Ecommerce in the metaverse… MetaCommerce?

Ecommerce in the metaverse… MetaCommerce?

4 min read

The Facebook company is now called "Meta" and they are creating the metaverse. One thing’s for sure: Wherever consumers are… online, offline, or in the metaverse, there will be commerce. MetaCommerce WILL be a thing. It kind of already is.

Meta Concerned?

This article isn’t about rushing you to optimize your online store for the metaverse (Nobody is ready to do that for you either). However, with our first paragraph in mind, we thought it would be fun getting the thought ball rolling as we head into an exciting new year.

So, what even is the Metaverse?

“The metaverse is a currently hypothetical version of the internet that supports online 3-D virtual environments. This is done through personal computing (a current example is the online game Second Life), virtual reality headsets, and augmented reality headsets.”
Neil Patel

Here is the Shopify president, Harley Finkelstein, talking about Shopify in the Metaverse (It starts at 2’30” – but the beginning of the interview offers great insight into Shopify’s success too).

Early adopters could reign supreme

From the Big 5/6 social media platforms, to Cryptocurrency, and now NFTs, being an early adopter has proven fruitful. People mocked mobile phone users then suddenly everyone had one, they teased those answering calls with Bluetooth headphones yet now wearables are commonplace…

Likewise, people are poking fun at the metaverse, dubbing it “The beginning of the Matrix,” and likening Facebook creating Meta to Cyberdyne creating Skynet (Leading to judgment day in Terminator – If you don’t get the reference). The movie ‘Surrogates’ comes to mind too.

Yet, before you know it, the same people will be entering the metaverse for conference calls as routinely as they do Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet, which many users barely knew of as we entered the first Covid lockdown in 2020.

Dogs lining up to pee on a tree

If “Some days you are the dog and other days you are the tree,” then Skype must have been feeling like the tree lately. Shows you how quickly we can adopt new tech!

Opportunity Knocks

In the metaverse there will be opportunities to sell virtual products. Want to upgrade your avatar? Purchase some virtual fashion or improve your status by purchasing a virtual mansion. Sounds crazy, but it’s coming.

In fact, Morgan Stanley predicts NFTs could be a $56 billion market by 2030 with a ‘Dramatically increased demand thanks to the metaverse.’

If you already have an online store and you think you are one step closer to ecommerce in the metaverse than physical store owners, you might be right, but you might be thinking too small too…

You know those really cool product descriptors you laboured over to boost your online sales? With augmented reality styled metaverse features, physical store owners could offer their customers a similar thing through lenses as they walk through their physical stores perusing their physical products.

The opportunities are boundless. So think BIG.

Consider downsides

MetaCommerce could have a negative effect on sales too. Think of all those people who won’t have to ‘add to cart’ if they can ‘Try it online.’ As much as you’ll need to start thinking of opportunities, you will need to start thinking of ways you can preemptively address issues like these.

Here is a great chat between GaryVee and Mark Zuckerberg surrounding Web3 and the Metaverse (It’s longish so perhaps save it for later).

Some Meta-ideas

  1. Consider virtual product displays. Instead of offering multiple images of your product from different angles, your online customers could simply rotate products in real time, even “walk around” them.
  2. Use Augmented Reality to display ads in popular spaces where the ad space is already owned by a competitor in the real world.
  3. Instead of hosting a single physical pop-up store in a single location, consider hosting multiple virtual popup stores in any home with metaverse access. You can be in two (Hundred) places at once!
  4. Even physical offerings such as personal training classes can be explored. Why work in a single aerobics studio that fits only ten participants when you can host the world?
  5. Consumers who can’t get home to their families in time for Christmas will be able to virtually sit in the lounge together on Christmas morning. What if they could open a virtual gift too? “Here son, I got you that NFT artwork you’ve been wanting since 2003.”

Devil’s Advocate

Flop sign

There’s a possibility this will be a monumental flop and it never takes off. Remember Google Glass?
We’re thinking this is unlikely though.

How soon can we expect all this to go down?

Well, for some perspective, gamers are thinking “What’s all the fuss? I have been playing in the virtual world and upgrading my avatars for ages already.” Essentially, it’s already here. This will be the consumer's digital/second life.

The way next generations adopt tech, this could be more than something you simply add to your ecommerce arsenal as a fun talking piece...

Mark Zuckerberg said that

“From now on, we’re going to be Metaverse-first, not Facebook-first.”

So, perhaps one day soon we will be talking about optimizing your store for the metaverse as integrally as we currently do for ‘mobile-first.’

In the meantime, if you’re looking for Expert Shopify Ecommerce Servicescontact us.

Daniel Connor
Daniel Connor

Hi, I’m Daniel. I was just a Creative Copywriter until ShopCreatify handed me the green pill and I entered the Shopify Matrix. ShopCreatify is basically my Morpheus. Let's see how deep the rabbit hole goes...