What was once an approach used primarily by fashion brands, like Gucci, Adidas, and Louis Vuitton, is now being adapted for the restaurant industry. Fast food giants like McDonald’s are using NFTs to energize their social media followers, while other restaurant chains are allowing investors to use NFTs to buy shares in brand franchise fees and adding virtual ordering and online delivery to their metaverse presence.
The smartphone camera and augmented reality are poised to usher in a new era of branding and advertising and will change the way brands capture consumer attention by expanding the user experience, increasing brand reach, and creating new forms of collectible content.
Back to the metaverse’s meaning, concrete definitions are elusive … mostly because they don’t exist yet. But broadly speaking, there are two metaverse tracks. One involves virtual and synchronous worlds. The other adds digital dimension and context to the physical world. Both will take years to materialize.
Immerss Co-Founder Patrick Jacobs says his company is working with a number of retailers to leverage live commerce as a way to blend the physical and digital worlds. Jacobs says sales rates with live commerce are on par with or better than in-store conversion rates, and that merchants jumping into live commerce now will be better prepared for the metaverse boom in the future.
The retail industry took notice when Merkle debuted its newest contactless shopping solution at CES 2022 this month, but the company’s Scan & Know product isn’t the only touchless retail solution on the market. Thanks to the continued adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality among consumers, more technology providers are developing in-store retail experiences that keep physical contact to a minimum.
Beyond the hype, multilocation brands and retailers are embracing the metaverse. This month, Street Fight will dive further into the way consumer-facing companies are experimenting with AR and VR to enhance the customer experience, boost their brands, and drive sales.