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How Brands and Retailers Are Successfully Incorporating the Metaverse Into Their Mission

Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce, and retail brands have been looking to create a more immersive shopping experience for their customers both online and in-stores. Needing to reinvent themselves, retailers have turned to Augmented Reality (AR) and the “hybrid-Metaverse” to boost online sales while also getting customers back to brick-and-mortar locations.

Brand and retailers are currently the fastest adapters of the AR-enabled “hybrid-Metaverse, where a virtual layer of a 3D object is placed on top of the real world, so consumers can see how that La-Z-Boy looks in the corner of their room while spatial maps can lead customers to hidden sales racks. Shopify data shows that brands and retail spaces that have incorporated AR models have seen a 40% decrease in return rate and a 94% increase in conversions.

Retailers that use AR 3D models in their customer experience empower online shoppers to purchase with confidence by giving customers the ability to test products in their own space and virtually try on products before buying them – crucial purchase information that reduces return rates and increases customer engagement. From products ranging to furniture, cleaning supplies, art, eyeglasses, and more, brands like Kohls, Walmart, and Pier 1 are already using the “hybrid Metaverse” so customers can view products in their own space and see how they fit in their home.

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When it comes to brick-and-mortar, the Westfield Mall in London and Central Mall in India are both incorporating AR into their shopping experience to get customers back on site. The Westfield Mall is using AR to direct customers to stores, while Central Mall is greeting customers with Ronald McDonald. AR tools can help lead shoppers directly to stores, seasonal designs, or specific items they know they want. Retailers can also use AR to build a dedicated community by providing exclusive incentives or explaining important messaging, like how the materials were sustainably sourced.

There are numerous unique ways that brands have chosen to showcase themselves through augmented reality. One way that AR is being included in consumer packaged goods is by incorporating a human hologram of an expert explaining how/when to use it, what the benefits are, what makes it stand out from competitors or any message that they want to be delivered, leaving less research for customers.

Brands and retailers can choose the best subject expert to provide insights and customers can easily activate this technology by scanning the QR code, which enables viewers to see AR human holograms overlaid in the real world.

As brands look to navigate the impending Metaverse, 3D-enabled AR objects are already providing major retailers with an introduction to their future, while also boosting the customer experience and their overall satisfaction. As the Metaverse develops, brands who know and understand how to operate in a world of 3D objects will have an advantage against their competition while also meeting their customers’ evolving shopping experience expectations.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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