New interaction between brands and consumers explores the possibilities that exist in the metaverse
If today the virtual world is already part of people's daily lives, with social networks, digital stores and video calls, the future tends to be even more digital. With the evolution of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, it is expected that the human being will take even deeper roots in the virtual environment.
And if this is the future, it is important that retail as a whole understand this new consumer behavior as soon as possible. That's because it won't be enough, it will be necessary to be present in this new virtual environment and provide a pleasant experience for it.
It is in this new scenario that a new business model is gaining strength: Direct-to-Avatar. In this text, understand better what it is about, its advantages and what will be its importance for the future of commerce.
What is metaverse?
Rather, it is important to understand what the metaverse is and why its existence has everything to impact retail and the ways retail interacts with customers. It is an immersive virtual environment that can be connected using devices such as helmets or glasses for virtual reality and augmented reality.
From there, it promises the user an immersive experience, placing them inside this environment and making it possible to interact with other people and objects. Through a user avatar, it will be possible to travel, play, buy goods and services, attend concerts and even work. All this without having to leave your room.
Of course, this is still a very new concept and one that is still under development. However, the metaverse is already considered as the future of the Internet, so much so that tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook are already competing to dominate this field.
What is D2A?
Direct-to-Avatar, also known as D2A, is a business model that sells products directly to consumer avatars in the metaverse. Thus, this model eliminates the need for an intermediary and expenses related to the logistics of sending a physical product to the customer, as this occurs virtually.
This new model has already been used in the fashion world, for example. In 2021, Ralph Lauren launched 50 digital pieces available for purchase on the social network Zepeto. In the same year, Gucci launched a model of sneakers virtual reality that can only be used with Augmented Reality (AR).
This may seem like something very futuristic, but it is a reality that is already present today. According to Crucible, the Direct-to-Avatar market is poised to become the biggest in the digital economy in history, earning up to US$ 1 trillion this decade.
In Brazil, a survey by Kantar Ibope Media pointed out that about 6% of Brazilians (or 5 million people) already transit in some version of the metaverse. Gartner predicts that by 2026, one in four users will spend at least an hour a day in these virtual environments.
This ends up being a demonstration of how retail and franchise chains need to be attentive to this new market. This opportunity is a great incentive to improve your conversion rate through immersive experiences.
The D2A model still offers other forms of savings for retail production. The metaverse has no limitation of store space or stock, and the products sold there do not need to be produced in factories or raw materials. The result is a much more attractive profit margin.
Not surprisingly, the technology company Wildbytes estimates that, within the next five years, 70% from the big brands will be present in the metaverse. In addition to creating new products, the expectation is that malls, virtual stores, boutiques and even their own virtual universe will be created, as is the case with Nike, which has plans to launch Nikeland.
Thus, it becomes very important that retail companies seek to understand and master these concepts in the coming years, so as not to be left behind. Staff training will be important so that the experience proposed to the customer in this environment is as pleasant as in the physical world, further strengthening the relationship between consumer and brand.