< Journal
13th March 2023

How will e-commerce be affected by the Metaverse?

How will e-commerce be affected by the Metaverse?

Since the dawn of e-commerce, there has been a fixed divide between the physical and digital worlds. Until now. The Metaverse combines a variety of different technologies, built to work together to bridge the gap between the two worlds and provide immersive multi-user experiences for anyone accessing it around the globe.

Do you want to be able to check a products quality and form before purchasing? Do you want to try on, touch and see products before you buy them? Do you want to be able to walk around your favorite brands store, from the comfort of your own home? Technologies incorporated into the Metaverse such as, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and even games*, make these shopping experiences possible for users. In an economy where e-commerce is constantly gaining market share, the opportunities offered by this 3D universe are unlimited.

Although we’re in the stages of early adoption, brands have a plethora of opportunity to understand their customers more, and to offer them customized experiences that they’re currently limited to on their e-commerce store today – product recommendations & online discounts.

However, you’ve probably already experienced early Metaverse technologies in your online experiences today. Amazon introduced an AR room tool, called ‘room decorator’, allowing users to see how furniture/decorative items would look in their house. Retailers like Warby Parker & Oliver Peoples have created virtual fitting apps through AR, allowing users to try every pair of glasses before making a purchase*, giving consumers 100% confidence, without needing to leave their home.

So, what are the benefits to e-commerce businesses by using the Metaverse?
The Metaverse can completely revolutionize your operating model, customer experience, sales, and profitability. Depending on how your brand adopts these technologies, you could increase the size of your audience, and expand your understanding of them too. Here’s just some of the few benefits –

Reduced Return Rates:
Many retailers have experienced extremely high return rates, especially over the past few years. Creating virtual experiences will turn from a nice to have into a must for brands who sell products that have traditionally been difficult to buy online and typically experience high return rates. Introducing VR & AR helps shoppers from a practical standpoint, which in turn converts users into customers while reducing the number of returns.

Increased Profitability:
Studies show that consumers are willing to pay up to 40% more for a product that can be tested in 3D*. With innovating your product visualization capabilities, consumers will benefit from a more personalized, engaging experience as well as feeling like they’ve made a more informed purchase decision. Therefore, increasing your conversions rates and resulting in increased profits for your business.

Virtual Shopping & Product testing:
Whether this be virtual shopping for your digital ‘you’, or virtually browsing a brands showroom for the real you, e-commerce brands are opening showrooms in the Metaverse. Inside its virtual showroom, guests can interact with each other, shop virtual collections and “try on” virtual garments**. These immersive stores allow brands the opportunity to test collections and engage with customers, to get feedback before physically producing anything. If these are a virtual success, it could help brands to determine how much to produce. This increases your understanding of your customers and drives engagement. We’ve explored this more in a recent blog post, that you can read here.

We’re fascinated to see how e-commerce brands begin to evolve and revolutionize their online presence. We’ll be sure to share any stats, news and trends here and on LinkedIn!

** https://ecommercefastlane.com/the-metaverses-impact-on-the-e-commerce-industry/