I’m one of those people who believes that metaversu Is it just another fad in the entertainment world? Because you run the risk of being compared to those individuals who, in the 1990s, had the misfortune of thinking the same thing over the Internet. The sting comes from Emma Chiu, Director of Intelligence at consulting firm Wunderman Thompson, who presented some ideas on how this “new world” should affect retailers in the region. NRF 2022 – Retail’s Big Show, main event of retail in the world, which lasts until this Tuesday (18) in New York.
“The metaverse is an extension of our life, reinforced by technology,” Chiu defines. She notes that games are already part of this, but it is now that people stop thinking that the convergence between real and virtual will remain limited to Roblox or Fortnite fans. In the near future, it will be possible to shop, grab a haircut and “catch a movie” with the gang while enjoying the popcorn that has just been brought to your door. No wonder Burberry, Visa and Coca-Cola, among a host of other companies, are struggling to embrace the pioneer role.
The speaker cites a recent Wunderman Thompson Data survey of 15 experts and more than 3,000 participants from the United States, China and the United Kingdom to convince retailers to open their eyes: 93% of consumers believe the technology is our future; 76% depend on him to do his daily activities; and more than half (52%) understand that even their happiness is subordinate to the digital world.
As investor and theorist Matthew Ball has already written, there will not be a very clear boundary between “before the metaverse” and “after the metaverse.” This new environment will gradually gain strength, with various services, products and integrated possibilities. According to the Wunderman study, the process has already begun, with recent innovations in virtual reality and augmented reality technologies – something that has accelerated due to the pandemic.
Emma Chiu says that the metaverse will not only be the perfect place to buy trips, concerts and other 3D and 360 degree experiences. People will own virtual property, such as, who knows, an Aston Martin that you can drive without a physical driver’s license, or a luxury beach house without the risk of theft.
If you think that a car made of pixel or holography can at least fit in your pocket, better get ready for the patch. Many people have already paid fortunes for virtual goods, such as the $ 9,500 paid for a dress created by digital fashion studio The Fabricant, which went on auction in 2019. A digital bag from Gucci is selling for $ 4,000 on Roblox last June. And Nike announced its December purchase of startup RTFKT, which sold 600 pairs of digital shoes in just seven minutes, earning more than $ 3 million.
To get back to the reality closest to all of us, Chiu addresses other important metaverse-related trends that have already been used successfully – “gamified” advertising and digital stores, which can either start from real flagships or start from scratch. At CES 2022, one of the largest technology fairs in the world, P&G presented immersive spaces where people could interact with their portfolio, for example. And Hyundai launched a similar experience last year for Roblox users. “Young people can’t even afford a car, so why collaborate with Roblox? To reach the next generation,” he said.
Another keynote speaker at NRF 2022, GDR Creative Intelligence CEO Kate Ancketill, recalled that Generation Z already represents 36.7% of the world’s population, “living and breathing omnichannel from birth” and, with the alpha generation. , they compose. half the world’s population by 2030. For these young people, going to a website to buy is a very tedious thing, and it makes a lot more sense to buy products directly from the social networks in which they are embedded.
For Eduardo Yamashita, director of operations at Gouvêa Ecosystem, a retail consultancy that has been bringing Brazilians to the NRF for more than 30 years, it’s important to stay close to the trend, even to try ways to reach that audience more. young man. But uncertainties about “how to put this egg on its feet” remain, as there are still many obstacles ahead, such as the inconvenience that virtual reality equipment produces, among others.
“Companies have taken advantage of the hype to not lose traction and demonstrate pioneering spirit, but no one knows how big this market will be in the future,” he says. It’s something that’s here to stay, no doubt, but that could only crystallize as one more strategy. “It’s like currency crypto: it’s a market, but it doesn’t change the way you make sales.”
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