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Walmart, Gucci and Coke Get Meta

US Today | January 16, 2023

Retailers, Meet Your Shopatar

Virtual reality and augmented reality (technology that overlays computer-generated images with the real world) can be extremely successful in driving consumer behavior because the artificial intelligence (AI) powering these experiences continuously builds upon the data it collects about the behavior of their users.

Enter virtual influencers and AI store assistants. These avatars can learn a user’s style preferences and offer moderation advice or product recommendations, according to a report by software maker Acowebs. “The potential of AI technology will enable the creation of virtual closets where users can store their current clothes and receive fresh, more customized outfit suggestions,” the report states.

Pixels actually become tangible as retailers and brands use the metaverse to stage actual products before selling the real things to buyers. Others are creating entire communities that can collect more detailed data points.

Coke developed its Zero Sugar Byte flavor in the Metaverse, then turned the digital beverage into a limited edition product that made it consumable in both real and virtual life.

Ralph Lauren in November 2022, it launched a digitized clothing and accessories line on gaming platform Fortnight, followed by the release of a physical “capsule” collection on its website.

Walmart, WMT acquired the virtual fitting room Zeekit in 2021 and introduced the technology in 2022 as “Be Your Own Model” on the Walmart app and With it, users can upload pictures of themselves to see what garments might look like. The tool aims to make it easier for customers to click the Buy button.

Gucci has created an entire virtual destination, Gucci Town, on the Roblox gaming app. In addition to social spaces, the town also features a Gucci store where players can purchase Gucci digital merchandise, including outfits for their Roblox avatars, Retail Dive reports.

Claire’s, the accessory chain, is also collaborating with Roblox. ShimmerVille was introduced to the app in October 2022. The digital one-stop shop, designed for teenage and 20-something shoppers, showcases virtual accessories also available in their physical brick stores.

Regardless of the potential of virtual reality, augmented reality, and the entire metaverse, consumers are not expected to leave the store. Most people – 67% – still enjoy shopping at physical locations for convenience, socializing and comparing products Morning Consult reports. However, the metaverse should play a role in brick-and-mortar retail. The key to successfully integrating these channels is seamless integration and a unified online-offline experience, advises McKinsey.

New forms of data. Insights from immersive, virtual retail could represent new behavioral trends and data points that retailers and brands can use to predict future behavior. This could be especially valuable in 2024 and beyond if Google GOOG is phasing out its marketing cookies. The Metaverse is borderless, allowing retailers and brands to build not just virtual boutiques, but global communities. Take Nike’s Nikeland on Roblox, which attracted 6.7 million people from 224 countries in its first five months, The Drum reported. In these communities, visitors can exchange style tips, share reviews, and engage in company missions such as: e.g. charities.

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#meta #walmart #gucci #coke #retail

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