Prime real estate has always been an important factor for most retailers before starting a business, but things might be different with the emergence of a new virtual platform. The metaverse is a platform combining multiple technologies to enable social and economic activity in a digital world connected to the physical one. With the effects of metaverse commerce adoption being felt by retail brands at various stages of the shopping journey, global IT research and advisory firm Info-Tech Research Group has published a timely research-backed blueprint, Shopping in the Metaverse.
Info-Tech’s research indicates that retailers often struggle to adapt to the evolving needs of virtual shoppers, which can include the use of cryptocurrencies or NFTs. Shopping in the metaverse works differently than in the real world, which has shifted more online since the onset of the pandemic. Retail in the metaverse requires a new outlook, models, and competencies to become competitive.
“The metaverse will fundamentally disrupt the retail ecosystem and take personalization from evolution to a complete revolution,” says Rahul Jaiswal, principal research director at Info-Tech Research Group. “Although metaverse commerce is still in its infancy, many retail brands are testing applications like avatar-driven customer services, augmented reality, and 3D interaction to entice shoppers through virtual stores, products, and events.”
The research shows that metaverse commerce transformation is challenging, requiring superior technology journey mapping and strategies to build cohesive client experiences. Forward-looking retailers working to address the evolving needs of shoppers will need a fully comprehensive approach to complete the transformation and be successful.
According to Info-Tech, virtual and augmented customer experiences can drive value in today’s market. However, most retailers are unsure where to start and lack a structured approach to executing technologies for each shopping journey. The firm recommends that retailers identify opportunities across the shopping journey, capture key customer insights, and use technologies like blockchain, digital twins, infrastructure, and virtual environments.
By harnessing blockchain, the metaverse is expected to advance the shopping experience in the following ways:
- Smart Contracts to Execute Commercial Transactions and Agreements: Smart contracts use blockchain to enforce the obligations of all parties in a contract without the extra overhead of a middleman. They are computer programs that facilitate, verify, and enforce the negotiation or execution of an agreement.
- Enhanced Data Portability and Reduced Risk of Storing Customer Information:
- Know Your Client (KYC) statements can be stored on the blockchain to decrease administration problems and costs while outlining the concerns that still need to be addressed.
- Deliver Seamless Direct Money Transfers and Payments: Blockchain technology can overcome the current problems of correspondent systems and international money transfers. Fee-intensive, fragmented, cross-border non-cash transactions can be eliminated by excluding third parties and enabling direct money transfers and efficient interbank settlements.
- Decentralized Ledgers for Trade Settlements: Trade settlement processes usually require two to three days for payments and securities to change hands. Moving this process to a decentralized ledger can have a transformative effect on the markets.
Info-Tech suggests retailers validate their strategies, persistently reinforce the enterprise’s core capabilities, and capitalize on the value of this new prospect to be prepared for what’s potentially around the corner.
To learn about Info-Tech Research Group or to download the latest research, visit infotech.com
About Info-Tech Research Group
Info-Tech Research Group is one of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory firms, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals. The company produces unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. For 25 years, Info-Tech has partnered closely with IT teams to provide them with everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.