The Meta Store has just opened on the Burlingame campus in Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook). It is a living laboratory where people can personally experience the Metaverse and where programmers and developers at Meta’s Reality Labs headquarters can learn from customers.
“Once people experience the technology, they can better appreciate it,” said Martin Gilliard, who runs the Meta Store. “Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunities to experiment and keep the customer experience at the center of our development. What we learn here will help shape our future retail strategy. “
The store will be at the forefront of hardware, selling essential tools that make interaction in the virtual world possible, such as the $ 299 Quest VR headset. Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses will also be featured, allowing the wearer to take pictures and videos and listen to music during your daily life. Glasses must be ordered directly from Ray-Ban, although Meta sellers help customers place orders.
Despite its small footprint of 1,550 square feet, it also has a demo area where guests can don helmets to try out virtual golf, fishing, exercising, and lightsaber dancing.
All in all, this promises to be a mind-blowing and mind-blowing introduction to the Metaverse for consumers, but even more so for businesses.
The Meta Store is more of a B2B metaverse showroom than a consumer store. And for that, it offers a great service to companies who need to understand how it will transform their industries.
With it, Meta will claim its leadership position in the metaverse and control its development, as did Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in the early days of the personal computer.
“One of the reasons we invest so much in augmented and virtual reality is that mobile phones appeared at the same time as Facebook, so we weren’t really able to play a major role in the development of these platforms,” Mark Zuckerberg shared with The edgeby Casey Newton.
“The Metaverse is a vision that spans many companies, the entire industry. You can think of it as the successor to the mobile internet. And it’s certainly not something a company will build, but I think a lot of our next chapter will help build it, in collaboration with many other companies, creators and developers, ”he continued.
In essence, The Meta Store is more of a metaverse B2B showroom than a consumer store. And because of that, it does a great service to other companies.
Shaping the future of the Internet
The metaverse will have applications in virtually every sphere of life and business, the future of work, travel, health and fitness, entertainment and games, communication, education, worship, finance, marketing and purchasing.
The metaverse exists at the intersection of the real and virtual worlds and is the natural evolution of the Internet, online shopping and social media. Like Alice through the looking glass, instead of just seeing something on the screen, the Metaverse will bring people inside where they can interact with others and companies.
Yet the metaverse is still in its infancy, with only 13% of the more than 4,500 senior executives surveyed by Accenture saying it will have a “transformational impact” on their respective industries. The remaining 87% is better off catching up.
The Metaverse is more than just an incremental change or even a revolutionary technology. It will affect businesses and people’s lives in ways still unimaginable, but at the virtual speed of light.
Like business leaders, consumers have an equally low awareness of what the Metaverse is and how it affects their lives, several recent studies suggest.
A CommerceNext study, conducted in collaboration with Bizrate Insights and The Commerce Experience Collective (CommX) with more than 500 consumers, found that nearly half (48%) have never heard of the term metaverse, with an equal percentage (47 %) who is some familiar with it, but that’s about it. .
An Ipsos survey of 1,000 consumers found slightly higher levels of familiarity (14% were very familiar and 24% were quite familiar), but nevertheless around 31% had only heard the term and 31% said they were not. aware.
After Ipsos filled in the blanks for all respondents – “Metaverse is a term that describes digital spaces where you can interact with other users and businesses [e.g. socializing, playing games, watching concerts, shopping for digital and non-digital items] using virtual or augmented reality ”- about 26% thought this was the future of technology, but 30% said it was not as good as real life.
Many remained skeptical, with 23% saying it’s just a new way tech companies are trying to make more money and 20% saying it’s a significant privacy risk. While 33% were curious about the Metaverse, about 27% were not interested and 23% were suspicious.
And as many as 1,000 Harris Poll respondents found that two in three (62%) American adults were unfamiliar with the metaverse concept before taking the survey. After reading a description of it, more than half (52%) said they felt overwhelmed by the concept and 60% said they still don’t understand the purpose of the Metaverse.
In a battle of competing surveys, Accenture found an incredibly high level of consumer interest in participating in the virtual world among more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries surveyed.
About 83% said they would be interested in shopping through the metaverse in the next year, and 64% have purchased a virtual good or participated in a virtual experience or service in the last year.
Not having access to the survey questionnaire, I suspect that Accenture’s survey presented its audience with a broader definition of “virtual life” than the other surveys.
However, the interest in purchasing virtual fashion to wear in virtual environments was high (51%), as was the purchase of virtual looks to put on make-up or dress up on their avatar or virtual self (48%) and participate in a virtual consultation that included health, makeup and hair (53%) next year.
Additionally, 52% said they visited a retailer in the virtual world for advice, to make a payment, or to browse a product line when purchasing a physical item.
Call to action
No matter how low or high the Metaverse awareness among consumers or business executives is, the Metaverse ball is rolling and gaining momentum quickly. Too soon it will be impossible to ignore it, so each company should better understand how they want to play in the metaverse.
“The era of the metaverse has begun, so for consumer-facing businesses, it’s not about deciding whether they will enter the metaverse, it’s about deciding how,” said Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Retail Industry for Accenture. . group “Retailers and brands will need to reinvent and experiment with what new immersive and consulting experiences could mean for consumers.”
A visit to the new Meta Store should be first on any leader’s list to explore the metaverse opportunity.
About Pam Danziger: Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally renowned expert who specializes in consumer information for marketers targeting the affluent consumer segment. She is President of Unitary Marketing, a boutique marketing consultancy she founded in 1992, where she conducts research to provide brands with actionable insights into the minds of their most profitable clients.
He is also a founding partner of Retail Rescue, a company that provides retailers with advice, mentoring and support Marketing, management, merchandising, operations, services and sales.
A prolific writer, she is the author of eight books including Shops that POP! 7 Steps to Extraordinary Business Success, written about and for independent resellers. She contributed to the Robin Report and Forbes.com. Pam is often called upon to share new ideas with the public and business leaders around the world. Contact her at [email protected]