Metaverse to disrupt channel strategy for retailers

The rise of the metaverse will present an additional layer of complexity for retailers, according to a new report from Accenture.

The Accenture Technology Vision 2022 report revealed that retailers will need to combine a physical footprint with their online operations and virtual reality stores, paying for physical and virtual real estate.

Their customers will likely want to navigate between these worlds at all times and will prefer brands that allow them to do so.

But for retailers, it means managing an increasingly complex operation, with systems to support the many incarnations of the brand, multiple payment methods and even an inventory of NFT products.

According to the report, 93% of Australian leaders say the Metaverse will have a positive impact on their organisations, with 63% believing it will be revolutionary or transformational.

In fact, 81% of Australian leaders agree that large organizations will push the boundaries of the virtual world to make it more real, increasing the need for perseverance and seamless navigation between the digital and physical worlds.

However, with 74% of Australian consumers either having never heard of Metaverse or having heard the term but not knowing what it means (compared to 65% of the global audience), and only 29% of Australian consumers stating that would find personal value in using augmented reality (AR) today or in the future and more (compared to 56% of global consumers), should retailers build for this new future?

The Technology Vision 2022 report identifies four key trends that companies will need to address:

WebMe: Putting Me in the Metaverse Metaverse and Web3 are about to reshape the internet.

Programmable world: Our planet, personalized As emerging technologies such as 5G, ambient computing, augmented reality and smart materials advance, digital environments will be increasingly woven into the fabric of our physical world.

The unreal: Making it synthetic and authentic Businesses and environments are increasingly underpinned by AI-generated data that convincingly reflects the physical world.

Calculate the impossible: New Machines, New Possibilities The emergence of a new class of machines is allowing organizations in all industries to push the limits of what computers can do.

Other report data also includes:

  • While 3% of Australian leaders report that the pandemic continues to disrupt their organization’s business plans and operations, a further 97% say their organization has adapted to the disruption of the pandemic and found a new normal.
  • 98% of leaders agree that emerging technologies allow their organizations to have a broader and more ambitious vision.
  • 95% of executives believe future digital platforms should deliver unified experiences, enabling interoperability of customer data across different platforms and spaces.
  • 67% of executives agree that AR will disrupt their industry in the next three years
  • 72% of executives believe physical environment programming will become a competitive differentiator in their industry.

Tanya J. Hill