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How Web3 is changing shopping

4 min read

In just a few years, we could rarely go shopping in the pedestrian zone or on a shopping website and spend much more time in the virtual world. The keyword is: metaverse. But currently almost nobody can imagine this change. After all, no one is currently shopping in the Metaverse. However, due to the exponential increase in computing power and AI services, rapid growth in the virtual reality and augmented reality sectors can be expected. Not in the next two to three years, but perhaps by the end of this decade, this very virtual shopping experience could set new standards.

Digital wardrobe: the $50 billion market

In addition to the appropriate hardware and graphical performance, a rethinking in our society also contributes to this development. Since in future people will be spending more and more time in virtual worlds, both professionally and privately, they will also need a second wardrobe. So we are increasingly buying clothes for both worlds or just for the virtual world. After all, we want to profile ourselves there, show our status and our group affiliation, just like in the analogue world.

So there was already one Opinion poll from Barclays in 2018 that ten percent of clothing ordered online is bought solely for social media photos. Among other things, this should contribute to the high return rate for textile goods.

At the same time give in another study 60 percent of Generation Z state that their digital presence, especially social media, is more important to them than that in the analogue world. This explains, among other things, why the investment bank Morgan Stanley expects the digital clothing sector to reach 50 billion US dollars by 2030 appreciates.

Metaverse Shopping: A Fictional Example

Together with a friend we meet in a newly opened Metaverse shopping center, which presents a limited edition of Nike sneakers as a highlight for the opening. This new edition is presented in a stunning Nike store, while the avatar of a well-known musician performs his songs on the stage in the virtual shop. Prominent Nike advertising ambassadors have also mixed in with the avatars. This gives consumers the opportunity to stand and interact right next to their idols from film and sports. For the time being, the new Nike edition can only be worn virtually – the analogue counterparts will only be sold in six months.

Until then, those who get hold of one of the few Nike sneakers can look forward to hefty profits if they do not want to keep the shoes but decide to resell them. All rights are represented by digital contracts, ergo NFTs. All parameters, such as product information or warranty claims, are linked to the respective NFT.

Metaverse as an alternative to the “real world”

The short example shows us why metaverse shopping is so promising. For one, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. Even those who live in a small German town can get the feeling of going shopping in Paris on the Champs Élysées in the best weather. At the same time, this enables greater social mixing and connectivity by being able to meet specific people at any time, from friends to business partners to idols. In addition, certain tendencies and interests can be better lived out in the virtual world. Anyone who prefers to dress conservatively and boringly in the analogue world can live out their possibly crazy side in the virtual world.

Virtual Worlds: A Dangerous Game

Switching between two worlds, the analogue and the virtual, harbors a high potential for addiction for many people, since they can have experiences of a visual and social nature that they do not find in the analogue world. People who also earn their money full-time in the Metaverse or who want to escape from their dreary everyday life are likely to be particularly at risk.

Even if the majority of the service staff in the virtual shops are represented by AI-controlled avatars, some social interactions cannot be done without people. This is true wherever users expect to interact with real people. Be it a virtual visit to the doctor or a guided tour of a virtual museum, during which the esteemed art historian personally provides information about the works on display. In any case, one thing is certain: until the scenarios outlined here come about, there will still be major social and regulatory discussions.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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