Redefine Retail Journeys by Extending Omnichannel in The Metaverse

Omnichannel in The Metaverse

The Metaverse, a term that was once rebuffed as science fiction, is materializing itself as a tangible and transformative force. A collective virtual shared space, metaverse is not just a monopoly of gaming nerds and tech enthusiasts anymore, but slowly becoming a new frontier for businesses, including retailers.

According to Greyscale Investments, Metaverse is a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity, and a Gartner Report predicted that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse to work, shop, attend school, socialize or consume entertainment by 2026.

Now, we know our current generation of customers is obsessed with technology, favoring businesses with their loyalty if they meet their demand for seamless communication across channels and don’t pester them with repetitive questions. There, however, lies an opportunity to elevate this omnichannel experience to unique virtual experiences with the Metaverse.

The Need for a Decentralized Immersive Platform in Retail

Since the dawn of civilizations, humans have been drawn to products that evoke emotions. Creating a visually appealing environment, be it physical or digital is vital for the success of any brand. As augmented and virtual reality will have larger roles in future retail experiences, we fear it leaves much to be desired.

This is where the Metaverse steps in.

Accenture defines Metaverse as an evolution of the internet that allows users to move from mere browsing to inhabiting a shared, persistent experience that spans the spectrum of our real world to the entirely virtual and in-between.

The potential for metaverse in the retail industry is obviously to make online shopping more engaging and useful – by allowing customers to explore and discover better than they can do now without ever leaving their homes. This will allow businesses to become an always-on journey that shoppers can engage with in bigger and more immersive ways improving their experiences.

Avatars, virtual objects, and interactive experiences may all be found in the 3D metaverse. Customers can shop in-world thanks to the establishment of virtual stores and the provision of virtual items. Retailers may be able to connect with customers across the world by establishing a digital presence in the metaverse. For merchants, this may translate into more sales and a bigger consumer base.

However, to truly capitalize on the Metaverse technology, it needs to move forward by retaining the element of Omnichannel, not without it.

Let’s understand how the merger of these two techs will play out for retail.

Omnichannel in the Metaverse – The OmniVerse

Imagine a world where the familiar omnichannel approach transcends screens, seamlessly blending with the enchanting landscapes of Metaverse: that is the OmniVerse. Just like Omnichannel, it will revolve around the ability to provide frictionless customer experience but the magnitude, scale, and pace of engagement will go beyond an omnichannel strategy.

Shaped with new channels across the physical, digital, and augmented world, Omnichannel in the Metaverse will allow for:

  • Free flow of information between the multiple verses,
  • Immersive and multi-sensory experiences,
  • Instantaneous and always connected services

As for the retail sector, here are a few applications of the technology merger:

AI-powered Personalized Shopping Experiences

In the Omniverse, consumers can playfully engage with products, taking their retail experience beyond a typical e-commerce transaction. From virtually trying on clothes, and accessories and even experimenting with home decor, such a shopping experience helps boost customer confidence in their purchase decisions.

Further, by leveraging the omnichannel data retailers can deploy AI-powered avatars that will serve as virtual assistants, understanding customer preferences, suggesting personalized product recommendations, and guiding users through the virtual shopping experience. Thus shaping the shopping journeys to individual customer’s tastes.

AI-powered Personalized Shopping Experiences
Rich retail experiences in turn make customers identify more with a brand at an emotional level, causing customers to become a part of the brand story.

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Seamless Transition Between The Physical and Virtual

The true beauty of the Metaverse and Omnichannel merger lies in its ability to transition seamlessly between the virtual and the real realms.

For example: a customer exploring a virtual showroom may be able to seamlessly transition to a physical store for an in-person interaction or pick-up. This fluidity ensures that the customer journey is not just confined to a single channel or digital-only channels but goes phygital, offering a unified, holistic, and interconnected shopping experience. Such an integrated approach ensures that customer journeys remain uninterrupted, regardless of the channel or the environment in which customers find themselves.

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Thus, the omniverse helps create social shopping hubs with cross-platform connectivity, bridging the gap between social engagement online and in-person connections.

Efficient Supply Chain Management

Metaverse has the potential to improve supply chain management by using decentralized ledger technology to track and record transactions, product movements, and inventory levels in real-time.

Unlike common retail practices where the tracking and monitoring of products may be fragmented across different systems, in the Metaverse all such information is stored in a unified and accessible database. This enables all the stakeholders involved to have up-to-date information on the movement and status of products which leads to improved coordination.
This heightened visibility minimizes errors and ensures a seamless flow of information from the manufacturer to the end user.

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The Heart of the Matter

In conclusion, the combination of Metaverse and Omnichannel presents a new frontier for retail. Businesses will of course do well to embrace the technologies for gaining competitiveness and staying more connected with their customers. With their ability to create seamless, integrated, and highly engaging experiences for their customers, the merger will emerge as a win-win for all. However, its success will largely depend upon the organization’s and customer’s technology adoption and the retailer’s ability to utilize it optimally.

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