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Metaverse shopping: The new reality for retailers

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Metaverse shopping: The new reality for retailers

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For many consumers, the metaverse is a vaguely futuristic concept, perhaps just now catching their attention. However, retailers can’t afford not to be excited about the metaverse. This new world is coming quickly and will be here by the holiday shopping season. Retailers need to know that laggards may not fare well in 2022 — and realize that the time to prepare for a virtual future is now.

Successful brands have a vibrant presence in both the real world and online. The metaverse is just the next extension to that presence. Virtual reality allows retailers to allow customers to interact with their brand in an immersive environment that tells the brand’s story and sets it apart. Interactive 3D spaces that are richly designed and interactive encourage customers to stay longer than traditional websites and mobile apps.

Imagine the impact virtual spaces can make on holiday shoppers. It’s easy for online sales to be a big part of the year’s most popular shopping season.

Fashionably early

The fashion industry was among the first to claim a claim in metaverse. Luxury brands invite customers to explore and participate in new virtual spaces:

  • Gucci has promoted a virtual handbag on the popular and well-established gaming platform Roblox and sold it for $4,100, way above its physical price tag.
  • Louis Vuitton created a virtual game to celebrate the founder’s 200th birthday, packed with trivia challenges, prizes and surprises meant to draw young customers.
  • Dior Beauty created its own holiday virtual store, highlighting gift options and limited edition products in its Atelier of Dreams.

“Marketers, store designers, merchandisers and more will have to begin thinking very differently about what a ‘store’ is,” Maghan McDowell writes in Vogue Business. “In a world that offers every experience, why would we use our industrial-era retail model as a template?” Maghan McDowell writes in Vogue Business.

Data matters

The metaverse market is still young but data analysis gives a clear indication of its future. Calling it “the next big technology platform,” Bloomberg reports that the metaverse market is on track to approach $800 billion in 2024. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 13%, compared to a market of less than $500 billion in 2020.

At the moment, gaming hardware, software, services and in-game ad revenues are the primary revenue generators in the metaverse, projected to reach $413 billion in 2024, up from $275 billion in 2020. Online game developers who take advantage of the opportunity to create virtual worlds in their games (remember Gucci or Louis Vuitton?) could be able to earn a larger share of future gaming sales. The metaverse market will almost triple the size of the current gaming market.

And looking ten years ahead, a February 2022 Credit Suisse report predicts that “even modest metaverse usage” could drive the CAGR for internet traffic an additional 37% over the current 30% rate — multiplying current data usage 20 times over.

At the user level, consumers have been found to spend more than 14 minutes, immersed in 3D virtual shopping experiences, in contrast to less than two minutes on static 2D ecommerce sites. That boost in customer engagement translates to a 70% increase in conversion rates — and retailers offering a virtual shopping environment like a metaverse have seen ROIs grow by 450%.

Aside from this benefit, retailers that use today’s advanced virtual-reality technology can access data analytics based upon user interactions in metaverse. This can be used to optimize product placement. Marketers can use virtual reality technology to determine the most popular products and analyze traffic. This is a great way to increase customer engagement, brand loyalty, and ultimately sales.

Spread the brand story

Virtual experiences are not limited like physical retail spaces. Virtual experiences aren’t limited by location, construction costs, inconvenient times, or inconvenient locations. Even the most extraordinary visions of the metaverse can be vividly brought to life by retailers and made available to consumers.

It’s also possible to manage 3D virtual reality stores with software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that give retailers full control, without requiring technological expertise. After establishing a strong presence in metaverse, brands are able to update their product offerings, store decor, and narratives quickly and easily. It allows brands to link virtual stores to other channels such as physical stores or websites. This is crucial in order to ensure that the brand story is consistent across all channels. This creates an omnichannel approach. Integration with existing ecommerce systems can be made possible to integrate virtual stores, which will facilitate inventory management and direct checkouts.

The metaverse is a place where customers can leave behind their daily reality and connect with brands on an emotional level.

What’s still to come

According to Cassandra Napoli, senior strategist at WGSN Insights, it may take a while for the metaverse to fundamentally change how we learn and work. Still, there are many “entrance points” that retailers should be thinking about now, she says: “Brands must begin to wrap their heads around these immersive virtual spaces and plan their corporate metaverse strategy or run the risk of falling behind.”

The Robin Report neatly sums up the significance of the metaverse, predicting that it will become “a new way to experience the internet,” and represent “an opportunity for any brand ready to meet customers where they are-whether in this world, or one that has not yet been created.”

Olga Dogadkina, founder and CEO of Emperia .

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign

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USB logos finally make sense, thanks to a redesign


Author: Mark Hachman
, Senior Editor

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon

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Cheaper OLED monitors might be coming soon


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more

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New Pixel Watch leak reveals watch faces, strap styles and more
Google Pixel watch



The Google Pixel Watch is incoming
(Image credit: Google)

We’re expecting the Google Pixel Watch to make its full debut on Thursday, October 6 – alongside the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro – but in the meantime a major leak has revealed much more about the upcoming smartwatch.

Seasoned tipster @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) has posted the haul, which shows off some of the color options and band styles that we can look forward to next week. We also get a few shots of the watch interface and a picture of it being synced with a smartphone.

Watch faces are included in the leak too, covering a variety of different approaches to displaying the time – both in analog and digital formats. Another image shows the watch being used to take an ECG reading to assess heartbeat rate.

Just got my hands on a bunch of #Google #PixelWatch promo material showing all color options and Watch Bands for the first time. Some details revealed as well…@Slashleaks 👉🏻 https://t.co/HzbWeGGSKP pic.twitter.com/N0uiKaKXo0October 1, 2022

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Full colors

If the leak is accurate, then we’ve got four silicone straps on the way: black, gray, white, and what seems to be a very pale green. Leather straps look to cover black, orange, green and white, while there’s also a fabric option in red, black and green.

We already know that the Pixel Watch is going to work in tandem with the Fitbit app for logging all your vital statistics, and included in the leaked pictures is an image of the Pixel Watch alongside the Fitbit app running on an Android phone.

There’s plenty of material to look through here if you can’t wait until the big day – and we will of course be bringing you all the news and announcements as the Google event unfolds. It gets underway at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm BST / 12am AEDT (October 7).


Analysis: a big moment for Google

It’s been a fair while since Google launched itself into a new hardware category, and you could argue that there’s more riding on the Pixel Watch than there is on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro – as Google has been making phones for years at this point.

While Wear OS has been around for a considerable amount of time, Google has been leaving it to third-party manufacturers and partners to make the actual hardware. Samsung recently made the switch back to Wear OS for the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example.

Deciding to go through with its own smartwatch is therefore a big step, and it’s clear that Google is envious of the success of the Apple Watch. It’s the obvious choice for a wearable for anyone who owns an iPhone, and Google will be hoping that Pixel phones and Pixel Watches will have a similar sort of relationship.

What’s intriguing is how Fitbit fits in – the company is now run by Google, but so far we haven’t seen many signs of the Fitbit and the Pixel lines merging, even if the Pixel Watch is going to come with support for the Fitbit app.

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.

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