Here's What Shopping Will Be Like In The Metaverse

Depending on what you've read or who you've listened to, the entire concept of the metaverse and its imminent arrival may be somewhat unclear. Essentially, it's a virtual reality where users will be able to play, work, shop, and connect with friends sometime in the future. But, for some businesses, that future is already here. They have made huge profits in an industry that is just starting to take off, according to USA Today.

Virtual commerce among VR users is the driving force of this trend. People want to have fun and look good while at concerts, socializing with friends, or adventuring in their virtual worlds. For this to happen, users need to buy digital clothes and accessories for the online personas they create. The data shows that they are willing to pay money for this, even if they don't have a physical product in their hands (via Reuters).This phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by retail brands who are rushing to create clothes, shoes, and accessories that can only be used in the metaverse. Here's what you need to know if you're interested how to get in on virtual shopping too.

It is immersive

Because it's virtual reality, shopping in the metaverse is a completely immersive experience. The moment users pop on a VR headset, they will be transported to a world where they will be able to do all the things they do in a real-life store and more. People no longer have to worry about closing times or transportation. Once, they are logged into the metaverse, they can go shopping any time they want to and spend as long as they like trying on various items. Forbes also reports that shoppers will have 3-D fitting rooms where they will be able to get a 360-degree look at their outfits.

VR shopping is designed to increase customer engagement and take customization to another level. For example, shoppers would be able to pick a dress, and then see how it looks in different colors or with different features (via Koombea).

You can buy virtual clothes and accessories

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted that buying virtual accessories and clothing will be a billion-dollar industry in the metaverse in a 2021 report. Evidence shows that people want their avatars to look good. Brands and independent creators are listening, and because of this, they have jumped on the virtual commerce bandwagon — making millions and in some cases, billions of dollars. A good example of this is game manufacturer Epic Games, which released "Fortnite," a popular online game. In 2018, they made $3 billion dollars — mostly from people buying virtual outfits and accessories for their avatars (via NY Mag).

This isn't limited to video game makers. Selling virtual goods is something anyone can do. Independent creators, as well as major companies like Nike and Gucci, have virtual items available on the VR platform Roblox for people to buy. They range in price: you can find accessories as low as one dollar, or in the thousands of dollars for luxury items (via HypeBeast).

Digital self-expression is a trend that's not going away

At the heart of the metaverse are the avatars — digital representations that you use when exploring the metaverse. These avatars are customized to look like you, dress like you, and with the help of AI technology, able to sound like you and take on your personal expressions (via NBC News/YouTube). The use of avatars allows businesses to make profits off of selling virtual accessories and clothes for avatars to wear. Major brands have already capitalized on this trend. For example, fashion brands Gucci and Ralph Lauren have fashion collections you can buy on the virtual reality platform, Roblox.

With avatars, you never have to experience shopping alone — unless that's what you want. Just like in real life, you'll be able to bring friends to have fun and solicit second opinions on your purchases. Brands also get their own avatars in the form of virtual shop assistants, who can offer advice and help with what you need (via Forbes).