Expert predicts what the high street might look like in the Metaverse and how shoppers might expect to interact.
Revealed: What The Metaverse High Street Might Look Like
Vista has partnered with Georgie Barrat, best known for presenting Channel 5’s The Gadget Show, to reveal what the high street of the metaverse could look like and what it means for small businesses. This comes as research by Vista, the design and marketing partner to small businesses, shows almost a third (29%) of Brits plan to use the metaverse for online shopping in the future.
According to the study by Vista, of 2,000 UK adults, most Brits (59%) are familiar with the metaverse and anticipate it’ll take around 15 years before it goes mainstream. 73% of respondents predict it will be most popular with Gen Z and Millennials amongst all age groups.
Shifting Shopping Habits
Although the metaverse may seem a long way off, the research shows that Brits’ shopping habits have shifted and that small businesses need to stay on top of emerging tech. Almost two thirds of Brits (64%) said that the pandemic increased their online shopping, with 65% saying it is important for small businesses to have an online presence. But as over three-quarters (76%) of Brits still enjoy shopping on the high street, the metaverse offers small businesses an exciting opportunity to blend virtual content with the real-world experiences that shoppers crave.
Of all the services that could be made available in the metaverse, Brits are most likely to use it for online shopping (29%). The most popular small businesses on the metaverse’s high street are predicted to be fashion stores (17%), electronic stores (17%), everyday grocery stores (15%), booksellers (15%), vehicle showrooms (15 %) and virtual estate agents (15%).
Additionally, British shoppers shared that the most important factors when engaging with small businesses in the metaverse will be customer engagement (20%) and serving clients quickly and efficiently (19%).
Top Tips On How Small Businesses Can Connect With Customers in the Metaverse
With these insights in mind, Georgie Barrat has shared some tips on how small businesses will be able to harness the metaverse to connect with their customers:
- Revolutionise customer support: using augmental reality, virtual call-outs and AI assistants to respond to customers quickly.
- Adapt your marketing & design for the metaverse: 3D experiences for shop listings, paying close attention to platforms like Meta and Snap Inc, and using 3D modelling and 360 videos to create virtual experiences.
- Create an inspiring and unique space: think carefully about your ‘shop front’ and how consumers can interact with products and services.
- Offer a virtual ‘Try Before You Buy’: use AR to let people try on products.
- Consider how your product holds value in the metaverse: how can your product or service be best adapted for use in the metaverse?