If you’re anything like me, you might be wondering what actually is the metaverse? And why are brands, such as Nike and Adidas, creating virtual items to be displayed and purchased on there?
It seems that the metaverse is slowly becoming the future. However, that does not make it any less confusing. In broad terms, due to it still being developed and explored, it means a “virtually immersive version of the internet”.
An example is Roblox, an online games platform, which has become a leader in the metaverse for its virtual world. Retailers have started to use this platform to “incentivize benefits such as real-world apparel collections, discounts and loyalty perks”. Notable retailers include Claire’s, an accessories company, who launched virtual products within Roblox, which were also displayed in their real-life store to purchase.
Last year, Nike launched ‘Nikeland’ on Roblox, “an online sports park and showcase for the brand’s products, new and old.” It seems Roblox has been popular in targeting a younger demographic.
Fast forward to this year and Nike have announced their launch of .Swoosh, an online marketplace that “allows Nike members to collect and co-create virtual objects like jerseys and shoes. In the future, the platform will also allow members to trade virtual goods.” Currently it is a beta launch, with Nike looking to launch a digital collection in 2023. Registration is now open, and Nike will look to invite larger groups of individuals over the next year.
In direct competition to this is Adidas who have created a ‘Virtual Gear’ product category. “The clothing is designed specifically for virtual avatars, and each piece is interoperable with other virtual worlds and projects. This means that the Adidas collection is able to respond and adapt to the metaverse environments being built, so that the ‘Virtual Gear’ is ready for all frontiers of Web3, the company said.”
Whether or not virtual shopping will take off is hard to predict. However, it does seem that more companies are starting to experiment with the metaverse in the hope of adding another revenue stream, and building a community for their customers. Will this become the new way to shop? Let’s see what the future holds!