For retailers, the question is when, not if, they’ll engage with customers in the metaverse.
The metaverse is top of mind in retail, from virtual store openings, to experimentation with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), to enabling immersive experiences throughout the organization, including backend operations and the supply chain.
And it’s no wonder interest is high. According to McKinsey, Generation Z and millennials expect to spend close to five hours a day in virtual worlds. And members of Gen Alpha are already veterans of virtual worlds in which they play games and buy clothing (known as “skins”) for their characters.
The best retail experiences will capitalize on both data and engagement. Rather than view the metaverse as a separate channel, successful retailers will recognize it as part of the digital-physical continuum.
Five ways forward
Here are five ways retailers can achieve business value in the metaverse:
As we partner with retailers on their next steps toward virtual environments, we recommend a measured approach that leaves plenty of room for experimentation and fail-fast efforts.
For instance, while the metaverse is an opportunity to rethink the retail experience, it doesn’t require mastering every new technology at once. Choose what will—and won’t—work for your organization and be prepared to learn as you go.