outfit directly on the models.

    It's a new way of navigating fashion e-commerce sites, putting consumers back at the heart of the experience so that they are more involved in their online purchases.

    Numerous use-cases are to be imagined, new ways of navigating, new methods of purchasing and putting items in the basket.

    But above all, new and totally inclusive experiences that put diversity at the heart of brands' prerogatives.

    At Veesual, we are developing a Virtual Styling Room that brings all these features together.

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