The metaverse is no longer a technical buzzword. Companies and retail stores have begun a rapid adoption of the metaverse, transforming how commerce is done online.
According to a report, the Metaverse market hit a value of $479 billion in 2020, marking an annual growth rate of 13%. The video game industry was the biggest contributor to this value, marking $275 billion, a number that’s projected to grow to $413 billion by 2024.
But what of the retail industry?
Several big brands have worked with us to look into how they can leverage virtualization and the metaverse to transform how they do business and interact with their customers.
The primary agenda among these businesses is customization to add personalization to their metaverse stores. Some of the approaches they’re using include digital twins, personalized avatars, product customization, and NFTs.
Let’s dive deeper into Metaverse customization and what it means for your business.
The Outlook of Customer Experience in the Metaverse
The Metaverse is an integrated reality that interconnects online spaces where users can interact, play, work, and shop virtually. It’s a virtual world parallel to the physical world.
Facebook, now called Meta, is credited for blowing this idea to the public. Other big tech companies, such as Microsoft, have since started work on their adaptations of the Metaverse.
As the attention to this new virtualization framework grows, reports suggest that a full transition to the Metaverse may happen sooner than expected, imploring brands to respond quickly.
According to a report by Gartner, 25% of people will be spending at least an hour per day on the Metaverse by 2026. Another report shows that 71% of customers admit to purchasing more often from brands that offer an augmented reality (AR) shopping experience.
Augmented reality is a core component of the Metaverse.
The last report shows that brands must focus on customizing and personalizing Metaverse experiences to make shopping more fulfilling for their customers, improving their customer experience and bottom line
Why Is Customization Important in The Metaverse?
The basic Metaverse implementation can be a bland experience for most users. In its most basic form, the Metaverse can take the form of an owner-take-it-all structure, meaning users have little to contribute to the world as it has been structured.
They can’t change who they are, how their spaces look or have a strong correlation between the objects they see in the physical and what exists in their digital world.
A custom Metaverse transforms Metaverse users into active participants.
For instance, instead of walking into a predesigned Metaverse store with an unexciting layout, the user can have a bit more customization that allows them to choose their preferred layout, making shopping easier and more fun.
This idea for customization started with Metaverse real estate projects. Users could build their custom virtual gaming worlds with their own pads for socialization and having fun with other Metaverse users.
This concept saw great success, recording about $500 million in total sales in 2021.
With customization, your business not only gets to improve its customer engagement and experience in the Metaverse but also opens up new avenues for monetization.
For instance, your brand can offer new products as NFTs that users can use to customize their shopping experiences and experience in the virtual world entirely. You can offer a set of apparel as NFTs that you sell to your customers, and they can wear them on their avatars while living and exploring their virtual worlds.
How to Use Customization in Your Metaverse Store
So, what approaches can you take to personalize your Metaverse store? Here are a few Metaverse customization ideas you can explore.
Use Digital Twins
Digital twin refers to the virtual representation of a physical or real-world object, service, product, or system. The digital version gets updated with real-time data to keep it closely accurate to the real-world counterpart.
With Web3 and the Metaverse, digital twins have expanded in scope to cover digital cities, people, factories, buildings, and processes in the virtual world that use machine learning, simulations, and reasoning to operate like their real-life counterparts.
Brands are using digital twins to customize the shopping experience in the Metaverse by offering their real-world products and services to Metaverse users and their avatars, available in their virtual stores and showrooms.
Use Personalized Avatars
Avatars are the virtual representation of Metaverse users. They embody their identity and character as virtual people.
Therefore, personalizing avatars requires that your users have unlimited avatar customization options. Some of the customizations and accessories you can offer include:
- Hair (length, color, style, etc.)
- Eyes (shape, color, etc.)
- Clothes (pants, shirts, shorts, skirts, etc.)
- Body (thick, thin, tall, muscular, short, etc.)
- Accessories (hats, glasses, handbags, etc.)
- Footwear (boots, sandals, flip-flops, sneakers, etc.)
These customizations can also offer a new revenue generation stream through the direct-to-avatar (D2A) business model. It exclusively offers digital-only products that metaverse users can buy and use on their avatars.
Allow for Product Customization
Product customization is a clever approach to ensuring that customers in your Metaverse store have a highly personalized shopping experience. Tesla already uses this approach in its conventional online store, allowing customers to customize their cars, with the factory manufacturing them to specification.
Product customization also reduces the number of returns since customers can choose what they like, what fits, and what’s best for their budget and needs instead of working with a fixed offering that might not be appealing to them.
NFTs are one of the most popular blockchain inventions. For a brand seeking to customize its Metaverse store, NFTs offer an excellent way to build brand loyalty and drive engagement.
You can offer a customer reward program that rewards loyal customers to your Metaverse store with a limited-time supply of some of your products and several NFTs that can be exclusive and unique only to your store. They can use these NFTs on their avatars or other virtual spaces to personalize them, giving your products more use in the Metaverse.